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Hobbiton & Whakarewarewa - The Living Māori Village & Buried Village of Te Wairoa - Day Tour - Ex Auckland

Experience the real Middle-earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. The Hobbiton Movie Set Tour is where Peter Jackson filmed his famous Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. Our tour starts by from Auckland city centre from where we pick you up from, then you’ll enjoy a two-hour scenic drive South of Auckland into Waikato, with a scenic stop or two for taking picturesque photos of New Zealand's lush countryside. 

Once we arrive, you spend 30-45 mins shopping in the official Hobbiton Gift Shop and grabbing a drink or a bite in the famous Shire’s Rest Cafe. Your guided tour starts on a Hobbiton tour bus with a drive through New Zealand's picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Take a look at Bag End, where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began. Get lost among the hobbit holes and visit the Green Dragon Inn, the mill and the Party Tree. Listen to spell-binding tales of how Hobbiton came to be. 

After you finish your amazing Hobbit tour we make our way through the scenic roads into Rotorua for your next experience at Whakarawarewa - the living Maori village! On the Whakarewarewa Guided Tour, you will:

Explore an authentic living Māori village where people live on a daily basis, using natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes as they have for centuries. Discover the vibrancy of Māori culture and the fascinating traditions of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who shaped tourism in New Zealand. View the geothermal wonders of Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley up close, including the world-famous Pōhutu geyser, boiling mud-pools, steam vents and bubbling pools. Enjoy a traditional cooking demonstration – watch our residents prepare Hāngi meals in our in-ground steam boxes, and cook corn in the bubbling water of our geothermal hot pools – as they have for generations. Learn what it’s like to live in the challenging environment of the Whakarewarewa Valley, where daily life includes cooking in the bubbling pools and steam vents, and bathing in the refreshing therapeutic waters.

After you finish your amazing tour experience, we make our way to our next destination which is the Buried Village of Te Wairoa! 

Buried Village highlights:

  • Encounter the award winning Museum of Te Wairoa exhibition and be enriched in the collection of excavated objects (Taonga) over 130 years old.

  • Explore the archaeological sites which reveal the devastation of the eruption to this once bustling European and Maori village settlement. Walk among and enter the very sites that once housed the people of Te Wairoa.

  • Experience the unique insights and storytelling from our tour guides or use an electronic tour app.

  • Take the beautiful waterfall trail which showcases the stunning Te Wairoa (Wairere) Falls. Be thrilled as you stand in the spray of the waterfall as it plunges 40 meters to the valley below.

  • Children can enjoy Smithy's Map searching through the excavated sites for clues to find treasure at the end of the visit.

  • Refresh at Vi's Tea house offering delicious scones (with whipped cream and jam), Kiwi's favorite selection of Pastry Pies, Devonshire Tea, and excellent fresh-ground coffee or browse the range of gifts in our gift store

A visit to the Buried Village encompasses Rotorua's most scenic drive and starting with the Redwood Forest walking and bike trails (5 minutes from city), Redwood Treewalk (voted NZ's #1 tree-top bridge walk by Tourism NZ), Blue and Green Lakes freedom walk (10 minutes from city), Start of the Tarawera Trail (a 14 km freedom tramp to Hot water Beach) just 15 minutes from city, Buried Village and Te Wairoa Waterfall (just 20 minutes from city) and then to the Lake Tarawera Landing (just 30 minutes from city) where you can catch a water-taxi for a lake cruise to either Hot-water beach or to the trail that leads to Tarawera Falls (voted NZ's #1 waterfall by Department of Conservation). The Tarawera Waterfall trail is a comfortable 90 minute trek from the shores of Lake Tarawera into the Tarawera native bush area.

Then we head back to Auckland CBD travelling through lush countryside of Waikato!

Tour Duration: 10-11 Hrs
Pick up Time: 6:00 am to 6:30 am