Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Thermal Wonderland Combo
Departing Tauranga city, you will travel for about 1 hour to the thermal region of Whakarewarewa. Here, you will see a Maori village. This living village is situated amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity, hot thermal springs, and bubbling mud pools. It is also the location of the famous Pohutu Geyser. Here you will mingle with the local Maori folk who have made this village their home and learned to live in harmony with this unique geothermal environment.
You will experience their traditions and their culture which has been passed down from generation to generation, and visit the fully carved meeting house "Whare Tupuna"(ancestral home). Experience a traditional Maori performance that will include a cultural welcome, songs and dances, games, and demonstrations of fighting skills, including the famous Haka. This is a concert not to be missed!
Then it is time to say farewell "E Noho Ra" to these local friends and head to the Waikato Valley. Here, you will find the Hobbiton Movie Set, nestled deep in the rolling hills of this region. One of the features of this area is the natural, unblemished landscape which was a necessary requirement for this Lord of the Rings movie film set.
You will be met by one of the resident guides who will walk with you around the set with a very informative commentary. Take the opportunity to dress up a character from Lord of the Rings with costumes provided by your guide, and have your picture taken on the movie set. On your tour of Hobbiton, you will see the Party field, stand under the Party tree, and observe the Hobbit holes, the lake, the mill and the bridge. At the conclusion of your journey around the set you can venture into the newly opened Green Dragon Inn and enjoy a complimentary beer, cider, or ginger beer.
Then its tome to depart the shire and travel back over the Kaimai ranges to your ship. If time permits on route, you will drive along the Marine Parade of Mount Maunganui seaside resort.
Reviewer: Richard Udicious
Two separate tours with an hour of transit time between. Guide was very efficient to keep schedule. Both visits very interesting.
Reviewer: Larry Starcevich
We traveled in a small van with a driver that shared stories, humor, and history of the areas surrounding Rotorua. Our first stop was at a Maori cultural center that was located around small geysers and mud pots. The Maori presented a show including dance and history plus we toured the grounds and viewed beautiful wood-carvings followed by a quality buffet lunch. From there we drove through beautiful rolling hills, mostly sheep farms, until we reached the original movie set for Hobbiton. Our tour guide was delightful and took us on a path that wound around every hobbit dwelling, allowing time for photos and stories about the filming of the movie. The tour requires some physical ability as there is a lot of walking on a trail with small hills. At the end of the tour is the famed pub where many scenes were shot during the movies - you can actually have lunch and a beer. Plan on this tour taking the entire day but is totally worth it!
Reviewer: Julie Walklate
This excursion was excellent in every respect. The day was well organised, everything went as advised. Our tour operator was a wealth of knowledge and very enthusiastic. Rotorua is a unique and amazing place, and the lunch provided was absolutely delicious. The best part of the day however was the tour of Hobbiton. It was simply awesome. Went home and watched The Hobbit again to re-live the memories. Fantastic day, highly recommended.
Our guide was very knowledgeable. He was able to answer all our questions and managed the group expertly. He knew when the thermal geyser would erupt and made sure we were there to see it in action. The Hobbiton experience was all we hoped for. The guide even provided props for us to take pictures in at the end. We have memories to last a lifetime.
Reviewer: Kevin Culhane
This was the first of several shore excursions we purchased through Shore Excursion Group for our cruise of New Zealand the French Polynesia Islands and it was the best! The cruise ship we were on didn't even offer the Hobbiton Movie Set as a shore excursion. The Thermal Wonderland was so amazing --- Old Faithful in New Zealand plus a bonus if it is a cold day (won't give away the secret). An amazing lunch served family style and the art & culture center added to this great stop. The drive from the Thermal Wonderland to Hobbiton Movie Set was so beautiful. Learned about the history of the area and the kiwi fruit. The Hobbiton movie set tour was so much fun (especially if you have some Lord of the Rings fanatics in your group which we did) and you even get to drink at the Green Dragon Pub -- fun for all ages. Overall a great day, our tour guide Grant was terrific and we made some new friends from the ship being in the small group (8 of us).