Waitomo
Lord of the Rings

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Our most recommended Waitomo Lord of the Rings

Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

1. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to head west towards the stunning Waitomo region. Along the way admire the incredible hydro dams, beautiful farmland, race horses and the Kiwiana capital of New Zealand. Before arriving at the caves, stop by Waitomo homestead for lunch, and a little surprise too. Once in Waitomo, explore the ancient and amazing caves and marvel at the many cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns before descending even further underground for your Glowworm Grotto experience. Board your glow-worm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms sparkling above you. Unique to New Zealand for over 120 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. On the guided trip back to Auckland the sights continue with New Zealand's longest river, Huntly power station and the Maori Queens’ burial site.

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From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

2. From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

Get picked up from your accommodation or an agreed-upon meeting point in Auckland or Rotorua and set off for Hobbiton. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get something to eat or explore the Shires Rest souvenir shop before joining a two-hour walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which includes a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Transfer to the movie set on one of the tour operator's buses and hear about how this set was used for all filming of both "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Hobbit" movies. After the tour, take 15 minutes to relax in the Green Dragon Inn before traveling to Waitomo Caves. Between the two stops, you'll have time to enjoy your picnic lunch. At Waitomo Caves, join a group of up to 12 people on the Black Labyrinth tour, which includes cave tubing and caving in the river that runs through the bottom of the Ruakuri Cave. After arriving at the cave, you will be given a briefing on the art of cave tubing before starting your rafting excursion. Float through a glow-worm grotto, jump over small waterfalls, and enjoy other adrenalin-filled experiences. The tour runs about three hours, 1.5 of which are underground.  Rejoin the main transport for the day and travel to your drop-off destination. On some occasions, the activities may be reversed. After you have completed the final activity, you will be taken to Auckland or Rotorua. You can start and finish in the same place, or choose to make this a one-way journey beginning or ending in Auckland or Rotorua.

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From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Full-Day Trip

3. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Full-Day Trip

Depart Auckland and embark on a scenic journey through the beautiful mountains of the Kaimai Range on a 2-hour drive to the Hobbiton Movie Set. Relax aboard a luxury Mercedes vehicle equipped with free Wi-Fi and complimentary snacks and water. On arrival, follow in the footsteps of your favorite Lord of the Rings characters on an official 2-hour guided tour of the 1,250-acre sheep farm where the movie was shot. Get amazing views of the Kaimai Range as you are led through the site to discover the Hobbit Holes, Old Mill and Double-Arched Bridge. Stop for a complimentary drink at The Green Dragon Inn. Continue to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and learn about the amazing glowworms and the caves' historical and geological aspects on a guided boat ride. Sit back and relax, and enjoy the scenery on the return drive to Auckland, where you will get dropped off at your hotel on arrival. 

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From Auckland: Small-Group Hobbiton and Waitomo Day Tour

4. From Auckland: Small-Group Hobbiton and Waitomo Day Tour

After pickup from your inner city Auckland accommodation, travel south over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. Your driver guide will provide commentary on the way to Hobbiton with insights into the areas you are travelling through, along with some background to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. On arrival at Shire’s Rest, embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest “green set” in the world and the only part of the set remaining in New Zealand. See 44 hobbit holes, the Mill, the double arch bridge, and the party tree. At this stunning location you can take a photo at the gate to Bilbo’s house, “Bag End”, whilst looking out over the whole set to the hills in the distance. The tour ends with a visit to the Green Dragon Inn for a drink. Following your drink, you will be treated to a delicious lunch at the Shires Rest Cafe. There is time for shopping before your tour continues to Waitomo. On arrival in Waitomo, join a 45 minute guided tour of the incredible Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Discover an ancient world 30 million years in the making. Enjoy the delicate cave formations and be wowed in the Cathedral, before taking the iconic boat ride through the glow worm grotto (subject to water levels). Marvel in silence at thousands of magical glow worms, which are unique to New Zealand, before exiting the cave. After your tour at Waitomo, return to Auckland. Enjoy an afternoon tea stop on the way, at your own expense.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Waitomo

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What people are saying about Waitomo

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 8 reviews

I went with my mum & partner to Hobbiton & Waitomo. We had Michael for our tour & he was so generous & full of knowledge about everything & anything. Also such a great conversationalist . Highly recommend, would love to be on another tour with him. Thank you for a great day out!

Had a wonderful time at Hobbiton. It was definitely a bit of a drive to get there and back though. The tour itself was extremely well organized and the grounds of Hobbiton are very lovingly cared for.

Hobbiton is very magical for any level of Lord of the Rings or Hobbit fans. The caves are very cool but not as friendly for small children as you are asked to be quiet for an extended period of time.

We had a fantastic time. Mike was so full of knowledge and went out of his way to ensure we had a great time. Would definately highly recommend this tour.

It was a amazing experience & tour was planned very well. No rush at all and we had enough time to enjoy the places...