Journey to Middle-earth on a day trip to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga. Featured in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ trilogy, this detailed set brought J.R.R. Tolkien’s world to life, and is a must-see for not just fans but anyone journeying through New Zealand.
One of the country’s most unique attractions, Hobbiton provides insight both into the magic of filmmaking and the remarkable landscapes of New Zealand.
Here's all you need to know about the Hobbiton Movie Set, one of the most exciting day trips from Tauranga.
The Hobbiton Movie Set is located near the town of Matamata, and is approximately 60 kilometers southwest of Tauranga.
If traveling by car, the drive to Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga takes approximately 50 minutes along State Highway 29.
Buses run on certain days of the week from Tauranga to Matamata. From Matamata, you will have to arrange a taxi to reach the Hobbiton Movie Set.
Many guided tours to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga include pickup and drop off at a predetermined meeting point, typically the Port of Tauranga.
From here, cruise ship passengers will be able to join the tour seamlessly and return in time for their ship's departure.
Some guided tours also offer the option of pickup and drop off at your accommodation.
The only way to access the Hobbiton Movie Set is by joining an official guided tour, which is priced as below and subject to change:
On a day trip to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga, your journey will typically start with pickup from the port in Tauranga, from where you will drive through the Kamai mountain range.
At the Hobbiton Movie Set, you will join a tour where your guide will show you the Hobbit Holes, Party Tree and the Mill, among other locations.
They’ll share insight into how the films were made and other fun facts. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn!
Depending on your tour option, you may also visit Mount Maungamui, McLaren Falls Park or Rotorua to see the geothermal geysers and Māori village. Return to Tauranga after a fascinating day out, just in time for cruise passengers to return to their ship.
Many guided day tours to Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga are shore excursions for cruise passengers stopping at Tauranga, but are open to anyone who wishes to explore the Hobbiton Movie Set.
On a guided tour to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga, your tour operators will ensure comfortable transport to the set. Enjoy a professionally guided tour of Hobbiton, and sightseeing stops to places such as McLaren Falls Park.
You will return to your meeting or drop-off point at the end of the day, with the trip taking approximately 5 to 7.5 hours.
There is also the option of joining a guided tour to the Hobbiton Movie Set that includes a visit to Rotorua from Tauranga.
On this day tour, you will not only visit the Shire, but see the famous geothermal features of the town of Rotorua. You will also stop at the Māori village at Whakarewarewa to immerse yourself in local culture.
Private tours to the Hobbiton Movie Set offer cruise passengers the option to arrange their timings around the departure and arrival of their ship, as well as a more personalized experience.
Some private tour options also include stops at locations such as Rotorua and Minden Lookout, with the entire journey taking around 6 to 8.5 hours.
The cost of a day trip to the Hobbiton Movie Set from Tauranga varies depending on your added stops.
A guided day tour to the Hobbiton Movie Set costs from around US$120 per person, with some options including stops at McLaren Falls Park.
A day trip to the Hobbiton Movie Set including Rotorua can cost from US$180 per person.
A private tour to the Hobbiton Movie Set can cost from US$600 for a group of 4 people.
Located on a sheep farm outside of Matamata, the Hobbiton Movie Set retains the carefully created and characterful Shire seen in Peter Jackson's movies.
Today, 44 Hobbit Holes remain beautifully intact, along with Dragon Green Inn, allowing you to immerse yourself in Tolkien’s world.
The town of Rotorua is located approximately an hour’s drive away from the Hobbit Movie Set, and is well worth a visit for its geothermal activity and living Māori village.
One of the most famous landmarks to see here is Pōhutu Geyser, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere, while a visit to the Māori village will provide you with insight into and respect for local culture.
Situated a 40-minute drive outside of the Hobbiton Movie Set, McLaren Falls Park is a scenic destination known for its waterfalls.
You can take a walk to see its cascades, and even dress up as your favorite ‘Lord of the Rings’ character for a fun photoshoot.
The Hobbiton Movie Set is open every day of the week from 9 AM to 5 PM. The first tour departs at 9:30 AM, with others running throughout the day.
The best time to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set is in the summer (December to February). Outside of summer, the weather can be quite wet and make the paths of the set muddy.
Yes, there are tours departing from other cities in New Zealand: