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 Crazy Things to Do in Matamata
- From Auckland Two Day Rotorua Hobbiton Waitomo Caves Tour
- From Auckland Day Tour to Hobbiton and Rotorua
The 2 Best Crazy Things to Do 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
9. Is Matamata a family-friendly destination?Yes, Matamata is a family-friendly destination with many activities and attractions suitable for all ages. The Hobbiton Movie Set is a favorite among families, and there are several outdoor activities, parks, and playgrounds in town. The Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park, Matamata Club, and Matamata Bowling Club also offer family-friendly facilities.
10. Can I visit Hobbiton without a tour?No, you can’t visit the Hobbiton Movie Set without a guided tour. The only way to explore the Hobbiton set is by joining one of the guided tours, which are led by knowledgeable guides and include transportation to and from the set.In conclusion, Matamata is a beautiful destination with lots of attractions, activities, and accommodations. We hope this guide helped you in planning your trip to this lovely town!
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in MatamataIf you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, you might be wondering how to spend your time as a tourist in Matamata. This charming rural town is situated in the Waikato region and is famous for being the location of the Hobbiton movie set, used in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. But there’s more to Matamata than just Hobbiton. In this post, we’ll take you through some of the top things to do and places to visit during your stay in Matamata.
1. Visit HobbitonOf course, the main attraction in Matamata is Hobbiton. This is an absolute must-see for all Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans. Hobbiton is a picturesque movie set that was used in both trilogies, and now it’s a popular tourist destination. On the Hobbiton movie set tour, you’ll get to see some of the hobbit holes, the iconic Party Tree, and the Green Dragon Inn. The tours run daily, and we recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.
2. Explore Matamata TownMatamata is a small town, but it’s rich in history and culture. Take a stroll down the main street and admire the historic buildings and shops. You can also visit the Matamata i-Site Visitor Information Centre, which is a great place to start your journey in Matamata. They have brochures, maps, and helpful staff who can give you advice on what to see and do in the area.
3. Walk or Bike the Te Aroha TrailThe Te Aroha Trail is a beautiful walk or bike ride that takes you through the scenic countryside of Matamata. The trail starts near the Matamata i-Site and runs for approximately 20km to Te Aroha. Along the way, you’ll see stunning views of rolling hills, farmland, and natural bush. There are rest stops and picnic areas if you need a break, and you can even stop off at some local cafes for refreshments.
4. Check out Wairere FallsWairere Falls is a stunning waterfall located within a 30-minute drive of Matamata. The waterfall is 153 meters high and is the tallest waterfall in the North Island. There are a couple of different tracks you can follow to get to the falls, ranging from easy to advanced. Whichever track you choose, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the waterfall and surrounding scenery.
5. Indulge in Local Food and DrinkMatamata has a range of local eateries and cafes serving up delicious food and drinks. From traditional Kiwi-style fish and chips to modern cuisine using local ingredients, there’s something for everyone. There are also a few wine farms in the area that offer wine-tasting tours and cellar-door sales. One such winery is Okoroire Hot Springs Hotel, which boasts a beautiful natural hot spring and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
6. Visit the Kaimai Mamaku Forest ParkIf you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, head to the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. This beautiful park boasts a range of activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and bird watching. There are several different tracks to explore, ranging from easy to advanced, so there’s something for all fitness levels. Make sure to bring your camera as there are plenty of stunning views to capture.
Book Your Tour NowMatamata is a great place to visit for tourists who love history, culture, and beautiful scenery. From the iconic Hobbiton movie set to the beautiful Te Aroha Trail and Wairere Falls, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this charming rural town. Make sure to try some of the local food and drink, explore the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park, and take plenty of photos to remember your trip.
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