This is really just an minor complaint, but I felt Obsidian really needed a better name. When he says 'I am as I always have been - Obsidian' the Maximals were so shocked. His name really doesn't carry the gravity of the implications, considering he was supposed to be one of the finest tactial minds on Cybertron or such. If anything, his name's generic.
Optimus' self confidence was shattered. His error in judgement allowed Megatron to escape and utterly conquer Cybertron. I'm sure it would be comforting to him to have something to beleive in.
I wasn't a fan of the morphing, but the general BM aesthetic to me is the best. The original body of Optimus Primal in BW was somewhat unoriginal. It was mostly like, 'hey look, Optimus Prime's a gorilla now!.' The designs in BM are so unique.
If you're also wanting to see rural NZ at it's best, be good to check out some of the farming tours, watch live-sheep sheering competitions, that sort of stuff. Kind of lame when you see it all the time here but probably quite fun for a tourist visit. Also, if you get the chance (and like wine) go around the Marlborough vineyards for wine tasting.
That is the kind of insider info I was looking for! Thank you so much for taking your time to give out these pointers. They are definitely going to the top of our list for ideas/notes.
My fiance is a big LotR fan, but we are both well aware that a lot of the film related stuff just doesn't look like people expect it to. I think the only must see thing on her list that is LotR related is Hobbiton since it's been "preserved" as a tourist site. Mostly we want to see NZ itself since we've both heard so many great things about it.
Thanks again! (I'll be sure to hit that toy shop too )
Given 16 days, you probably could do the whole country pretty easily. It takes 2 hours to get from the top to the bottom via airplane.
I'd suggest staying in Auckland only a few days, sure it's our biggest city but tourist-wise, there's actually not a hell of a lot to do. Though i'd recommend checking out Mission Bay and Takapuna beaches - you're coming in November correct? Perfect time for a sunny Christmas tan on the beach! The sun can be a real bitch in NZ due to the ozone hole being right above us, can get burnt pretty easily. I'd also recommend taking a harbour cruise, and a trip over to Waiheke and/or Rangitoto islands - both are very nice places to visit.
Definitely go down to Rotorua/Taupo if you're interested in Maori culture and history. They're both also located in geo-thermal active areas. Simply MUST try the natural hot-pools. Also there's a place called the Buried Village - eerie place to viist, is an old colony that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption, you can go around and walk through the remains of it. Te Wairoa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wellington is great too, incredibly windy at times - check out Te Papa museum, for a museum it's pretty entertaining. Never lived there though but it's a pretty relaxed and fun place too. Capital city so lots of politicians around and efficient public transport.
South Island is probably got a bit more to do. I would definitely check out whale watching/seal colonies in Kaikoura, Akaroa harbour (can see dolphins, and is a french colony). The Overlander train trip (goes through the Southern Alps - though in November the snow will likely have all gone) to the west-cost of New Zealand. Also, Hamner Springers is absolutely amazing, similar to Rotorua with geothermal activity, only it's much higher up so you occasionally get snow while your in the hot pools. You'd be best to base yourself in Christchurch for these places as Akaroa/Kaikoura/Hamner Springs are a short distance drive and you the Overlander departs from there. (there's also a big toy-store near the train station )
Queenstown's another great place to visit, although overpriced. Quite a bit of Lord Of The Rings was filmed around that area, so lots of tours in regards to that. Also a small town (forget the name) not far from there where you can go sifting for gold in the stream, coures you never tend to find a lot, but there is gold in there and whatever you find, you can keep.
I think that that's probably all I can think of really. You could go down to Invercargill/Bluff to be pretty much as close to Antartica as you can, but they're crappy towns.
Hah! I knew someone from NZ would see my call for help!
We are flying into Auckland and hope to see as much as we can. We've been debating trying to turn the 16 days we have into a north tip to south tip whirlwind tour. But, that idea may get abandoned if we decide it would be too much travel time and not enough seeing/doing stuff. We are going to at least make it down as far as Wellington for sure.