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: Stephanie Ohnigian
This was a wonderful excursion! The guide was terrific. The guide got us in early so we missed some lines. The sights were amazing. This was the best Maouri demonstration of the trip. And Hobbiton was delightful. A great day and well worth the money! Thank you!
Reviewer: Karen Jacobsen
Had a great time and enjoyed what we saw and did. Would recommend it to anyone.
Reviewer: Larry Haukedalen
This excursion allows travelers to visit the thermal fields, the Maori village and cultural show, and Hobbiton all in one excursion. The cruise line excursions only visited either the Maori village or Hobbiton, not both, for about the same price. The group was small, only 4 couples, so we were able to spend more time at the sites instead of waiting for a bus full of people to load and unload. Our guide Robin was knowledgeable and accommodating. He took care of ticketing and other arrangements at each site to allow efficient use of time. Our van was clean and comfortable, and Robin provided water and snacks to keep our energy up for the long day. He kept us on schedule so that we had plenty of time at each site and got us back to the ship well before departure.
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!