December 13th sees the release of the next movie in the Hobbit trilogy The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and once again New Zealand steps in to the movie spotlight as the epic shoot location.
The entire Hobbit series was filmed almost entirely in New Zealand as were the Lord of the Rings films, so fan of both film series have been flocking here for years to experience their very own piece of Middle-earth.
To celebrate the release of the film, and our love for the beauty of New Zealand, were sharing these cracking Hobbit facts, all about the newest film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
If you’re excited by the prospect of watching the new movie in 9 days (not that we’re counting!) Or if you’re just a fan of New Zealand and its ‘out of this world’ surroundings, appease yourself by watching the trailer for the movie below.
As anyone who’s ever been to New Zealand’s South Island will tell you, you’ll struggle to find a more naturally beautiful part of the world.
Lakes so blue you’d think they’d been photoshopped, if you hadn’t seen them with your own eyes, mighty glaciers, thousands of year’s old, rolling green hills, snow capped mountains and rugged beaches where you can spot whales and dolphins playing between the waves.
If you like a bit of breathtaking beauty thrown in with your travel experiences then this could be your little slice of heaven. And the good thing is, there’s a lot more to this pocket of the world too – here’s out favourite ways to really absorb the very best from your time.
Watch the whales in the ocean off Kaikoura.
Away from the big draws of the east coast and magical Ayers rock, the Top End of Australia, aka The Northern Territory, is often overlooked by visitors searching for the perfect beach or a slice of big city life.
But when you’re diving into rock pools, exploring ancient Aboriginal sites, coming face to face with Crocosaurus and sleeping out under endless stars, we guarantee you won’t miss the crowds.
Sunset on Mindil Beach, Darwin.
Earlier this year, we launched one of our biggest competitions ever. Together with Tourism Australia, we gave away six of the best jobs in world in one of our favourite places in the world, Australia.
The applications came in droves from all over the globe, and one of the lucky winners was the UK’s very own Rich Keam. Rich left Brighton in August for the sunny shores of Perth, WA, where he’s working as a Taste Master, sampling Western Australia’s finest cuisine for a living. Here, he tells us why he’s loving life Down Under, and why he reckons everyone should head there to work while they can. Take it away, Rich!
After seeing the Best Jobs in the World competition advertised online I decided to enter, because basically, why wouldn’t you? I travelled around Australia on a year’s working holiday visa about 15 years ago, and although it seems kind of like a dream now, I still get a pang in my stomach and a sense of jealousy when I hear someone down the pub saying they’re going to Australia. I still get a real sense of excitement when I hear people talking about their travels here.
Rich explores the Bungle Bungle range in WA's Purnululu National Park
A necessary evil to fly for the best price, stopovers are often best forgotten. Unless you enjoy sleeping on the cold, hard floor of an airport waiting lounge of course. But why not treat it as an opportunity? With a little know-how, the humble stopover can become the start of something amazing.
Stopping over on the way to Australia offers a world of opportunities – from beautiful tropical islands, to buzzing cities, to jungle treks, there’s something for everyone. So break out of the airport and experience life beyond the runway – it’s easier and cheaper than you think.
Awesome detours en route to Oz
Relax in Dubai
Nowhere does it quite like Dubai. Flying into the place is an experience in itself – futuristic high rises pierce the cobalt blue sky over a buzzing metropolis, and of course, there’s that huge palm tree-shaped development (Atlantis The Palm) sprawling out into the ocean.
That huge palm tree-shaped development aka Atlantis The Palm in Dubai