Day 1. AUCKLAND - WAITOMO CAVES - OTOROHANGA KIWI HOUSE - HOBBITON - ROTORUA (L)
Unsolicited comments from past passengers
We had a very interesting and enjoyable two days with Kerry to round off a wonderful tour. It all went to plan and exceded in many aspects our wildest expectations. Thanks again. (T.W. USA).
Depart Auckland 7.45am and drive south over the Bombay Hills and along the banks of the Waikato River to Visit Otorohanga Kiwi House to see our unique endangered native kiwi birds at feeding time, the ancient Tuatara reptile, and walk through the largest dome aviary in New Zealand to see our native Kereru (Wood Pigeon) Kakariki (Parrot), and other native birds
Continue to Waitomo Caves for a guided tour through the main limestone cave and cruise through the glowworm grotto. (45 minute tour)
Enjoy a barbecue buffet lunch at Roselands farm restaurant - beef, chicken, fish, salads, cake and coffeee plus a taste of kumara chips.
Visit Lake Karapiro, home of New Zealand rowing, and the Karapiro hydro dam on the Waikato River, at 425 km this is New Zealand's longest river.
Continue to Hobbiton and the Shires Rest to join your special guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie set, made famous by "Lord of the Rings, and "Hobbit" films. Drive through part of the picturesque 500 hectare (1,250 acre) sheep and cattle farm and your guide will escort you through the 10 acre Hobbiton site. See the Hobbit Holes, Bag End (Bilbo and Frodo Baggins home), Party Tree, Lake, The Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how this Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth. Enjoy a cold drink from the Green Dragon Inn and continue to Rotorua.
Day 2. ROTORUA - AUCKLAND (B)
Drive south to the Waiotapu thermal area - most colourful in New Zealand. Explore the coloured terraces and see Lady Knox geyser play. Return to Rotorua for a guided tour of the Te Puia thermal area to see bubbling mud pools, famed Pohutu geyser, and to visit the carving and weaving school. Take a ride on the Skyline gondola for a panoramic view over Lake Rotorua, and luge if you wish - luge extra expense. Visit the lake front and Government Gardens and Kuirau Park thermal area before enjoying the Agrodome farm show to see sheep being shorn, a cow being milked, and sheep dogs working as well as taking a farm tour to meet the animals and visit the Kiwifruit orchard.
Return to Auckland mid evening. Return may be with another operator or by scheduled coach.
AUCKLAND – HOBBITON - WAITOMO CAVES – ROTORUA
2 days/1 night. Departs Auckland daily by big bus - minimum 1 person
Day 1. AUCKLAND - HOBBITON - WAITOMO - ROTORUA. (L) Depart Auckland 8am. Drive south to the “Shires Rest'' to meet your specialist local Hobbiton guide. Drive through part of the picturesque 500 hectare sheep and cattle farm to the Movie Set and you will be walking for the next hour or slightly more. See the Hobbit Holes, Bag End (Bilbo and Frodo Baggins home). Party Tree, Lake, The Mill, and the Green Dragon Inn and learn how this Waikato Farmland was transformed into the Shire from Middle Earth. On arrival at the Green Dragon Inn enjoy a cold drink with your choice of a dark or light beer, Apple Cider, or non alcoholic Ginger Ale and relax before the fire before enjoying a buffet lunch fit for Hobbits where seconds are encouraged. This is usually served in the Party Marquee adjacent to the Green Dragon Inn. After lunch drive to the Waitomo Caves for a 45 minute guided tour through the main limestone cave and cruise in the glowworm grotto. Continue to Rotorua arriving about 6pm and you will be taken to your accommodation.
Day 2. ROTORUA - AUCKLAND (B)
You will be picked up by Great Sights about 7.15am and visit the Te Puia thermal area which encompasses the Whakarewarewa thermal valley, and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. See the hot springs, bubbling mud pools, famous Pohutu Geyser. Also see the Marae meeting house and the Maori carving and weaving schools. On to the Agrodome farm show to see a sheep being shorn, cow being milked, sheep dogs working in a fun introduction to our farming industry. Visit the Rainbow Springs Nature Park to encounter New Zealand wildlife including our famous kiwi bird before riding the Skyline gondola for a panoramic view over Lake Rotorua and the city centre. Lunch is available to purchase in the cafe overlooking the lake. Why not try the luge ride – extra expense?. The tour finishes about 1pm and you have free time to relax in the soothing waters of the Polynesian spa or many other activities – extra expense. (Please note that return from Skyline gondola to the city may need to be by local bus – 10 minutes).
Free time for your own activities before departing Rotorua at 5pm arriving Auckland at 8.10pm.
Tour cost per person in New Zealand dollars in single room
Standard hotels (3 star) $850
First class (4 star) $920
Tour cost includes:
** All travel by coach from Auckland to Hobbiton, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Auckland
** 1 nights single room and breakfast at grade chosen
** Admission fees to Hobbiton tour, Waitomo caves tour, Te Puia thermal area, Rainbow Springs kiwi house, Agrodome farm show, Skyline gondola