Leaving Auckland in the morning, travel by deluxe GreatSights coach through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Your experienced local driver guide will inform and entertain you, pointing out sites of interest including Rangiriri, the site of a major battle between British forces and local Māori in 1863.
In Waitomo, enjoy a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Explore the underground caverns and learn how stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone structures were formed over millions of years. The Glowworm Grotto is a magical way to end the cave tour, as you travel by boat through a cavern lit up by thousands of twinkling glowworms.
Enjoy a delicious picnic-style lunch (vegetarian and other dietary options available on request) en route to Rotorua, where you will transfer onto the Hobbiton Movie Set coach tour and enjoy a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to Matamata, a rural Kiwi town well-known for its thoroughbred industry and dairy farming. Just outside the township is the picturesque 1,250 acre farm where scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies were filmed. The charming countryside of The Shire, as described in JRR Tolkien's books, was carefully created on this working sheep and beef farm. The home of the heroic hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin has been preserved since filming wrapped, and now draws visitors from around the world.
On your guided Hobbiton Tour you will see where the movie magic was created. You'll get the chance to see Hobbit holes, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and many other structures created for the films, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. After your movie set tour, spend some free time in Matamata, before boarding the GreatSights coach for the return journey to Auckland.
Useful Tip: A complimentary pick-up and drop-off service is provided from inner city hotels. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes and taking a warm jacket for the Waitomo Glowworm Caves guided tour. A one-way tour option is also available, concluding in Rotorua following the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour.
Multilingual options are available >