4.5 star rating: Recommended 136 Reviews

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  • Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration:  12 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
See two magical places come to life on this day tour from Auckland. First explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and be entranced by the thousands of twinkling lights in the glowworm grotto. Then visit the Hobbiton Movie Set, the filming location of the village of Bilbo Bagins and his fellow hobbits in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy. As you explore Hobbiton, you can pose for pictures in front of the hobbit holes, the pond and the Green Dragon Inn.


  • Full-day tour from Auckland to two of New Zealand’s most magical sites
  • Take a boat ride to the glowworm grotto to see thousands of glowworms twinkling in the darkness
  • Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch and admire the stunning pastoral scenery
  • Explore the Hobbiton Movie Set, where parts of The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed
  • Have you photo taken in front of a hobbit hole!

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Waitomo Caves and 'The Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set Day Trip from Auckland

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Leave Auckland behind and enjoy the scenic drive through the Waikato and King Country regions of New Zealand’s North Island. Enjoy a snack on the coach and admire the rolling hills and lush farmlands, as you travel through Rangariri, where a fierce battle for land rights between British colonialists and the Maori took place. You’ll soon arrive in Waitomo, home to the renowned Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Take a guided tour through the caves and see the amazing limestone formations created over the centuries. Then board a boat for a short ride along the river to witness the magic of the glowworms. As you enter the grotto, you will see thousands of tiny lights flashing in the darkness, each one a glowworm, creating a mystical fairyland.

Next, enjoy a picnic lunch (included) before continuing on toward Rotorua, driving across the Kaimai Ranges, and making your way to Matamata, where you’ll visit the Hobbiton Movie Set! Discover how this working sheep farm was transformed into JRR Tolkien’s fictional village of Hobbiton – part of the Shire and home of Bilbo Bagins – for The Lord of the Rings movie series. Have your photo taken in front of a hobbit hole and see the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and other locations that you’ll recognize from the three movies, all of which were filmed around New Zealand

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

I've been to caves and caverns in at least 4 different countries. I've caught fireflies in the rainforest. I have never been so entranced by these experiences as I was yesterday. This is, as our obviously dedicated guide said, one of the wonders of the world. I feel very fortunate to have been able experience this fragile magic! The tour was well-organized and everything went smoothly. The trip to Hobbitton was delightful, and the countryside was the epitome of serenity. And the ginger beer at the Green Dragon was the best I've ever tasted. Again, the guide was extremely knowledgeable and informative.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Even though this was a 12 hour excursion it was great way to see New Zealand. The Caves were absolutely amazing and the tour guides really knew their tours.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Spectacular , worth every penny. I could live there.Must see .

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Fantastic day! Well organised with a great tour guide/driver.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Even though it rained, it was a wonderful tour. Loved Hobbiton and the caves are amazing even though the guide in the cave was not very good.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Awesome tour! Every part about this day trip was great.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Great tour. This was a full day.The only negative was waiting for our bus back to Auckland in the cold.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

The caves are an absolute must!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

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!

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Tour code: 3910GS16H_GS11H


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