Part 1 – Journey to middle earth – Gerrit Kutschmann

Gerrit enjoying the ride

Gerrit enjoying the ride

As the temperatures drop and the days are getting shorter, a small group of our Club cars turned up at the BP in Drury ready for a journey towards Hobbiton.  A popular gathering spot, we weren’t the only car club that day, with the Jaguar club also starting an event from there. After a coffee and chats with each other, our group of eight cars left in a convoy, heading south for the Waikato’s beautiful rural backroads and views.

Wet run to middle earthDriving along it started to rain within the first 10 minutes, which meant some of us needed to quickly pull off, close the roof and catch up. As we left the motorway to turn onto the lovely winding roads, strong winds and heavy rain hit us hard, and we all had to work our way through the tough conditions to make it safely to our destination. Thank goodness for Darryl and Janine’s leading skills, as we could easily follow them vehicle after vehicle without losing anyone and arriving safely at the Hobbiton Movie Set.

Heavy rain was still with us as we parked and ran indoors. We all had a lovely lunch at the Shires Rest Café, then some went to see the movie set and I am sure they had a great time. Others left for Rotorua to attend the National Club AGM while the rest drove back to Auckland.

Part 2 – Hobbiton tour and AGM – Barbara Lokes



So after watching Gerrit devour his second breakfast’ (where does all that food go?) a few of us went off on The Hobbiton Movie Set Tour. This is a slick tourist attraction (with a tourist price to match) but although I was aware of the volume of people I never felt rushed or crowded and it did have a ‘kiwi’ feel. Even if you’ve never seen the movies there was interesting stuff to learn about movie making effects but if I was to recommend anyone I would say to do the Dinner Tour – you get the full tour then dinner in the pub and it’s a more interactive experience.

Model and obligatory Merc model

Hotel model and obligatory Merc

Back to our beautiful cars and we carried on to Rotorua, big breath, National Club AGM. The Princes Gate Hotel venue is divine, just oozes character and in the lounge beside the roaring fire is a scale model of the hotel with one little car parked out front; naturally it’s a Mercedes.

First we had drinks in Daryl & Janice’s suite to hear the outcome of the Executive Meeting and any issues that would need to voted on the next day, then it was cocktails before dinner and entertainment. A great opportunity to mingle with the other clubs and put faces to names. Obviously lots of talk about how the Club is going and particularly the increasing costs/value for money to produce the magazine.

Presidents meeting debrief

Auckland team debrief

The next morning was AGM time. A few contentious moments but then it all smoothed out and suddenly we all seemed to be on the same page. The result is we have a new full team from Canterbury running the club with fresh enthusiasm. Congrats to Kevin, Maxine, Richard and Carleen. Remember we’re here to help in any way.

One change to come out of the meeting is a move to a new membership system to help manage the rising costs of the printed magazine. The idea being that future membership will include access to a national website and digital magazine, with an optional extra cost to also receive the hard copy magazine. Obviously this will take a bit of work to get going but ultimately will be great. Come to our Auckland Club AGM in June to learn more.

So then it was all over for another year. Well done Midlands for organising the event – it was great!  And I’m looking forward to mingling with the other Club’s members again in August at the Manawatu Chateau lunch. Your Club Captains will be tying in a trip to Horopito ‘Smash Palace’ Motors on the Saturday to make it a great weekend away.

Click here to view more photos on our Gallery page.