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The best part of this varied tour day was going to the Agrodome where we watched a sheep being shorn, and a working sheep dog herd the flock. The glowworm cave was interesting, but not as grand as all the hype about it. The thermal areas were mini versions of Yellowstone. The show the Maori people put on gave an endearing look into their history and culture.
Doing what: Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland
One of the highlights of the trip thankfully as it was quite expensive!. There was some confusion in the morning. Our tickets said 7:30am so we checked out from our accommodation early with our toddler and rushed to the bus stop 20 minute walk as our accommodation wasn't on their list with a broken suitcase thanks Jetstar only to discover that for some reason the tour was at 8am and we had to wait 45mins.
We went to Hobbiton first I thought we were going to Waitomo caves first as per the itinerary on the site which seemed to make more sense for those going to Rotorua later. There's a short time to buy souvenirs at the shop, but they tended to be really expensive or cheap junk, there wasn't much middle ground. Hobbiton was fantastic, and the weather was beautiful which helped us enjoy it. We would have liked more time there, but all of the tour groups have a limited time as there are so many people. It looked like every session was full!
We had a fantastic lunch catering to our dietary requirements in a special tea party tent, it was great.
The tour guide was also kind and good value, we learnt a lot from him and this helped the trip be a success.
The caves were spectacular, we were in awe. Make sure you have a song in mind to sing in the caves!
Overall, it's a good way to get a lot done in one day without the stress/fatigue of doing all of the driving yourself. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
Bonnie S United States of ...
Such a great trip! The bus ride to Waitomo is very scenic. Loved the glowworm caves--the glowworms are so cool!
Amazing tour! Everything was great - the driver, the tour guides, the lunch and of course the tour itself of both the Hobbiton movie set and the Waitomo caves. The only thing I would wish for is a longer time at the Hobbiton so we can appreciate the place longer because it was really fantastic!
I had an awesome time on this tour. Worth every penny. Our tour guide/bus driver from Great Sights New Zealand was awesome and not only gave us great info on Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, and things we saw along the way, but also provided wonderful insights on the social issues, politics, history, and economics of New Zealand.
We had a wonderful day primarily because of our driver/guide, Damian. He spent the 3 hour drive to Hobbiton educating the group on the history of New Zealand, including her politics and economy. He was very knowledgeable! The tour of Hobbiton was fun, and Damiam proved to be as knowledgeable as the private guide we had there, Beth. He also shared helpful tips on buying souvenirs. After our visit to the Waitomo Caves, Damian chose a route home that allowed us to see wildlife along the roadside. GREAT!!
The tour was amazing. Hobbiton was such a great experience. The buffet lunch was huge as well! I took a lot of photos from the movie set. It's remarkable how good it all looks. You can't take photos within the Waitomo Caves but that was such a surreal experience to see all of the glow worms. There are a LOT of glow worms too. It was also great to see a lot of the landscapes of New Zealand. Our bus driver Damian was a great guy and gave us a lot of information about the history of New Zealand and the Maori people. This tour was definitely great value for money!
This tour was great. The driver provided a lot of information about New Zealand's history and culture on the way to each of the destinations. The Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo caves are definite must sees while in New Zealand and this tour allowed me to see both in one day. Being able to enjoy an included meal in Hobbiton was an added plus to the tour. I didn't feel at all rushed at any point of the journey and the driver ensure we were able to get to most out of the experiences.
Our tour bus driver Ben was awesome! He was a great guide with a sense of humor. It made the long ride enjoyable. He was also very patient, especially when a lady from our group was missing. When we entered the set, we found her. She went with another tour group.
The Hobbiton Movie Set was beautiful! The tour and allotted time to take pictures in front of the hobbit holes was appreciated and the lunch served at the party tent was good, especially the desserts. The Waitomo Caves was definitely an experience and interesting. Definitely worth it for the price we paid! I have recommended it to my family and friends. On my next trip to Auckland with my family, this is on the itinerary.
Amazing tour. My family and I totally enjoyed Hobbiton with the help of a very interesting commentary from our guide Shalia ?. The picnic lunch that was promised turned out to be a buffet, so that was a major surprise. The Waitomo Caves tour was phenomenal with outstanding tour by our guide Mark. Being in the cave with the glowworms was like floating in space. I've never done anything like it before. Take this tour- you won't regret it :
The attention to detail was incredible. The lunch was top notch. We enjoyed the experience.
The Waitomo caves were amazing.
A must for any Lord of the Rings fan. Even in not so great weather we had a spectacular day. Waitomo Caves was surreal.
The trip to Hobbiton is informative and entertaining. Our driver, Damian, is quite knowledgeable about the history of New Zealand and about the local area. We enjoyed visiting Hobbiton in costumes as the Lord of the Rings characters and really immersed ourselves in the experience. The food at the Green Dragon Inn is great and quite hearty. I recommend the tour for everyone and Tolkien fans would really love it.
The Waitomo cave is quite an experience too. My son sang the theme song for the Hobbit inside the cave 'cathedral' and the sound was mesmerizing. In the boat ride, you can see thousands of glow worms like blue christmas LED lights.
Hobbiton was a lot of fun and our guide, AJ, was exceptional. The lunch and drink at the Green Dragon included in the tour price was very good and appeared to cater to a wide variety of dietary requirements. We were unable to enter the Waitomo Caves due flooding, but the staff there were very professional and flexible and were able to organise another cave for us to see the formations and glowworms. Very happy with this tour and would recommend it, but it is a long day with lots of driving.
A very long day but well worth it. The caves and glow worms were amazing, the Agradome was informative and interesting, and the Maori center with geysers was entertains. The trip was well organized with good food and wifi on the bus.
Doing what: Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland
This tour was AMAZING!! I enjoyed it so so very much. Our tour guide Damian was the absolute best tour guide I have ever had. He was so informative, helping and way fun! If you've ever had him as your tour guide then you know what I'm talking about. Thank you for the amazing experience, he made the tour that much better. Hobbiton is AWESOME and so fun! The Waitomo caves were beautiful, would do this tour over again.
We had such an amazing time on this tour. Our bus driver - Damien - was so passionate about New Zealand and the attractions we visited. Made the transit time much more enjoyable, so much so, that it was difficult to sleep because the information was so interesting. Hobbiton and the lunch was superb. Waitomo Caves was so beautiful. Definitely recommended.
Tour Guide/Bus Driver Damien was a wealth of knowledge but also ensured everyone got their pictures taken when at the Hobbiton Gift Shop. This is a long day and I think the order of going to Hobbiton first then Waitomo Caves was the best option. Lunch was included and it was amazing! I would highly recommend everyone this tour!
It was a woderful trip with the amazing waitomo caves and beautiful ! My friends and I were enjoyed this trip! Besides,the guide is very enthusiastic and the driver is very patient and conscientious during the trip. It is a really worth going!
An excellent and thoroughly enjoyable day tour even for people who haven't seen any of the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings movies or don't know anything about glowworms. I have never been fond of sci-fi or fantasy movies like the Hobbit series, but I went on this tour after a friend recommended it. I'm so glad I went, and my girlfriend says the same thing.
The bus ride, with entertaining and informative driver Damian, was very pleasant. I usually sleep when bus drivers start talking, but Damian had me interested the whole time because he talked about the country and the people and the history instead of just rattling off boring statistics like most other drivers do.
The Hobbiton scenery is amazing! It's real, but it's so beautiful it looks like a movie. Even if you don't care at all about Hobbit movies, like me, go and check it out. There's no other place like it in the world, I bet. You'll get some fantastic photographs sure to make all your Facebook and Instagram buddies jealous, guaranteed. And the lunch at the end of the Hobbiton tour was an outstanding all-you-can-eat buffet, with all sorts of high-quality breads, meats, fish and veggies. I stuffed my face until I couldn't even squeeze in dessert, that's how good the lunch was.
The boat ride in the glowworm caves was much shorter than I expected, but that was fine. It came at the end of the day, after the Hobbiton tour, and was appropriate in its length. Don't book the glowworm caves as a separate activity or tour because it fits in comfortably at the end of this tour.
Overall, this Hobbiton/Waitomo glowworm caves tour is highly recommended.
I'm not a big Lord of the Rings fan, but visiting the Hobbiton movie set was still worth it. The scenery was beautiful and what you experienced here will last you a lifetime.
The Waitomo cave tour was pretty short 30-40min, but that might be a good thing if you're not that interested in rock formations. I definitely enjoyed the 10 minute-ish boat ride while looking up to see the glow worms. It was peaceful, relaxing, and mesmerizing all at the same time.
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