Day 1,834 of Traveling the World | Walton & Tirau, New Zealand | February 9, 2023

No two ways about it – New Zealand is magical. We stayed in a tiny rural town north of Hobbiton called Walton, NZ, and we stopped many times to take photos as we drove the rural roads around it. Our B&B was called Villa Walton, but we booked Walton Cottage there, a free-standing accommodation adjacent to the main house. Our hosts were Sue and Neil. It had a living room, full kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom – and all quite stylish and newly remodeled. It is one of our most favorite places that we stayed, as we had privacy and could cook our meals, yet the main house was the meeting point for Sue’s cooked-to-order breakfast, while the large living room was great for sitting and enjoying the extensive gardens. There are flowers everywhere! The first photos are from alongside the country roads and of Walton Cottage.

We also stopped in the city of Tirau, as we were driving through, when large building-size animals caught our eye. Walking around, we found that the theme of the retail stores was – corrugated metal! Signs and various animals are made of the stuff, and corrugated everything (mostly animals) can be found sitting on the roofs of the buildings on the main street. It was an experience!

So, yeah, you would say we are loving New Zealand! But….it is the driving around the country that makes it so enjoyable, for all the greenery and scenery. Auckland and Wellington are fine, as cities go, but just being in the cities isn’t a true taste of the glories of the country.

The greenery is really and truly green in NZ!
The trees – and clouds! – add drama to each scene.
All the fences we have seen are about like this one, or the fence in the next photo – not really to keep anyone OUT, but to keep the cattle and sheep IN!
We liked how this open gate drew us into their meadow and the distant peak!
We had our own gates and fence around our cottage.
The side entrance to the cottage.
This was our front-yard greeting.
For al fresco dining, we had this lovely space in our backyard.
Uh-oh! In Tirau, the sheep are eyeing each other up – Henry the ram looks interested!
She is dressed to go out on the town!
A clown and another bird…
The flowers atop this cafe were very cute.
Santa is likely there all year round, although this store was closed the day we were there.
The sign on the other side of the doghouse notes that the building used to be the SPCA. Today, it serves as the library/tourist info and sells tickets to Hobbiton.
This is the inside of the building. It looks like a huge Quonset hut!
A close-up of the stained glass window at the rear, depicting various products and livelihoods of the city and region.
Even the local church got into this corrugated metal thing!
The black alley cat is fun!
On a side road, we saw this flower made out of the chosen city metal.
Wow. A rather graphic depiction of this building’s use!

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