New Zealand Day Seventeen: Exploring The Town Of Matamata
I had to visit Hobbiton while in New Zealand. This is the site of the movie set based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic books. The scenes from Bilbo Baggins home were filmed here. It is located near the town of Matamata. So I made arrangements to spend two nights here. I had a tour scheduled for 9 a.m. at Hobbiton, which was located about 10 miles from Matamata. So I was up early and walking the quiet residential streets near my hotel.
The homes looked so much like homes in the many suburbs I visited in the United States. I wondered how alike , and how different, the daily routines of it’s residents were as I roamed the sleepy neighborhoods.
I soon learned how the town was once a lot more rural as the housing development soon turned to farmland.
I walked along a highway and came upon another large housing development that abutted more farmland.
Fields with horses were a short distance from hundreds of new homes.
I encountered some ducks on a pond that separated the farmland from the housing development.
I walked through the development and came to a large croquet field. It seems croquet is very popular here judging by the size of the fields.
I walked through an older residential neighborhood and came to a busy highway that followed the railroad tracks into town.
There was a memorial park across the highway. I walked under a grove of ancient trees.
After leaving this park I roamed the streets of Matamata observing the local residents awaken, including this cat.
I was reminded it was late Summer in the Southern Hemisphere when I came upon some apple trees heavy with fruit.
It was an overcast but mild morning late summer morning. I continued to explore the side roads and parks of the town. I walked back to the Main Street before I decided to head back to my hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from my walk. New Zealand Day Seventeen, morning walk. February 22 2019.
I showered, changed and walked back to town for a quick breakfast before my tour of Hobbiton. I posted another blog about this visit and it can be read in the archives. It was a magical tour.
It was early afternoon when I returned to Matamata. I spent the afternoon continuing my exploration of this pleasant town.
I walked it’s streets and visited some more of its parks.
There was a Catholic Church and I found it was open.
I had a pleasant chat with the secretary and then visited the church.
Nearby were some more churches,
and an elementary school.
I crossed the busy main street of Matamata. There was a lot of traffic from both tourists visiting Hobbiton and truck traffic from the rapid commercial development of the surrounding farmlands.
On the other side of the highway I walked past the local hospital and some medical and dental offices.
Nearby was a memorial park,
and, like many parks around the world, it had a number familiar residents, New Zealand species of doves or pigeons.
Here is a link to some more photographs from my afternoon walk. New Zealand Day Seventeen. Afternoon walk. February 22 2019.
“Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.”