Just south of Auckland lies the Waikato region; a land of lush pastures that was chosen to play The Shire in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
Well-known for its underground wonders, black sand surf beaches and rolling green hills, the Waikato region offers a wealth of nature-based activities and attractions surrounding a vibrant city hub.
The city of Hamilton boasts stunning gardens, plentiful shopping and a popular nightlife and restaurant scene including award-winning eateries and exciting entertainment. With abundant accommodation, Hamilton is the perfect base for exploring the wider region.
If you’re a Tolkien fan, drive east to Matamata and visit Hobbiton Movie Set, the amazing Hobbit-sized village created for the movies.
And if surfing is more your style, then Raglan is the perfect spot for you, with one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world.
For a magical underground experience, drive south to Waitomo Caves, where the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the blue light of glowworms will take your breath away; or for those seeking more of an adrenalin rush, black water rafting and abseiling are not to be missed.
Some of The Many Attractions
Dine like a Hobbit
Embark on the ultimate evening of Middle‑earth magic at Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata with an evening dinner tour. Discover Bag End, the Party Tree, and the Green Dragon Inn on a guided tour before enjoying a banquet feast in the Green Dragon dining room. Standard guided tours also run throughout the day.
Twinkling glowworms at Waitomo Caves
Beneath the green farmland of Waitomo lies a subterranean maze of spectacular limestone caverns. Take a guided tour into the heart of the Waitomo Caves and be amazed by the limestone formations and huge cavern before exiting via boat-ride under thousands of twinkling glowworms.
Bike Trails Galore
The Timber Trail, Waikato River Trails and Hauraki Rail Trail can all be found in the Waikato region. Venture through the centre of the North Island on The Timber Trail, that winds through the Pureora Forest. Try out the Waikato River Trails for an adventurous ride along the mighty Waikato River. Or take a more leisurely ride through New Zealand’s pioneering history on the Hauraki Rail Trail.
Check out the Tourism New Zealand website for more information about the amazing things to see and do in New Zealand