Explore brilliant landscapes, journey into another world and discover unspoilt natural hideaways.
Combine these three North Island areas to see a superbly varied side of New Zealand. See gushing geysers in Rotorua and glowing caverns in Waitomo, before immersing yourself in a once-in-a-lifetime Middle Earth experience at Hobbiton.
Rotorua, Hobbiton & Waitomo holiday highlights
Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist spots and the capital of Maori culture. You may notice a faint smell of sulphur as you enter the city; it’s home to geothermal parks bursting with clouds of steam, bubbling pools of mud, sulphurous crater lakes of vibrant greens and orange and powerful geysers erupting 20 metres into the air – in Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley you’ll find Pohutu Geyser, which means “big splash" or "explosion".
You’ll also be able to discover the fascinating traditions and proud culture of the Maori people. Enjoy authentic songs, take a historical tour of living Maori villages or zoom down Lake Rotorua in an amazing carved canoe.
A trip to New Zealand wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Hobbiton, the superb 12-acre site near Matamata which was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Book a private tour to experience sites including The Hobbit Holes, Green Dragon™ Inn, Mill and other structures, as a local guide explains the fascinating history behind this now iconic film set.
Waitomo is a village whose name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole). It has rolling green hills that house a superb underground secret – a maze of caves, sinkhole and underground rivers. Take a boat ride through the Waitomo Caves for a unique experience as your surroundings light up with the flicker of thousands of luminescent glow-worms.
There’s also Otorohanga Kiwi House northeast of Waitomo, which shelters several species of the rare native kiwi bird and is worth a visit during your time here.