Australia and New Zealand
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Outside of Matamata, New Zealand on the North Island is The Shire, home of the Hobbiton movie set made for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies. Over 42 hobbit holes are in the shire, part of a 1250 acre sheep farm owned by the Alexander family. Bag End, the largest hole and home to the Baggins family, has a commanding view of the Shire.
Running from $40K to over $100K are Australia’s famous “Beach Boxes.” Many popular beaches feature these brightly colored private refuges. Some can be over 100 years old!
During the Australian summer the penguin colony on Phillips Island is home to nesting boxes and hungry chicks, sometimes two to a box. Located 90 miles east of Melbourne, the Island is a must see attraction. Each evening a thousand penguins come ashore after gathering fish in the rich offshore waters and feed their chicks. The penguin parade of returning adults can be seen from viewing positions with the penguins only feet away from the spectators. Photos are not permitted of the parade but earlier in the day we did see these chicks awaiting their meal ticket.