On tonight’s episode of The Bachelor, Juan-Pablo and his ladies jetted off to my favorite country on the planet: New Zealand.
Group date at Ogo Rotorua
This marks the second time they’ve filmed The Bachelor in New Zealand. Back in 2009, Jason Mesnick traveled to Queenstown and the Bay of Islands and got engaged to Melissa Rycroft (oops!) at Kauri Cliffs Lodge, my favorite hotel on the planet. (Here’s more about my own stay at Kauri Cliffs back in 2012. It’s heaven on earth.)
Jason went back to New Zealand with runner-up Molly Malaney, and he proposed to her at romantic Kohara Lodge just outside Queenstown in Arthur’s Point.
Kohara Lodge in Arthur’s Point, near Queenstown, New Zealand: you rent out the entire place
Matakauri Lodge outside of Queenstown also featured during Jason’s season. I haven’t had a chance to visit myself yet, but I hear it’s epic.
So, now we have Juan-Pablo, traipsing around the world in search of muy caliente amor that he can pretend his daughter will be proud of. Here’s where Juan-Pablo and Sharleen, Claire, et al. went in New Zealand:
Tutukau Gorge: On New Zealand’s North Island, you can take the Riverjet through the Waikato River–a thrilling adventure for families and people seeking roses with virtual strangers. This is where Juan-Pablo and Andi stopped mid-Riverjet and “spontaneously” waded through the narrow crevasses to a waterfall: it’s known as The Squeeze.
Hobbiton: I’ve already explained to you guys that Hobbiton is basically the coolest place ever (see photos from my trip there last month here). When my husband and I spent 10 days in New Zealand, Hobbiton was hands-down our favorite part, so I can understand why The Bachelor in New Zealand filmed there. The lush, green, rolling hills are exactly what you expect when you think of the most beautiful country in the world. Hobbiton is home to the Green Dragon pub, where the girls drank–and Cassandra was yanked away ON HER BIRTHDAY for the Juan-Pablo chat of doom.
OGO Rotorua: The largest ball rolling park in the world, OGO is like a giant hamster wheel that you roll down a hill in. (And in the summer, they sometimes fill it with water, which is probably delightful for some people but sounds absolutely hellish to me.)
Huka Lodge: There were several different hotels featured in this episode, so I couldn’t quite tell where Juan-Pablo and the ladies stayed for the majority of their time in New Zealand, but they were at this luxury lodge in Taupo for at least one night.
Hilton Lake Taupo: For the final one-on-one date with Claire, Juan-Pablo took her to Tarata Fishaway on the Rangitikei River for a stream-side picnic in a canyon. They finished it up at his penthouse suite at the Hilton Lake Taupo.
Blake House at Poronui: Near Taupo in the Taharua Valley (very close to the amazing Hawke’s Bay wine tasting region of central North Island), Blake House is a satellite experience off the main Poronui Lodge that sleeps up to 16 people in 4 double bedrooms and 2 bunk rooms with four single bunks. (So when you’re getting all jealous of the Bachelor experience, just remember the behind-the-scenes reality of adult bunk beds in paradise.) This is where they filmed the final rose ceremony.
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