So, if you are as much of a Lord of the Rings fan as I am, then you MUST go to Hobbiton!
I booked a joint tour to see Hobbiton, which is in Matamata, and the Waitomo Caves with Great Sights.
So the morning kicked off at the Sky City bus terminal, where we were picked up. We drove straight to Hobbiton which i reckon is about 2 hours away from Auckland (tbh I was asleep for most of it, so don’t know for sure).
We started at the gift shop, which was amazing! You can get a post card, and a stamp which is exclusively designed just for Hobbiton which can be used to send internationally. And if you post it at the gift shop, you get a Hobbiton stamp on it too, amazing!
So after that, we headed into Hobbiton. What I didn’t know, is the farm were Hobbiton is located is actually a working farm, so there are a tonne of sheep and cows about. We drove past where the actors in LOTR would be fed and made into hobbits and elves, which was pretty cool. The scenery in the place is just jaw dropping, I felt like I was in the shire.
We started walking down the same path that Gandalf took in the opening scene in The Fellowship of the Ring when he was on his cart. We got to walk past some of the smaller hobbit holes. The set for LOTR and The Hobbit were very well designed, in the fact that they used perspective to make the actors look taller/shorter by using different sized hobbit houses and doors.
I got photos in front of hobbit holes, and in hobbit holes! It was crazy! I’m such a fan, I was living the dream!
We got a drink in the Green Dragon pub, and the interior is stunning, all hand carved!
And then got some eats in the tent behind, which was a buffet and catered for all dietary requirements. Btw, the beef was possibly the best beef I’ve had.
After, we headed to Waitomo Caves (fell asleep again, so not sure on times).
We started with a tour of the caves, looking at the stalactites and stalagmites. There are quite a few glow worms about in the caves, so got to look at their strings, which dangle down from the ceiling to catch mosquitos and sand flys for them to eat.
The best part of the tour was the glow worm tunnel. So we headed down in a cave with water running through it and got on a boat. You have to be so quiet and your cant take photos as it makes the glow worms turn off their lights. So we sailed through this cave in the pitch black, and it was the most beautiful thing ever!
The glow worms produce a blue light from their bum to attract the prey, but tbh, they looked like stars. It was just so pretty! It’s one of those moments when you really think about where you are and really appreciate nature!
I definately recommend it!
Also, if you do chose to book with Great Sights, hope that you get Damien as a tour guide. He was a blast, and so informative, providing facts about New Zealand, and Maori tribes. Just an all round great dude!
Thanks for reading, much love