A very early start to catch an early flight from Brisbane to Auckland. Luckily, the flight itself was only 3 hours (to get to another country!), so with the time difference, I ended up arriving at about 2pm.
After the usual travel nonsense, and the transfer to the hotel, I arrived at about 3:30pm, with two hours to spare before our tour welcome dinner. The hotel room was really nice, and even had a kitchen and lounge area. After a refreshing shower and some rest, I went down to the hotel restaurant to meet everybody.
I think there are 32 people in our tour group all up, and I managed to meet most of them. Hoping to get to know them more as we progress, but was great to hang out with so many different people, from different countries all sharing this one common interest. A few fellow Aussies too which is nice.
The dinner, by the way, was really delicious and was a buffet of many different dishes. Surprisingly good (as PJ would say). An early night tonight as most people are jetlagged (not me for once!), and we have a big day at Hobbiton tomorrow. Many photos to come from tomorrow on.