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Matamata

Culture & History

Our most recommended Matamata Culture & History

Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

1. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to continue southwards towards the active geothermal area of Rotorua. During the drive, pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, the Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. Take some time to rest for lunch and then head to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland considered one of the most surreal places on earth. Here, admire the Champagne Lake, Devil’s Bath, local mud-pools, geothermal craters and other geothermal wonders before a fully guided trip back to Auckland and the end of your tour.

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

2. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise too. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, Huntly power station and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

3. From Auckland: Two-Day Rotorua, Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves Tour

Join this overnight all-inclusive tour from Auckland and experience the Central North Island's most iconic attractions at a leisurely pace.  Take guided tours of Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Discover the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and the thermal areas and geysers of Te Puia. Experience a Maori cultural evening with a meal and concert.  At the end of the two days, you will return to your hotel in Auckland or a different location in the central area, if specified. Most of the transport is supplied in Mercedes minibuses with luxury seating. Your driver guide will take the time to make sure you enjoy your time on the tour. The largest vehicle seats 15 passengers, but on most occasions your group will be 12 people or less.

Tauranga: Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers Shore Excursion

4. Tauranga: Hobbiton & Rotorua Geysers Shore Excursion

Join a small-group shore excursion from Tauranga to explore North Island's top attractions. Experience geysers, mud pools and steam vents with Maori culture and visit the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set. You will be picked up from Tauranga Port, dependent on your ship's arrival time, and journey to Rotorua. For centuries Whakarewarewa village has been home to the Tuhourangi Ngati Wahiao people.This is a unique location with the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere and an official Maori guide will meet you for your visit. Encounter a strange landscape of sights, sounds and smells and marvel at the way the Maori's have tamed this land for their own purpose.  Here you'll get the chance to see the iconic Kiwi bird in a purpose made Kiwi bird enclosure. Admire boiling mud pools, native bush, and the National Schools of Wood Carving and Weaving. Then depart Rotorua and its geothermal wonderland to travel to the second venue of your tour, Hobbiton Movie Set!   Discover the magic on a guided tour with an official guide for an experience to tantalise your senses. Find yourself engulfed in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of The Shire, at the home of the Hobbits, as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.  After your tour, enjoy a complimentary drink in the Green Dragon (either alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic ginger beer) that is included in your tour.  You will be returned to Tauranga Port, guaranteed to be back in plenty of time for your ship's departure.

From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

5. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

Enjoy the magic of Middle Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set and delight in Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Village in Rotorua on a day tour from Auckland. Travel in comfort with a small group and an experienced local guide in a late-model Mercedes or a similarly configured the vehicle to provide extra leg room and space for your comfort.  After the pick-up from your hotel, journey through gorgeous Waikato scenery to Hobbiton. On arrival, set off on an official 2-hour guided tour through the picturesque twelve-acre site. Learn fascinating details of how a beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. At the end of your tour, savor a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Climb back into the vehicle for the 55-minute drive to Rotorua. Arrive at Te Puia Maori Village where you will have a freshly prepared hangi lunch featuring traditional Maori food. With plenty of time to explore, discover the Pohutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs, silica formations, and the iconic Kiwi bird. Visit the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. Then explore Rotorua, visiting the lakefront and the government gardens, before the return journey to Auckland. You can opt for drop off in Rotorua, just select this option when booking. 

Auckland: Hobbiton and Rotorua with Te Puia Tour

6. Auckland: Hobbiton and Rotorua with Te Puia Tour

Your tour begins as you are collected from your hotel in a comfortable modern mini-bus. From there, travel through the beautiful Waikato countryside - New Zealand's most extensively farmed area, on a fully guided tour to Hobbiton. During the trip south, encounter stunning scenery, great photo opportunities, and beautiful mountains, as well as several different farm animals along the way. Following your drive, arrive to the Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton. There you can see thousands of sheep, grab something to eat, get a coffee fix, or enjoy an ice cream as your guides arrange your tickets to the movie set. Next, board one of the green Hobbiton buses to depart on a fully guided 2-hour tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with an expert Hobbiton Movie set guide who ensures you get the most out of your visit. During your tour, step into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 different hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear the charming secrets and stories about the making of the movies, and finish your Lord of the Rings experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton Pub, the Green Dragon Inn. After your Lord of the rings experience, travel back through the Alexander Family Sheep Farm before heading south to the active geothermal area of Rotorua. Throughout your trip, pass through the unique town of Tirau - the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade, seeing many more stunning landscapes as you head over the Kaimai ranges. Once in Rotorua, travel with your guides as they show you around the historical sites including Lake Rotorua, the Government Gardens, the Blue Baths, the Thermal Springs, and the Polynesian Spa. From there, head to one of the most famous attractions in New Zealand, the Te Puia Geothermal Park. Once inside the park, stop for lunch, where your guides highly recommend the traditional Maori Hangi buffet meal. Following lunch, set off for a fully guided tour around the surreal park to see it's geothermal and cultural wonders. Observe the Pōhutu Geyser (the biggest geyser in the southern hemisphere), Māori Architecture, the National Māori Arts School, geothermal craters, and geothermal events. There's even the chance to view a kiwi bird in the kiwi viewing house, before you travel back to Auckland with your guide.

From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Trip

7. From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Trip

Enjoy a day trip from Auckland to the world-famous and magical Lord of The Rings Hobbiton Movie Set in the heart of Middle Earth. Get picked from your hotel in a comfortable 12-seater mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside (the most extensive farming area in the world) on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. During the trip south, encounter stunning scenery, great photo opportunities, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. After the drive, you will arrive at the Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest (the entrance to Hobbiton) where you can see thousands of sheep, grab a bite to eat, get your coffee fix, or enjoy an ice cream while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, you will board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on a two-hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12 acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour, step into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear the secrets and stories about the making of the movies, and enjoy a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub "The Green Dragon Inn." After the tour, you will be guided back through the Alexander Family Sheep Farm for another stop at Shire's Rest for a spot of souvenir shopping and maybe a bite to eat before you begin your journey back to Auckland.

From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

8. From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

Get picked up from your accommodation or an agreed-upon meeting point in Auckland or Rotorua and set off for Hobbiton. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get something to eat or explore the Shires Rest souvenir shop before joining a two-hour walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which includes a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Transfer to the movie set on one of the tour operator's buses and hear about how this set was used for all filming of both "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Hobbit" movies. After the tour, take 15 minutes to relax in the Green Dragon Inn before traveling to Waitomo Caves. Between the two stops, you'll have time to enjoy your picnic lunch. At Waitomo Caves, join a group of up to 12 people on the Black Labyrinth tour, which includes cave tubing and caving in the river that runs through the bottom of the Ruakuri Cave. After arriving at the cave, you will be given a briefing on the art of cave tubing before starting your rafting excursion. Float through a glow-worm grotto, jump over small waterfalls, and enjoy other adrenalin-filled experiences. The tour runs about three hours, 1.5 of which are underground.  Rejoin the main transport for the day and travel to your drop-off destination. On some occasions, the activities may be reversed. After you have completed the final activity, you will be taken to Auckland or Rotorua. You can start and finish in the same place, or choose to make this a one-way journey beginning or ending in Auckland or Rotorua.

Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

9. Hobbiton Movie Set Shore Excursion from Tauranga

Depart from the Port of Tauranga, and begin your journey along Pilot Bay towards the wonderful Mount Maunganui beach. Take photos and hear local facts from your guide along the way. Then, travel to The Shire, home of Bilbo Baggins and his friends. Get a meet and greet at the Hobbiton Movie Set by your official guide. Take a guided tour filled with fun facts, insider stories, and many photo opportunities. Next, sit back and enjoy a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Return towards Tauranga, and visit a few special spots along the way for breathtaking views over the Matamata-Piako Plains. Visit the local park to appreciate the beauty of its lake, paddocks, mature trees, and the wonderful wildlife that dwells within its boundaries.

Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

10. Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

This full-day excursion begins with a pick-up at your preferred location in Auckland, and a scenic 2-hour drive into Waikato with the possibility of stops for photos en route to the Hobbiton Movie Set. On arrival, you’ll spend 30-45 minutes at the official Hobbiton Gift Shop and have a chance to grab a drink or a bite to eat at the famous Shire's Rest Café. Next you’ll embark on a 2-hour guided tour of the 1,250-acre sheep farm with amazing views of the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will then lead the way through the 12-acre site that’s home to Hobbit Holes, the Old Mill and the Double-Arched Bridge. Stop for a complimentary drink at The Green Dragon Inn. Your tour then continues to Rotorua, where you'll visit Te Puia and explore Te Whakarewarewa, a 60-hectare geothermal valley. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the kiwi bird house and viewing enclosure, watch traditional Maori carving and weaving, learn about Maori art and history and take a walk around a model pre-European Maori village and sacred marae. If you like, you can enjoy a meal prepared using ancient geothermal cooking techniques, watch a Maori haka performance and learn about Maori culture inside the sacred marae. At the end of the program it will be time to sit back and relax on the scenic drive back to Auckland.

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What people are saying about Matamata

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 129 reviews

The tour is fabulous! Visit several of New Zealand's North Island's top tourist attractions with engaging commentary from your guides. The staff of the company is most charming! If there is any problem on any of the days of the tour with any of the activities that are planned, they reorganize it so that you can enjoy each of them. In addition, they make your vacation as easy as possible by picking you up and dropping you off wherever you ask them! Regarding the tour itself, transportation is in very comfortable minibuses. The accommodation is in a wonderful hotel, with all the comforts you can expect (it even has a spa, although it is not included in the tour). Each and every one of the activities that are included are unforgettable experiences and I could not keep just one. Spectacular landscapes and adorable people! In general, many incredible emotions running through your body at the same time! One of the best tours I've booked in my entire life!

It was a great trip starting with on time pick up from the driver. The bus was comfortable with phone charger. Hobbiton was so beautiful, Te Puia was interesting with geothermal spring and the Maori culture. Highly recommended.

Due to Wai O Tapu was closed, we end up doing just the Hobbiton Town. The tour was fantastic, prompt pick up, the driver was really friendly n we all had a wonderful tour.

Our tour guide Jason was fantastic and then at Hobbiton it was a fantastic tour and will highly recommend your tour company for future tours

Well planned and executed trip. A good mix of people on the trip doing various things. Very good for solo travel.