Join this journey of discovery on this full-day shore excursion from Tauranga. You will be picked up at the port of Tauranga in a small group Mercedes luxury vehicle as you travel through the lush green countryside to visit the Shire. This is where the Hobbit Lord of The Rings Movie set was created. Here you will enjoy a guided tour around Hobbit holes including Bilbo's and Frodo’s home and enjoy a drink in the green dragon (either alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic ginger beer) included in your tour. Cold bottled water and a snack pack with New Zealand treats is also provided.
Travel onto Rotorua to experience geysers, mud pools and steam vents with Maori culture and history. Not to forget the infamous Haka War dance as you may of seen the All Blacks perform. This is performed by one of Rotorua's leading Maori cultural performance groups.
You will be shown some of Rotorua and its highlights (dependent on return time to cruise ship).
Pick up is for 9am (dependent on your cruise ship arrival and departure time). Your guide will be waiting for you just outside the wharf gates with a luxury Mercedes vehicle ready to take you on your journey of discovery. This tour is approximately 7.5 hours with time for lunch.
Firstly, drive along the beach front and on to the lush green countryside onto "the shire and the start of this extraordinary journey".
The Hobbiton Movie Set is a wonderful opportunity to see the original location, which was rebuilt for the latest hobbit film "an unexpected Journey". This was the original setting for Peter Jackson’s famous film trilogy “The Lord of the Rings”. You will learn all about how this location was chosen as the Hobbiton Movie Set (which is a great story in itself!) and how it was made plus which scenes were filmed here.
You will have an official guide to show you around the Hobbit holes including Bilbo's and Frodo's home. Wander around the vegetable patches where Hobbits grow their food including giant pumpkins. Learn about the movie secrets and the attention to detail that is truly mind-boggling. Your guide will tell you how in Tolkien's books, there is a reference to Hobbits sitting under plum trees and how in New Zealand plum trees grow too big to be the right scale for a hobbit so Peter Jackson had apple and pear trees, stripped of their fruit and replaced them with fake plums. As for the oak tree on the hill? Also fake, with 376,000 artificial leaves imported from Taiwan and wired onto the tree. When the leaves faded in the sun, someone was employed to repaint them, one by one. Walk past the Mill and the famous Party Tree that were created for "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films. At the end of the tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set there will be a complimentary drink waiting for you to enjoy in the Green Dragon Inn (Alcohol and non-alcohol available) Oh! and say hi to Pickles the resident cat that was left on the movie set, after being found abandoned in a sack by side of the road! and then taken in by the gardener who took pity on her.
Leave the shire and head towards the next destination to enter a strange and unusual landscape with the aroma of sulphur and sights of steam vents exiting the earth at every available crevice. You will visit Rotorua and its Whakarewarewa Valley and the living village. Steeped in history, traditions and cultures that span hundreds of years the people of this village have lived surrounded by geothermal activity (geysers, steam vents and mud pools) which they utilise in their everyday life for cooking, bathing and heating. A truly one off day of experience and discovery.