Hobbits, Kiwis and Glow Worms
Private or Small Group Tour options!
Join us for a day of adventure into the magical land of Hobbiton and the fascinating world of the Glow Worms. These are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the North Island and they are both accessible from Tauranga Port. Its a long day but you will cover travel through stunning countryside and get a real feel for rural New Zealand.
Tour outline: (order of tours may change on the day depending upon available bookings at both venues)
After meeting you at the port we take a scenic drive along the coast before heading over the Tauranga Harbour bridge and then inland and over the Kaimai ranges. We climb around 300 metres providing spectacular panoramic views across the rich fertile farmland of the Waikato. The main industry in this region is dairying but you might also see some high class horse breeding facilities as we make our way towards Middle Earth passing typical New Zealand farms.
On arrival at Shires Rest Cafe you are collected in the Hobbiton people mover and transported to Middle Earth via the 1250 acre working sheep farm. Your expert guide will take you on a 2 hour journey through "The Shire". There are ample photo opportunities to take home - Gandalf's Cutting, Bag End, hobbit holes and the Green Dragon Inn. You will be told the story of how the remote set was discovered and you will even enjoy an ale or ginger beer inside the Green Dragon Inn at the end of the tour.
After a quick shop at the Shires Rest, its back on the road, passing through cute country villages, lush countryside and native forest. Our next stop is the rural town of Otorohanga which has branded itself as New Zealand's official Kiwiana town. There's a main street Kiwiana Display Gallery, murals, sculptures and beautiful flower baskets.
Otorohanga is well known for its Kiwi House & Native Bird Park. This is a great place to view New Zealand native icon. See the rare Great Spotted Kiwi, Little Spotted Kiwi and Brown Kiwi on display in the simulated night environment. You will also have the chance to walk through New Zealand's largest free-flight dome aviary and see the unique tuatara, a native New Zealand reptile, which pre-dates the dinosaurs!
Next it is a short 15 minute drive to the world famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Here you will take a 45 minuted guided tour through the wonderland of stalagmite and stalactite formations. Learn about the discovery and history of the caves and hear the legends of the local people. The highlight of the tour is the boat ride through the Glow Worm Grotto - you will glide silently through a subterranean cavern filled with glow worms who provide a stunning display of twinkling blue lights overhead.
Leaving Waitomo, we head back to Tauranga taking in more of the wonderful New Zealand scenery and reflecting on our day of magic and mystery. This is a very full day but your memories and photos will be a great reminder of your journey to the rural heart of the North Island.
Note: This tour is a full 8 to 9 hour day and only suitable if you are overnight in Tauranga or have a very long Port day. We can advise if you will have sufficient time for this tour so if you are interested, please ask. There is also the option of just the Waitomo Caves and Kiwi House on a private tour.
Cost: 2 passengers NZ $495 per person
3 passengers NZ $395 per person
4 - 5 passengers NZ $345 per person
6 - 8 passengers NZ $295 per person
9 + passengers Ask for a quote
Length: 8 to 9 hours
Includes: Pick up and drop off at the Tauranga Cruise Port
Entrance fees to Hobbiton, Otorohanga Kiwi House, Glow Worm Caves
3 Guided tours and entry fees, Ale or Ginger Beer at Hobbiton
Comfortable Air conditioned vehicle
We always adjust the tour start and end times to suit the ships time in port so no need to worry about being back in time. The times are confirmed when you make your booking and you will also be advised should the ships time change after you have booked.