Waikato
Eco Certified

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Our most recommended Waikato Eco Certified

Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

1. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise

Enjoy a summer evening cruising on Lake Taupo. Chris Jolly has been entertaining guests for 40 years, and his tour to the Maori Rock Carvings is known worldwide. Recently restored, these rock carvings were created in the 1980s and still tower above the water, truly a sight to behold.  With family friendly activities on board and split level comfort, this tour is a must for those visiting the region. Enjoy the full bar as you cruise around the Lake Taupo bays, learning onboard from the live commentary. With views of Tongariro National Park and spectacular scenery, this is one evening to be enjoyed by all.

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Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

2. Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

Cruise through the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Lake Taupo, taking in the vibrancy of Maori culture all the while. After boarding your cruise, explore the stunning surroundings of the lake, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush trees on the banks. As you glide through the lake on your deluxe Catamaran, you’ll come to a massive carving depicting the traditional facial tattooing of the Maori people. Inspired by centuries of rich Maori tradition, artist Matahi Brightwell carved the elaborate relief into the side of a cliff directly above the lake’s pristine waters in 1980. Depicting one of his grandmother’s ancestors, the carving represent a triumph of Maori artistry, and the continued preservation of indigenous culture. Perfect for the whole family, after taking in the carving, you can feed the ducks, and maybe even catch a fish. After 1.5 hours, you’ll head back to the dock to disembark.

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From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

3. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

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Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Lunch

4. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Lunch

Tour includes return transport with full commentary from Auckland, entry and guided tour of Hobbiton Movie Set, a tasty lunch, and a complimentary beverage at the Green Dragon Inn.  Be picked up from your Auckland accommodation at 7 AM and travel down through the Waikato region. Your guide will share insights with you about the surrounding areas as well as the movie trilogies 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit'. On arrival at Shire’s Rest, your Hobbiton guide will greet you and take you on a magical journey to Middle Earth. Be immersed in the sights, smells, sounds, and tastes of The Shire, at the home of the Hobbits!  Sample an exclusive specially brewed beverage at the Green Dragon Inn to conclude your adventure. Then enjoy lunch at the Shires Rest Cafe. In addition, you'll have a $10 souvenir voucher to spend at the Hobbiton gift shop. Afterwards, depart for Auckland to be dropped back to your accommodation at approximately 3:15 PM.

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From Auckland: Small-Group Hobbiton and Waitomo Day Tour

5. 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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Auckland to Hobbiton Movie Set Private Tour

6. Auckland to Hobbiton Movie Set Private Tour

This hugely popular tour provides private transport to and from the Hobbiton movie set at a time convenient to you but as with luxury travel it also gives you options to suit your interests. On arrival at the famous Hobbiton movie set, you will go a general tour of the Hobbiton movie set itself. You get to call the ‘action’ shots as they would say in the movies! Not only movie fans will enjoy this unique experience with inside views of the Hobbit village, astonishing facts about the filmmaking and just spectacular landscape all around. On the way to Middle-Earth, drive through prime New Zealand countryside with its rolling hills and fertile pastures. The route takes you through a string of small, historic river towns and offers beautiful views onto the sacred Taupiri Mountain and Ngaruawahia, site of the famous Turangawaewae Marae (Maori meeting place) and seat of Aotearoa’s (New Zealand's) Maori King. Your destination of Matamata, commonly known as ‘Hobbiton Movie Set’ since its inception as the original setting of Peter Jackson’s world-famous “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”- trilogies, lies in an idyllic landscape with sheep farms and wonderful views towards the Kaimai Ranges in the east. During the 2-hour tour of the Hobbiton movie set (with other visitors), you will learn all about how this location was chosen (which is a great story in itself!), how it was created and which scenes were filmed here. You will get to see the Hobbit holes and Bag End, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the famous Party Tree.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

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What people are saying about Waikato

Driver from Akl to Hobbiton is very friendly & personable. As an added bonus, he is an expert at taking good pics lol. The staff are also friendly and knowledgeable. The tour itself is so magical, if your a Tolkien geek you will love it!!! A++++++++ service

It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

Loved every Bit of the Tour. The Price was right for what was Included. They even went out of their way to pick us up from a hotel out near the Airport. Fantastic service and a truly Enjoyable Time.

The skipper was awesome, fresh blueberry muffin was a treat. Good information during the tour.

Great relaxing cruise. Very informative commentary. Carvings were great.