8. Auckland: Hobbiton and Rotorua with Te Puia Tour
Your tour begins as you are collected from your hotel in a comfortable modern mini-bus. From there, travel through the beautiful Waikato countryside - New Zealand's most extensively farmed area, on a fully guided tour to Hobbiton. During the trip south, encounter stunning scenery, great photo opportunities, and beautiful mountains, as well as several different farm animals along the way.
Following your drive, arrive to the Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton. There you can see thousands of sheep, grab something to eat, get a coffee fix, or enjoy an ice cream as your guides arrange your tickets to the movie set.
Next, board one of the green Hobbiton buses to depart on a fully guided 2-hour tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with an expert Hobbiton Movie set guide who ensures you get the most out of your visit. During your tour, step into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 different hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear the charming secrets and stories about the making of the movies, and finish your Lord of the Rings experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton Pub, the Green Dragon Inn.
After your Lord of the rings experience, travel back through the Alexander Family Sheep Farm before heading south to the active geothermal area of Rotorua. Throughout your trip, pass through the unique town of Tirau - the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade, seeing many more stunning landscapes as you head over the Kaimai ranges.
Once in Rotorua, travel with your guides as they show you around the historical sites including Lake Rotorua, the Government Gardens, the Blue Baths, the Thermal Springs, and the Polynesian Spa. From there, head to one of the most famous attractions in New Zealand, the Te Puia Geothermal Park. Once inside the park, stop for lunch, where your guides highly recommend the traditional Maori Hangi buffet meal.
Following lunch, set off for a fully guided tour around the surreal park to see it's geothermal and cultural wonders. Observe the Pōhutu Geyser (the biggest geyser in the southern hemisphere), Māori Architecture, the National Māori Arts School, geothermal craters, and geothermal events. There's even the chance to view a kiwi bird in the kiwi viewing house, before you travel back to Auckland with your guide.