THE FAIRY-TALE WORLDS OF HOBBITS AND THE ROTORUA GEOTHERMAL CENTRE
Panorama, Culture, Lunch not included
The extraordinary power of fantasy meets spectacular geothermal forces: this excursion takes us on a timeless journey in a fairy-tale scenario among the colourful hobbit houses from “The Lord of the Rings” saga followed by a magical encounter with Maori culture and an incredible walk among geysers, bubbling mud ponds and steaming pools.
What we will see
- Panoramic journey among spectacular mountains and meadows
- Guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set
- The symbols of the Hobbit Shire
- Hobbit houses and Green Dragon Inn
- Stop with optional lunch
- Amazing Te Puia Geothermal Park
- Maori cultural show (including the famous haka dance)
- Visit to a wood carving school
- Visit to a kiwi natural reserve
- Stroll in the geothermal park
- The scenic Pohutu geyser
What we will do
- We leave the ship for a spectacular journey from Tauranga to the Kaimai mountain range through landscapes made up of emerald meadows, tall mountains and volcanoes.
- We reach our first stop: the Hobbiton Movie Set, the fascinating film set near the rural settlement of Matamata, location of the Shire scenes found in Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” saga.
- Together with our guide, we venture out on a panoramic tour of the lush bucolic landscape of the set, which is located on a real sheep farm.
- As we proceed along the picturesque streets filled with fairy-tale details, our guide tells us interesting stories about the design of the set and invites us to admire the colourful hobbit houses with their unique round doors surrounded by gentle grassy hills or the welcoming Green Dragon Inn where the Hobbits gathered to drink ale and chat. We literally feel in another world where reality and fantasy seem to coincide.
- We finally leave this magical place behind and enjoy a lunch break where we can decide if and what to eat before our next stop.
- We continue towards Rotorua, an important centre for geothermal activity and cradle of the Maori culture, to visit the fabulous Te Puia geothermal park. The word means “geysers” in the Maori language, as there are 65 of them in the park, 7 of which are active!
- Once there, we visit the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. We are welcomed at the Marae, the sacred meeting point where we attend a Maori cultural show featuring traditional song and dance performances, plus combat techniques including the famous Haka (the war dance).
- Next, we visit the wood carving school, a traditional art passed on through the generations, as well as a reserve dedicated to the kiwi, the national symbol of New Zealand.
- We go on a delightful walk in the geothermal park among silicon terraces, bubbling mud pools and steaming water pools where we can admire the famous Pohutu geyser that spurts water up to 10 metres high.
What you need to know
- Itinerary sequence may vary.