Points of Interest
- Te Puia Thermal Reserve
Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.
Whether you are a Hobbit fan or not, it's difficult not to lose yourself in the world of Middle Earth when you visit Hobbiton, a short drive after you disembark in Tauranga. It was this piece of land on the Alexander sheep farm in the heart of the Waikato, that location scouts chose to recreate The Shire. While filming is well and truly over, 44 intricate hobbit holes remain and it doesn't take much imagination to conjure up Bilbo Baggins and his fellow characters on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain.
From the land of hobbits to the land of geothermal magic, after driving south we will spend the afternoon with a local Maori guide in Te Puia, part of the Te Whakarewarewa geothermal valley just outside of Rotorua. This is the home of Pohutu, the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. Meaning 'constant splashing' in English, Pohutu lives up to her name erupting once or twice every hour shooting up to 30 metres into the sky. The valley features many other geysers, cauldrons of bubbling mud pools, hot springs and silica formations as well as a kiwi enclosure and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where craftspeople demonstrate traditional wood, stone and bone carving as well as flax weaving.
The steam and heat has always been put to good use by Maori and we finish our visit with a traditional hangi, a feast of leaf wrapped meat and vegetables cooked over hot rocks beneath a blanket of soil.
After lunch, you will have time to refresh at the hotel,
Early evening, the foodie adventure continues with a gondola ride up to Mt Ngongotaha and a dinner of locally sourced cuisine with magnificent night-time views of Rotorua.
From one natural spectacle to another, this morning we journey to Waitomo where in the late 1887 local Maori chief Tane Tinorau and surveyor Fred Mace made the first exploration of glow-worm studded Waitomo Caves. Two years later the caves were opened to tourists and when you visit today chances are you may well be guided by one of the direct descendants of Chief Tinorau. The caves are truly spectacular and offer everything from wheel chair access to boat journeys and black water rafting for the most adventurous.
Back above the ground it's time to meet the locals with lunch at a nearby farm. True foodies, your hosts pride themselves on using only organic meat from local farms and produce the accompanying chutneys and sauces from their own fruit trees.
After lunch, we travel north to Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Spanning two harbours it is known as the city of sails and is also the port where you will reboard your ship for the next adventure!
Special Notes:Final hotel manifests must be provided well in advance of the tour, therefore we recommend passengers book overland options no later than 30 days prior to your voyage.
The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings and/or flights indicated are approximate. They are given here only for general reference purposes and are subject to change.
Your tour includes:
* Sightseeing and guide services as indicated and admission fees, as shown in the itinerary
* Hotel accommodations and meals as indicated
Your tour does not include:
* All meals not mentioned in itinerary above.
* Beverages at lunch
* All sightseeing not shown in the itinerary or mentioned as optional.
* Items of a personal nature e.g. room service, laundry, phone calls, etc.
Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.