Flat Stanley Tracker

Follow Flat Stanley as he travels around the world.

New Zealand

Hello friends! I am here in New Zealand, one of the most beautiful countries I have visited thus far. New Zealand is an island nation just south of Australia. Due to its remoteness, it was one of the last land masses to be populated by humans. The first to settle here were the Maori from 1250 – 1300 AD. The Maori are the indigenous population of New Zealand, just like the Native Americans are the indigenous people of the United States. Europeans began to settle here during the 19th century. It became a British colony in 1840.

New Zealand is well known as being the country where The Lord of the Rings movie series was filmed, since the director of the series (Peter Jackson) is from here.  In fact, since we love the movies so much, we went on a tour of some of the movie sites!

First up we visited Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. We went to Weta Workshop, the company who created the special effects and props for The Lord of the Rings series.

While we were in Wellington, we also visited the Te Papa Museum. My favorite part of the museum was the Colossal Squid. It is the only Colossal Squid specimen on display in the entire world.

We learned at the museum that the Colossal Squid is the largest squid species in terms of mass. Humans have hardly ever had contact with this creature. In fact, a male specimen has NEVER been discovered! How interesting!

From Wellington, we visited Kaitoke Regional Park, just outside of Wellington. This is where they filmed the Rivendell scenes (Rivendell is where the elves lived). It was one of my favorite parts of New Zealand:

We headed north towards Auckland, and on the way we visited Tongariro National Park. This was the fourth established national park in the world.

This park is home to three active volcanoes: Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. Mount Tongariro played Mount Doom in the movies:

We then headed further north to Matamata, where they filmed the Shire scenes. I loved how picturesque it is:

My final stop in New Zealand (which has nothing to do with Lord of the Rings) was Muriwai Beach on the west coast. This beach has black sand, due to the high iron content by ancient volcanoes in the area. We went on a rainy day, so it seems rather gloomy, but trust me, it is a beautiful beach!

The starfish were my favorite part!

I am off to Argentina, my final stop. Until next time!

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