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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

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  • Location:Tauranga, New Zealand
  • Duration:7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Including Rotorua Sightseeing

Enter a world of hobbits and hot pools when your cruise ship is in port in Tauranga. This shore excursion to Middle Earth takes you on a tour of the Hobbiton movie set, which featured in 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Enjoy a traditional Maori welcome at the living thermal village of Whakarewarewa, and witness the astounding thermal activity of spouting geysers and steaming hot springs. If time allows, play dress ups and pose as Bilbo or Gandalf when you stop for an impromptu photo shoot in a lovely redwoods forest. With a maximum of 11 participants, this tour provides a fun-filled small-group experience.


  • Lord of the Rings Hobbiton movie set and Rotorua shore excursion from Tauranga
  • Tour the Hobbiton movie set from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit
  • Enjoy a tour of Whakarewarewa thermal region and Maori Village
  • See the landscape of erupting geothermal activity, hot thermal springs and hot bubbling mud pools
  • Small group of 11 passengers
  • Covered by Viator’s worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Including Rotorua Sightseeing

Lady Knox Geyser, Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley

Your shore excursion begins with pickup from your cruise ship port at Tauranga. The scenic route to Middle Earth takes you across the Tauranga harbor bridge, then leaves the Bay of Plenty coast to climb the Kaimai mountain range and enter the Waikato district's lush farmlands.

Arriving at Hobbiton near the town of Matamata in Waikato, meet your guide and take a two-hour tour of this famous movie set location. Enter the world of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on a walk past hobbit holes, stand under the party tree and admire the gently rolling farmland that brought the Shire to life. Your Hobbiton tour concludes with a drink of beer, cider or ginger beer at the Green Dragon Inn.

Your tour continues over the Mamaku mountain range and into Rotorua. Stop for lunch (own expense) beside Lake Rotorua, then continue to the living thermal village of Whakarewarewa.

Accompanied by a Maori guide, admire the amazing thermal springs and bubbling mud pools, and see the famous Pohutu Geyser burst into life. Listen to your guide's fascinating commentary, and hear how people learned to live in harmony with the geothermal activity, cooking over steam vents and bathing in the hot springs.

Your tour also takes you to the traditional Maori meeting house, Whare Tupuna, with its ancient wood carvings. See Maori customs and legends come to life when you experience a traditional Maori welcome, songs and dances, including the warlike Haka dance with its demonstration of fighting skills.

The return trip to the port follows a different route, revealing more of New Zealand's scenic beauty. If time allows, stop at a redwood forest en route for a photo shoot -- with cloaks, hats, staffs and swords provided, you can dress up as Bilbo, Gandalf, Eowyn and other favorite characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the ultimate souvenir of your trip to Middle Earth!

Worry-free Shore Excursion:
We will ensure your timely return to the Tauranga port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

This excursion was the highlight of my husband and my trip to New Zealand. We were on the Sea Princess and they didn't offer Hobbiton and Rotorua in the same excursion, as this was our first time I was worried about going with a company outside for an excursion but I had no need to worry. Grant from Zealander was very informative, courteous, punctual and helpful from start to finish. He had exceptional knowledge and nothing was too much for him. Could not praise him enough. He really made it a great tour for all aboard. We could only hope to have him again and would highly recommend this excursion to anyone. Grant and Zealander tours are a great combination. Thank you.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Wonderful tour from the moment we were greeted as we left the cruise ship until we were dropped off again. Informative, friendly bus driver and fantastic guides at Rotorua and Hobbiton. Our family of four highly recommend this tour and this company - a fantastic way to see two amazing sites in the one day and not feel rushed at either. Thank you to all involved!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

This was a great trip - terrific driver, small group and we got to see both Hobbiton and Rotorua in the same tour. Well worth the money. The kids and I loved it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2014

It was awesome worth every dollar. They picked me up from the cruise ship and although it was only me, an irish couple and the driver, it was great. The driver we had went out of his way to make the trip enjoyable giving us cool facts and telling us interesting stories about the places we were headed. Hobbiton was all and more that I expected, absolutely fantastic. Best opportunity, Although we saw heaps it wasn't as if we were pressed for time, we got to see everything we wanted and got to waste some times on the gift shops before arriving at the dock in time to walk around for an hour before the ship left.

Great value for money. Looking at the prices at Hobbiton and Rotorua there is definitely no way that doing it yourself would be in any way cheaper.

The timing of the tour was fantastic as well. Going to hobbiton first meant we were on the first group tour which meant we could take awesome unobstructed views of hobbiton without previous groups in the way. It gave the whole place an awesome atmosphere as it was not too hot and not crowded. Then we drove to Rotorua hotsprings, this was incredibly interesting but incredibly hot. Unfortunately no opportunity to swim but the history and information about the place more than made up for that. Seeing the geysers and getting steam from the hot springs was amazing (really did help my asthma). Be prepared though, the hot springs certainly stink. They showed us the cooking pools they use and after watching a traditional maori dance we got the chance to purchase some corn cooked in the pool. I normally hate corn, but this was delicious, perfectly sweet and moist, best corn I have ever had.

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting at Tauranga, especially to those people on cruise ships. The ships offer to do one or the other for approximately the same price as Viator offers both. And don't worry about getting back in time, the drivers are more than aware of the cruise times and will get you back.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

This trip was terrific, so spoilt to have had such a luxury vehicle, only 4 on the trip and such a terrific tour guide. Thank you so much. Have already recommended this to friends who are thinking of travelling to NZ

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

Everything was like we had dreamed of. The indications were accurates, As soon as we got of the cruise ship the bus and the driver were ready to go. No time lost. The bus was clean. Our driver was very nice, we could feel he was happy to have us on board. He took the time to explain to us about everything there is to know on New-Zealand. We got to see Rotorua and Hobbiton movie set on the same day, that made us very happy. At the end of our tour the driver had a nice surprise for my teenagers and even for me I have to admit. Our driver had brought real swords and costumes to dress just like the ''personnages'' of the Lord of the ring movies and that include a perfect replica (made by the same person who did the one for the movies) of the famous ring. What a fantastic day.

4 star rating: Recommended January 2015

Grant was a great tour guide and had costumes and swords for the Hobbiton part of our tour.
He kept us on time so we got to see everything and even including a quick trip around Tauranga with commentary. He knew facts and interesting stories about Hobbiton.
The Hobbiton Movie Set was fantastic! So much detail in everything they built! I was disappointed in the gift/souvenir shop - very expensive and not a lot of variety. Their hobbit lunch was good.
Rotorua was interesting but didn't get to see a lot of it. Maori village ceremony seemed "staged" rather than natural, although I believe that the performers were a family and knew the traditions.

4 star rating: Recommended March 2014

The tour was well structured. Unfortunately we were limited by time as we had to return to our cruise ship earlier than expected due to tidal change.

4 star rating: Recommended January 2014

Hobbiton was a lot of fun, and the thermal village was a lot more fun than I expected (with a great performance)! Our guide also had us do a few extra activities and stops that weren't in our itinerary, which was nice. Unfortunately, the guide seemed kind of tired or uninterested in much of what we were seeing, and (through no fault of his own) I had trouble understanding his NZ accent to the point that I had to really focus on his voice in order to know what was going on. We drove all over the area, though, so the somewhat steep pricetag seemed reasonable for a full day of adventuring.

From USD $ 172.71

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Tour code: 6050PRTTRGHRTFD


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