It took about a month of planning–figuring out what places to visit, how to travel to each, the availability of the transportation, the kind of transportation, the time and distance it took to walk to the accommodations, the availability of the accommodations, making sure I filled government requirements for passage, adjusting flights to allow time to be processed through customs–writing it all down in an itinerary and sending that to my friends. My destination: the islands of New Zealand–the lands where Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed, and a host of other experiences I wanted to … experience.
On Sunday, February 26, off I flew on Air New Zealand, landing in Auckland some 12 hours later, 6 a.m. on Tuesday, February 28 in crossing the International Date Line. After being processed through Customs, I boarded a bus that took passengers to another terminal that serviced domestic flights. My next stop: Wellington, at the southern end of the north island and capital of the country. Also the home to Weta Workshop. And what did I find at Wellington Airport?
Great big birds. In the main terminal. At the food court.
One carried a man wearing a pointed hat, holding a glowing stick.
The people at the airport didn’t seem to mind.
Such is the craftsmanship of the artisans at Weta Workshop.
I factored in a four-hour layover to visit my friends there, then off I flew to my next destination. But not on a giant eagle.
Next time: Queenstown.