The visit to the Hobbiton set was highly enjoyable - even better than anticipated. Our guide was particularly good producing lots of fascinating facts as we wandered around the Hobbit holes. Although it seemed busy at no time did we feel pressured to rush. On a very warm day, the complimentary drink at the inn was particularly welcome! The visit to the Maori village was another matter. When we booked the Rotarua visit it was under the impression we would be spending a good proportion of our time seeing geysers and bubbling mud pools rather than wandering round a village and watching Maori dances. We think the actual content of the Rotarua visit should have been made more explicit in the promotional material. However, it was the only disappointment it what was a very memorable day
Of all my tours in NZ, this was my favorite! Combined with blue skies and white fluffy clouds, butterflies, bees, and flowers, Hobbiton exceeded my expectations! It was a bit of a drive from Tauranga to Rotorua longer than I anticipated. The Geothermal tour was unique--a few geysers and pools nestled in a small Maori village. Maori guides were there to enlighten and entertain us, and served corn on the cob cooked in a thermal pool!
We just completed this tour. Ah-mazing!
Only giving it four stars as we had to be rushed from place to place. We would've loved to have spent more time at each place if possible. I really wanted to look through gift shops but we didn't have the chance to. Hobbiton was fantastic and a must-do, the views were amazing. Our Whaka Vilkage trip was wonderful as well, we had a very entertaining guide and thoroughly enjoyed our tour at the geysers and cultural show. It would've been nice if we could have tasted some NZ snacks as well during our tour, to add to the exp. All in all, we were looked after and returned to our cruise ship on time. Thank you to Peter at New Zealand Discovery Tours.
My husband, myself and our two grown children ages 24 and 27 all loved visiting the Lord of the Rings Movie Set. We're all big fans of the books and movies. It was amazing seeing the way they've restored and maintained the movie set including dozens of hobbit holes and The Green Dragon. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. I only wish we wouldn't have eaten or had drinks at the not so fancy cafe at the beginning of the tour where you buy the tickets, but instead wait until the very end of the tour where you stop at one of the quaint movie set taverns where they also were selling food and beverages.
An unexpected delight of this tour combo was the Rotorua Geothermal Geyser stop where we visited a Maori village, the indigenous people of New Zealand. We loved learning so much about the Maori people and their culture and watching an authentic performance of their dances and music.
I highly recommend this tour!
I would recommend this combined Hobbiton / geothermal village trip to anybody wanting to make the most of a day's shore excursion from Tauranga. The guide Andrew was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, the coach was new and clean. The Hobbiton trip is a must for fans of the films, but is also enjoyable for non-fans too. The guided tour around the Maori thermal village was also great - you get to see the geothermal features, a performance, and visit the local gift shops which include a jade carver.
Our mini bus driver, Doogie, was informative on the drive from Tauranga in relation to the area.
Roturua geothermal village was great, it was informative as well as entertaining. As always with Rotorua be prepared for the smell, but after awhile you don't notice it.
Hobbiton was good, the guides covered a lot of behind the scenes information, and at the end everyone was given a refreshing drink light ale, cider or water. Plenty of photo ops, but can be a little bit congested as everyone tries to get their photos. The tours are timed around about every 20 minutes but there is the cafe and gift shop while waiting, on the day we went the cafe was quite busy,school holidays