Matamata, a charming town in New Zealand’s North Island, is a haven for tourists looking to immerse themselves in the country’s natural beauty and unique culture. Known for its pristine countryside landscapes and lush green pastures, Matamata is also famous for being the home of the Hobbiton movie set, a must-visit for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans. But, there’s more to Matamata than just Hobbiton, and in this blog post, we will uncover some of the best attractions and things to do in this quaint town that you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re a nature lover, into adventure sports, or interested in exploring the local culture, there’s something for everyone in Matamata. So, pack your bags and let’s dive into this list of the top-rated tourist experiences that the town has to offer.
The 2 Best City Walking Tours in Matamata
- From Auckland Two Day Rotorua Hobbiton Waitomo Caves Tour
- From Auckland Day Tour to Hobbiton and Rotorua
The 2 Best City Walking Tours in Matamata
1. From Auckland Two Day Rotorua Hobbiton Waitomo Caves Tour
Join this two-day all-inclusive tour from Auckland to explore the Central North Island’s most iconic attractions at a leisurely pace. Discover the wonders of Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves with guided tours, witness the geothermal activity at Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and Te Puia, and experience a Maori cultural evening with a meal and concert. All transport is supplied in Mercedes minibuses with luxury seating and the largest vehicle accommodates up to 15 passengers. At the end of the tour, you’ll return to your hotel in Auckland or a different location in the central area if specified. Sit back, relax, and let your driver guide take care of everything.
2. From Auckland Day Tour to Hobbiton and Rotorua
Take a tour from Auckland to explore the famous Hobbiton Movie Set, nestled in a breathtaking 1250 acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. A professional guide will take you on an enchanting journey through the spellbinding location where the village of Hobbiton was brought to life in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. As you explore the Hobbit Holes, The Mill, and The Green Dragon Inn, learn how the farmland was transformed into a true-to-life Middle Earth. Once you’ve completed the tour, relish in a delicious lunch at The Green Dragon Inn. For the last stop, enjoy a coach ride down to Rotorua. With free Wi-Fi on board, this day tour will be worth your while. Note that this tour is not suitable for individuals with mobility impairments.
Matamata FAQs for TouristsIf you’re traveling to Matamata and want to plan your trip perfectly, there might be some questions that come up in your mind. To make it easy, we compiled a list of frequently asked questions by tourists about the city. So, let’s dive in and get answers to all your questions!
1. What are the must-visit attractions in Matamata?Matamata is famous for its beautiful rural landscapes, lush gardens, and the Hobbiton Movie Set. If you’re a fan of Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, visiting Hobbiton is a must-do activity. Besides, the Firth Tower Museum, Wairere Falls, and the Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park are also popular tourist spots.
2. What is the best time to visit Matamata?Matamata is an all-year-round destination, and you can visit it any time of the year. The summer months from December to February are the busiest and most popular, but the autumn season (March to May) is also lovely with fewer crowds. The winter months from June to August are colder, and spring from September to November is an excellent time for outdoor activities.
3. What types of accommodations are available in Matamata?Matamata offers a variety of accommodations ranging from luxury lodges, hotels, motels, holiday parks, and homestays. There is something for every budget and preference. The Hobbit Motorlodge, Tower Road Motel, and Broadway Motel and Miro Court Villas are some popular options.
4. What is the best way to get around Matamata?The best way to get around Matamata is by car or bicycle. There are several car rental services in town, and you can easily hire a car. Bicycling is also a popular choice, and some accommodations offer bike rental services. If you want to explore Hobbiton, there are several tour companies that offer shuttle services from Matamata.
5. What are the best restaurants and cafes in Matamata?Matamata has a variety of restaurants and cafes that offer delicious food and drinks. These are some of the top ones:
- The Redoubt Bar & Eatery
- The Red Barn
- Workman’s Cafe
- Cafe Fernet
- The Horse and Jockey Inn
6. Are there any events or festivals in Matamata?Matamata has several events and festivals throughout the year. The most popular one is the Hobbiton Movie Set Christmas banquet, which takes place in December. The Matamata A&P Show, which celebrates the region’s agriculture and horticulture, is held in February. The NZ Shearing Championships and the Kaimai Valley Art Award are other notable events.
7. What are some outdoor activities in Matamata?Matamata is a great destination for outdoor activities. These are some of the top ones:
- Hiking at the Wairere Falls
- Mountain biking at Te Miro Mountain Bike Park
- Kayaking at Lake Karapiro
- Golfing at the Matamata Golf Club
- Horse riding at Piako Pete’s Horse Trekking
8. Are there any shopping destinations in Matamata?Matamata has several shopping destinations where you can find souvenirs, gifts, and local produce. These are some of the top ones:
- The Matamata i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
- The Red Barn
- The Fudge Cottage
- The Matamata Farmers Market
- The Matamata Antiques Centre