Welcome to Matamata
Matamata was just one of those pleasant, horsey country towns you drove through until Peter Jackson’s epic film trilogy The Lord of the Rings put it on the map. During filming, 300 locals got work as extras (hairy feet weren’t a prerequisite).Following the subsequent filming of The Hobbit, the town has now ardently embraced its Middle-earth credentials, including a spooky statue of Gollum, and given the local... Read More
Top experiences in Matamata
Food and drink
Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set Day Trip
Leave Auckland behind and enjoy the scenic drive through the Waikato and King Country regions of New Zealand’s North Island. Enjoy a snack on the coach and admire the rolling hills and lush farmlands, as you travel through Rangariri, where a fierce battle for land rights between British colonialists and the Maori took place. You’ll soon arrive in Waitomo, home to the renowned Waitomo Glowworm Caves.Take a guided tour through the caves and see the amazing limestone formations created over the centuries. Then board a boat for a short ride along the river to witness the magic of the glowworms. As you enter the grotto, you will see thousands of tiny lights flashing in the darkness, each one a glowworm, creating a mystical fairyland.Next, enjoy a picnic lunch (included) before continuing on toward Rotorua, driving across the Kaimai Ranges, and making your way to Matamata, where you’ll visit the Hobbiton Movie Set! Discover how this working sheep farm was transformed into JRR Tolkien’s fictional village of Hobbiton – part of the Shire and home of Bilbo Bagins – for The Lord of the Rings movie series. Have your photo taken in front of a hobbit hole and see the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and other locations that you’ll recognize from the three movies, all of which were filmed around New Zealand
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Including Rotorua Sightseeing
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.
2-Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland
Day 1: Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua (L, D)Leaving Auckland, you’ll be driven south to visit the world-famous limestone formations of Waitomo Caves. Enter the subterranean labyrinth of caves to admire a magical world of stalactites and stalagmites, eerily lit by the luminescent gleam of tiny glowworms.After your tour of the Waitomo Caves, a picnic lunch is served on board the coach as you are driven east across the North Island to Rotorua. There’s free time to explore Rotorua before boarding an amphibious ‘duck’ vehicle for a tour of Rotorua’s lovely lakes. In the evening, discover Rotorua’s rich Maori heritage during a night of ritual, ceremony and cultural performances, including a traditional Maori 'hangi' feast featuring meat and vegetables cooked in an earth oven.Overnight: Accommodation at your chosen category in RotoruaDay 2: Rotorua - Hobbiton - Auckland (B)After breakfast, get ready to see mud pools, spouting geysers and other geothermal displays at Te Puia, where you’ll also enjoy Maori cultural performances. Next, meet New Zealand’s signature kiwi birds at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and see sheepdogs and sheep-shearing in action at the Agrodome.Your tour continues with a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to the farm near Matamata that was transformed into Hobbiton for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie set. Here you’ll see the fairytale landscapes of the Shire, including the hobbit holes, and visit the Green Dragon Inn and Mill.Following your memorable visit to Hobbiton, your tour concludes in the early evening, with the option to be dropped off in Auckland or Rotorua.
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
After pickup from the port at Tauranga, your shore excursion takes a scenic route to Middle-earth. Leave the Bay of Plenty behind as you cross the Tauranga Harbour Bridge to traverse the Kaimai mountain range before you arrive at the lush farmland of the Waikato district. Located about an hour from Tauranga, near the town of Matamata in Waikato, the Hobbiton movie set provides a fun and fascinating experience of this famous location in the LOTR films. Meet your guide for a 2-hour tour of the movie set and hear about the work that goes on behind the scenes to make a successful movie.Walk past numerous hobbit holes, stand under the party tree where Bilbo had his farewell birthday party and admire the gentle hills where the Shire came to life. Enjoy time to soak up the magic of Hobbiton without being rushed to get to another activity. When you reach the Green Dragon Inn, sip a complimentary local ale, cider or ginger beer. After your meal, bid farewell to Hobbiton and head back towards Tauranga, stopping at McLaren Falls Park for a stroll through native bush that leads to a beautiful waterfall. True-blue fans can even take the time to dress up as your favorite The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit character. Wear Gandalf's cloak and hat, or channel Bilbo or Eowyn as you wield a sword. The lush greenery provides the perfect backdrop for a photo. If time permits, make a quick stop to see local bees, taste New Zealand Manuka honey, try a luscious ice cream, or stop at a beach on the way back to the Tauranga port. 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.
Full-Day Hobbiton Tour from Auckland
Following a pickup between 9:30am and 10am (depending on your location) in Auckland, take a seat in your vehicle for the 2-hour journey to Matamata to begin your full-day tour. Along the way, stop at lookout point for a great photo opportunity over the scenic landscape.On arrival at Matamata, stop for lunch (own expense), then join your 2-hour guided tour of Hobbiton — the lush landscape famous as the hobbits’ home in the popular movies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.Explore Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole home and listen as your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales from Middle-earth. During a 15-minute visit to the Green Dragon Inn, enjoy an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink and imagine yourself on-set with your favourite stars from the trilogy. When your guided tour comes to an end, browse the souvenir shop then return via a different route through the New Zealand countryside to your starting point in Auckland.
Waitomo Caves and The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Auckland with Private Transport
After being picked up from your Auckland hotel at the time of your choice, sit back and relax on the 2.5-hour drive to the Waitomo Caves. The route takes you beside the Waikato River and through the gently undulating farming country of the Waikato region. Pass the site of the famous battle fought between Maori and British forces at Rangiri, see the sacred Taupiri Mountain and photograph the Pirongia volcano hovering on the horizon if the weather is clear.At Waitomo, join a 45-minute tour of the amazing glow-worm caves, including a tranquil boat ride on an underground stream to ensure a good view of the glow worms.Enjoy lunch in Waitomo, then travel by private vehicle to a farm near the small town of Matamata and the Shire's Rest cafe, where your Hobbiton tour begins. You have a choice between a shared group tour or your own private tour.Lasting just under two hours, your tour takes you on a drive through the bucolic sheep farm that was chosen as the Hobbiton movie set for The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Hear how the location was chosen, how the sets were created and which scenes were shot here. Visit famous sites from the films, including the cute Hobbit holes cut into the ground at Bag End, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the Party Tree.Your tour concludes at the quaint Shire's Rest cafe, where your private guide will collect you for your return trip to Auckland. Follow a different route on the journey, and enjoy scenic views of the North Island's countryside before being dropped at your hotel in the city.