Enter a world of hobbits and hot pools when your cruise ship is in port in Tauranga. This shore excursion to Middle Earth takes you on a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, which featured in 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome at the living thermal village of Whakarewarewa, and witness the astounding thermal activity of spouting geysers and steaming hot springs. If time allows, play dress ups and pose as Bilbo or Gandalf when you stop for an impromptu photo shoot in a lovely redwoods forest. With a maximum of 19 participants, this tour provides a fun-filled small-group experience.
Your shore excursion begins with pickup from your cruise ship port at Tauranga. The scenic route to Middle Earth takes you across the Tauranga harbor bridge, then leaves the Bay of Plenty coast to climb the Kaimai mountain range and enter the Waikato district's lush farmlands.Arriving at Hobbiton near the town of Matamata in Waikato, meet your guide and take a two-hour tour of this famous movie set location. Enter the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on a walk past hobbit holes, stand under the party tree and admire the gently rolling farmland that brought the Shire to life. Your Hobbiton tour concludes with a drink of beer, cider or ginger beer at the Green Dragon Inn.Your tour continues over the Mamaku mountain range and into Rotorua. Stop for lunch (own expense) beside Lake Rotorua, then continue to the living thermal village of Whakarewarewa.Accompanied by a Maori guide, admire the amazing thermal springs and bubbling mud pools, and see the famous Pohutu Geyser burst into life. Listen to your guide's fascinating commentary, and hear how people learned to live in harmony with the geothermal activity, cooking over steam vents and bathing in the hot springs.Your tour also takes you to the traditional Maori meeting house, Whare Tupuna, with its ancient wood carvings. See Maori customs and legends come to life when you experience a traditional Maori welcome, songs and dances, including the warlike Haka dance with its demonstration of fighting skills.The return trip to the port follows a different route, revealing more of New Zealand's scenic beauty. If time allows, stop at a redwood forest en route for a photo shoot -- with cloaks, hats, staffs and swords provided, you can dress up as Bilbo, Gandalf, Eowyn and other favorite characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the ultimate souvenir of your trip to Middle Earth!Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.