You don’t need to be a Lord of the Rings fan to feel the movie magic in the air at Hobbiton Movie Set. It’s easy to see why Hobbiton Movie Set is frequently named a must do when in New Zealand.
Wander through the movie set while your enthusiastic guide enlightens you on the lore of Hobbiton Movie Set. Wander into a Hobbit Hole, take photos in picturesque settings, and enjoy a complimentary beverage at the end of your Middle-earth adventure.
We depart Hobbiton and head to Sanctuary Mountain which is the largest pest-proof project in the world and is now home to many rare and threatened New Zealand plants, insects, birds and fish, which are all now thriving in the rejuvenated lush forest.
Cambridge is known as ‘the town of trees and champions’ because of its majestic tree-lined town and some of the world's best racehorses have been bred here. There are plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy a picnic or a leisurely stroll. Or you can wander around the boutique shops and cafes. You could visit the world class Avantidrome and get out riding on the track or just admire the impressive facility.
Cambridge is home to two of New Zealand’s most beautiful waterways, the ‘mighty’ Waikato River and Lake Karapiro, so if you feel like swimming, rowing, kayaking, jet boating, cruising or fishing, these are all available within minutes from the town centre. Accommodation in Cambridge.
On the way to our next destination you have the option of stopping at either one of two locations, or even stop at both if you are interested.
The first option is the incredible Waitomo Caves. You can experience the natural beauty of these caves and be left breathless when you see the stunning glowworms that light up the caves like stars. Either take a guided tour where you walk through these magnificent caves and then float gently along on a small boat or for the adrenaline junkies, how about jumping, abseiling, climbing and black water rafting through this glowworm wonderland?
The other option is visiting The Hobbit Film Location, Hairy Feet. You can take a guided tour through the stunning Mangaotaki Valley which became the location for Trollshaws Forest in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You’ll get to see where a range of scenes were filmed, get photos taken in the exact spot where characters like Bilbo stood, and hear some behind the scenes stories about the film-making process!
If you prefer, we can leave Cambridge and head straight to the dynamic west coast region of Taranaki which is known as ‘The Garden of New Zealand’ with its rich volcanic soil and warm environment the gardens are truly spectacular. Accommodation in the Taranaki region.
Choose what you’d like to do from the range of wonderful options.
Visit a number of gardens with a diverse range of landscapes and unique plant collections, including Pukepukra Park, Hollard Gardens and Tupare.
Egmont National Park is home to Mount Taranaki, New Zealand’s most perfectly formed volcano which offers plenty of walks through lush rainforests, to waterfalls and eroded rock pools, and spectacular views. We can help arrange the most suitable walk for you if you are interested in exploring some natural beauty. In winter, the mountain offers skiing or snowboarding.
Take a heli tour for an unforgettable day enjoying incredible views and landing at an isolated waterfall where you can swim, walk or simply enjoy the tranquillity. Before returning back to base for a celebratory drink, enjoy a delicious feast!
The region has plenty of fantastic golf courses to choose from and no matter where you wish to play, all have guaranteed views of the mountain – provided the weather cooperates.
There is also an amazing collection of museums if you want to gain some insight to Taranaki’s interesting history. Puke Ariki highlights specific aspects of the region’s culture. Tawhiti Museum is often described as New Zealand’s best private museum and uses hand-crafted life size exhibits and scale models to take you along on an incredible journey through Taranaki’s history.
You can unwind and relax at Taranaki thermal spa, enjoying a private pool and massage if you really want to indulge.
We depart Taranaki and here you have a few choices of stopping along the way if you’d like. If you are interested, we can drive the spectacular Surf Highway 45 where you can enjoy the views of the coastline and the pumping surf.
We can stop off at the westernmost point of Taranaki, at the Cape Egmont Lighthouse which is surrounded by beautiful scenery so be sure to have your cameras ready!
We can then stop off at Whanganui, home to the Whanganui River which is New Zealand’s longest navigable waterway. If you like you can explore the Whanganui River by jet boat, kayak, and canoe or just take a stroll alongside it without getting wet. You could even cruise on the PS Waimarie, the only operating coal-fired paddle steamer in New Zealand.
Ride the historic Durie Hill elevator, built in 1919 it is only one of two earth-bound elevators in the world! At the top you can enjoy stunning views of the city, the mountains and the Tasman Sea. Or you can climb the War Memorial Tower right beside it for even more incredible views! You could also explore the Whanganui Regional Museum and enjoy the outstanding collection of Maori treasures.
If you prefer, we can depart Taranaki and head straight to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington, known for its arts, culture, heritage and natural beauty. There’s plenty to see and do here and you’ll have a great two days exploring the very best Wellington has to offer. We’ll take a drive to the summit of Mount Victoria for you to enjoy the spectacular 360° views of Wellington. Accommodation in Wellington.
We can explore the waterfront a number of ways including by bike, roller skate or simply have a wander and explore the many unique shops, and take your pick from a range of cafes, restaurants and bars for a bite to eat or a refreshing drink. Keep your eyes peeled for inspiring artworks dotted along the waterfront.
If you want to get out and paddle around in the harbour instead you can hire a kayak, stand up paddle board or even a pedal boat.
We can also stop off along the way at Te Papa, our innovative national museum where you can enjoy the interactive displays showcasing New Zealand’s fascinating history, art, and indigenous people.
You’ll also be able to see New Zealand’s largest and grandest wooden building! We can also visit the breathtaking Old St Paul’s, an 1866 wooden cathedral which is one of New Zealand’s greatest heritage buildings and is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in the world.
If you are interested we can explore key parts of Parliament's buildings including the Beehive and learn about New Zealand’s parliamentary processes.
Visit Cuba Street which provides an inner city slice of Bohemia with plenty of culinary and creative soul and provides a unique place to shop or dine!
We can take a ride up the iconic and historic Wellington cable car which climbs up to the Botanic Garden and provides incredible views of the city and harbour!
We can visit Zealandia, home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and extraordinary wildlife and is thriving in a protected sanctuary set around a picturesque reservoir.
A must visit for Lord of the Rings fans is Weta Workshop for a unique behind the scenes look at how they help craft some of the world’s biggest films. You can get up close to props, vehicles, armour and weapons that were crafted for movies like; Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia and more! Accommodation in Wellington