A full day tour packed with activities. Our informative driver kept us entertained and organized for the various sub-tours enroute. Waitomo Caves were magical as we silently floated in a small boat with a miriad of tiny lights from the glow worms above our heads. We also enjoyed the sheep shearing and herding demo at the farm and the traditional Maori songs and dances at Rotorua. The three snacks/meals onboard were fresh and of high quality.
Driver very pleasant and informative on the bus, the glow worm caves were unforgettable and a drink in the Green Dragon finished off a great day!
This tour was amazing! The glow worm caves were magical! Visiting the farm and feeding the animals was a wonderful experience and the geyser in rotorua was a sight to see!
Trip has good parts and parts for improvement and I'd stress I really enjoyed this trip. On the good side, you see Hobbiton in all its glory, and your guide gives you stories about which parts of Hobbiton appear in which of the LOTR/Hobbit films. For a fan of LOTR, you will never forget the visit! You have plenty of photo opportunities by Hobbit holes and even get a complimentary drink of beer in the Green Dragon pub, with the beer there being unique to Hobbiton. The Waitomo caves are a genuinely pleasant experience, and being surrounded by thousands of glow worms is very charming. In terms of what could be improved, you only get 15 minutes in the Green Dragon pub, so you don't have time to order warm food from the bar. Maybe slightly longer 30 mins? would be better. I also think that you should go to Hobbiton first, as by late afternoon the shadows of the sun can fall on Hobbiton's buildings in such a way as to impact on photographs. In the Waitomo caves you are in a dark tunnel anyway so it shouldn't matter what time of day you go at. So in short if I could offer two slight improvements, it would be a organisers should go to Hobbiton first b slightly more time in the Green Dragon pub.
The driver was excellent. He was really on target with managing the trip and getting everyone where they needed to go. He had lots of cool details about all the towns we passed through with regards to arts, cultures, and natural features. The meals and refreshments were very good. The locations proved to be a lot of fun. The glow caves are stunning, with the cave being amazing in and of itself beyond just the glow worms. I loved the Maori welcoming reception, and the geyser was stunning.
Waitomo Caves are well worth seeing, just beautiful. We loved the Agrodome, and seeing the geysers at Rotorua finished the day off nicely. Well organised tour and commentary and food that was provided was great. Well worth it.
Amazing tour around 600 km of panoramic views of New Zealand North Island countryside on your way to both the Waitomo caves and the Hobbiton Movie Set. WELL worth the trip!
The waitomo caves and Hobbiton are definitely unique places to see while in New Zealand. The trip was well-organized, communication from the touring company was excellent, and timetables were met. It was a fun trip for us on our first trip to New Zealand.
The Waimato caves were simply amazing! To see the glow worms inside the dark caves felt like looking at the universe with million stars. It was truly incredible! The next leg of the tour was Hobbiton movie set in the McDonald farm, which is privately owned. Our guide Paul was a wealth of knowledge. The Hobbiton is preserved beautifully and is very picturesque. The only downside was the way the tour is designed. We had to travel to a farmshow expo place and then had to piggyback to Hobbiton,making a long day longer.
The caves were incredible. The glowworms illuminated the cave area. The tour guide was excellent.
This is the most wonderful day out! The Waitomo Caves with the gloworms was a very surreal experience. Much better than I ever expected. Adequate lunch and afternoon tea is provided. Rotorua was great to see and we were very lucky that the geysers were all at their finest on our day. The thermal reserve was very special as my husband was picked to be the honorary chief for the day. A really good day well worth it.
Damond was the best tour guide ever- he shared interesting stories, was considerate about stopping, and was such a nice guy. The Hobbiton was amazing, and something truly spectacular to see, plus the ice cream for purchase on site was amazing. Also, the free beer during the tour was so delicious! The Waitomo Caves were neat, but not as spectacular as I was expecting- other tours probably show more of the glow worms. I was still glad we made it a stop on our trip though, it was in a beautiful area.
Awesome trip! It's a long drive to the Waitomo Caves from Auckland, and sadly, no photography is allowed in the caves, even if you turned off your flash, but it is just so amazing to see! I was expecting to see only specks of light, but the glow worms really illuminate the otherwise pitch-black caves and it's almost magical!
Lunch at the Waitomo Caves wasn't fantastic though. Just a buffet with a small spread made up mostly of mediocre salads.
The Hobbiton Tour was awesome -- definitely one of my favorite spots of my NZ vacation. The Hobbiton guide was super friendly and shared so many interesting stories and tidbits, and the free beverage at the Green Dragon Inn was a nice way to end the tour.
This is a long day - almost 13.5 hours but includes trip to Maori Village and glow worm caves which were well worth the trip. Visit to sheet farm unimpressiv but proably a rquired NZ esperience to see sheep showrn.
Tought 13.5 ride with meals provide on the goal. I would suggest bringing own sandwich unless you like NZ good. Tired after long bus ride but worth the effort and glad we did it
The tour was wonderful. I enjoyed the duck boat and the glow worm caves. My wife thoroughly enjoyed Hobbiton, and the Tamaki village was a lot of fun. I definitely recommend this for anyone visiting New Zealand for the first time.
There were 3 main things I wanted to see in New Zealand and this tour covered them _ Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Hobbiton. I hadn’t done a tour like this where bus loads of people kept splitting up and getting on new buses for different tours. Although my wife and I had 7 different buses it all went smoothly. A bit of time is lost waiting and changing buses but I am not sure if this could be done better.
We loved the tours of Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Hobbiton. We also had a “duck” tour which went right into the lakes at Rotorua. The Maori village and hangi feast, spouting geysers at Te Puia, Kiwi birds at Rainbow Springs and even a sheep show at the Agrodome. The accommodation at the Millennium Hotel was very comfortable, although prepare yourself for the smell of sulphur.
I couldn’t imagine how I could have organised this myself in the time frame. I strongly recommend this tour to anybody visiting New Zealand.
Excellent tour guides on coach, glowworm caves and Hobbiton! Enjoyable tour!
Excellent value for the price considering admissions to the various sites as well as snacks and lunch provided. An extremely knowledgeable bus driver guide (kenny) provided excellent commentary throughout the trip. The Glow worm caves were a beautiful experience. A long day but well worth it!
My tour date was 03/02/15 i had Damien i think was his name as our tour guide, he was amazing. As i was solo on this trip and a bit of a drive it was nice that he talked all the way there and i found all the history and culture of New Zealand very interesting. First stop was the Glow worm caves, incredible! The worms were like stars, magical! Then onto Hobbiton as i am a big fan of the films i thoroughly enjoyed it. The guide was very informative the movie set is awesome! The buffet lunch included was delicious. You have to go! Well worth the money :-
An incredible experience! Our two guides, Sam and Rich, couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming. All the equipment was in good condition and the caves were spectacular. Exploring the cave system was fantastic and the glow worms were truly beautiful. A wonderful trip - thanks all! Chris and Sarah, UK.
Doing what: Cave Tubing at Waitomo Caves
This was an excellent trip. There were very few people, so lines were short and the bus driver could pay special attention to us. The bus driver was informative not only about New Zealand history, landscape, and agriculture, Hobbiton, and the glow worm caves, but also talked about some current events that an international visitor wouldn't know about. Hobbiton was wonderful, uncrowded, unrushed (having read other reviews, I worried about that). The glow worm caves were interesting and the food was okay, but I didn't expect better than that. Watch out for the birds if you eat there -- they are tenacious and fearless. Our bus driver was Allen.
Great tour to Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton. The bus driver was very informative. We had been in New Zealand for 10 days and learned a lot about the country from listening to his monologue. Good lunch at the Waitomo Caves.
Fantastic day. I booked this in advance, directly with via Viator, leaving from Auckland on the 5th November. We traveled from the UK to go on a Holland America cruise, which also did these trips, but we saved over $364 by doing this on our own, compared to the ship prices for both of these events. We were well looked after by our bus driver John, who was both entertaining and knowledgeable during our drive. The Waitomo Caves were absolutely stunning, where we got a lovely lunch, then on to Hobbiton. Our guide there, Kess, was full of snippets, but the atmosphere far exceeded my expectations. All of this ended with drinks in the Green Dragon. What an experience and great beer. It was a long day, with a lot of driving involved, but one that I will not forget. Well done Viator for everything. Hotel pickup, snacks on the bus, lunch and an entertaining driver. First class! Both of these places are worth the time taken to visit them.
V. Good if u dont have much time. We had a week in total for all NZ - flew to Auckland on Sun, had the evening, then next day, with this 5 day tour starting on Tues-Sat. It basically takes you around the northern half of the north isl. and covers it all pretty well. Day1- Leave city in a coach, drive over the bridge and begin journey to beautiful Paihia - see nice countryside on way with a cpl stops here and there. It is narrated and I enjoyed this trip. The cruise was very fun. We didn't get to see all sights due to weather, but we did see alot more that normally isn't included. We also didn't see dolphins, so they gave us a another trip for free with no expiry date. The choppy water made the cruise really fun - for me anyways. After the cruise, you get taken to your hotel room. We chose Superior accom, and the rooms were nice, although the hotels were a little away from main areas, then again not really that far though - we walked. I had nothing to complain of. Day2- Long bus drive to the northernmost tip of NZ, and when you get there not really too much to see/do. There's a little lighthouse, and U can see where 2 oceans meet. it was good, but then worth the drive?? The trip back was where it paid off - instead of the same route back, the bus actually takes you onto the 90 mile beach and drives through the water. On the way you get to stop at giant skysrcaper sized sand dunes and boogie board down them. Really fun and weird driving in a bus through water. Buffet lunch provided was not buffet - fish and chips. Day3- Really long drive back to Auckland, Really long drive to Rotorua. Full day. Enough said. Day4- Rotorua is awesome and my favorite place on this journey. So many things to do. Caves were incredible. Glowworms were cool. Afternoon off to wander the town was welcome. We skipped Maori dance. Day5 - Geysers fantastic, all shows fantastic, Hobbiton cool and lame - way too many people to enjoy it properly. Will be back to PaiHia and Rotorua for sure. Very fun!
Excellent tour! We got picked up from our hotel and transferred to a big bus. The driver who also doubled as a guide around Auckland was great and responsible. He briefed us before and after each stop and divided us into groups that were doing separate tours.
The Hobbiton tour and glow worm caves were fantastic, took loads of pictures! Great for our family of 4 with varying interests.
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