JRR Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” movies were filmed in more than 150 locations across New Zealand. Many are on the South Island, but LOTR fans visiting Auckland can tour the lush Hobbiton movie set, alone or in combo with other top NZ sites. Here are your options.
Hobbiton Day Trips
Located a scenic two-hour drive from Auckland, in the bucolic hills of Matamata, Hobbiton was built on farmland that is now an extremely popular destination for fans of “The Lord of the Rings.” See Bilbo Baggins’ cozy hobbit home, hear stories of Middle-earth during the guided tour, stop into the Green Dragon Inn, and snap selfies on set. Much of the Hobbiton site is outdoors, so be prepared for the day’s weather.
Some full-day Hobbiton tours from Auckland also visit Rotorua, a fascinating region with abundant geothermal activity, a vibrant main city, and Waitomo Caves—illuminated by thousands of glowworms. Visit the Te Whakarewarewa Valley, which features colorful, bubbling mud pools, hot springs, and terrace formations made from mineral deposits, in addition to regular eruptions of the Pohutu Geyser. Or choose an overnight tour that gives you a chance to explore more of the region in depth, including its rich Maori culture and heritage.