Welcome to Matamata, a charming town located in the heart of New Zealand’s stunning Waikato region. This picturesque destination has become world-famous as the location of the Hobbiton movie set, which made it the ideal place for filming the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. However, Matamata offers much more than just a movie set. From breathtaking natural scenery to exciting adventure activities, this town has something for everyone. Join us as we explore the best attractions and things to do in Matamata, and discover why it’s truly one of the most captivating destinations in New Zealand.
1. From Auckland Two Day Rotorua Hobbiton Waitomo Caves Tour
Join this overnight all-inclusive tour and experience the Central North Island’s most iconic attractions at a leisurely pace. Take guided tours of Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves. Discover the Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland and the thermal areas and geysers of Te Puia. Experience a Maori cultural evening with a meal and concert. At the end of the two days, you will return to your hotel in Auckland or a different location in the central area if specified. Most of the transport is supplied in Mercedes minibuses with luxury seating. The largest vehicle seats 15 passengers but on most occasions. Don’t miss this chance to see some of the most amazing natural and cultural wonders of the Central North Island.
Take a guided tour of the famous Hobbiton Movie Set located inside a picturesque 1250 acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. Here the village of Hobbiton was carefully created in amazing detail as a film location for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. During your guided tour of this amazing location you’ll see sights like Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and The Green Dragon Inn and learn how farmland was transformed into a living breathing piece of Middle earth. After exploring Hobbiton, enjoy a delicious banquet feast fit for a Hobbit at The Green Dragon Inn. Then, finish the tour with a coach ride down to Rotorua. The tour includes a guided tour of Hobbiton, entry fees, and full buffet lunch. Wi-Fi is also available onboard coaches. Please note that this tour is not suitable for people with mobility impairments.
The Top FAQs by Tourists about the City of Matamata, New Zealand
Matamata is a small town located in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. It has gained worldwide recognition as the setting for Hobbiton, a major attraction for fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. With its picturesque landscapes, diverse wildlife, rich Maori culture, and welcoming locals, Matamata has become a popular tourist destination. In this blog post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions by tourists about the city of Matamata.
1. How Do I Get to Matamata?
Matamata is easily accessible by road, rail, and air. The nearest airport is Hamilton Airport, which is about 45 minutes’ drive from Matamata. Auckland Airport, the largest airport in New Zealand, is 2 hours’ drive away. Matamata can also be reached by train, with regular services operated by KiwiRail Scenic Journeys. By road, Matamata is conveniently located on State Highway 27, which connects Auckland and Tauranga.
2. What are the Top Things to Do in Matamata?
Apart from the Hobbiton Movie Set tour, Matamata offers a range of activities for tourists. Some of the popular things to do in Matamata include:
Visiting Wairere Falls – a scenic waterfall adventure
Exploring the Te Waihou Walkway – a picturesque 4.7-kilometer journey on a well-maintained track alongside the Te Waihou River
Visit the Firth Tower Museum and Homestead, which showcases a diverse collection of artifacts from the region’s diverse history
Houston’s Farm – offers visitors a unique farm experience with a variety of activities such as sheep shearing, beekeeping, and more.
3. When is the Best Time to Visit Matamata?
Matamata has a temperate climate with mild temperatures throughout the year. The summer months (December-February) are usually busy and popular among tourists, with maximum temperatures ranging between 20-25 degrees Celsius. If you prefer a cooler climate, the winter months (June-August) offer beautiful landscapes and fewer crowds. However, you should bring warm clothing as the temperatures can drop to about 5-10 degrees Celsius.
4. What is the Best Way to Experience Hobbiton?
The best way to experience Hobbiton is by taking a guided tour that offers insight into the production of the books and movies. The tour includes a visit to the movie set, the Green Dragon Inn, and the Hobbit holes. The tour guides are knowledgeable and provide visitors with an immersive and interactive experience of the world of Middle Earth.
5. What is the Maori Culture in Matamata Like?
Matamata has a significant Maori population, with several Maori communities residing in and around the area. Maori culture is diverse and rich, with traditional values, customs, and beliefs still practiced today. Visitors can experience Maori culture in many ways, including through cultural tours, traditional cultural shows, haka performances, and through visiting historical sites such as the Wairere Falls.
6. What Should I Know About the Local Cuisine in Matamata?
Matamata has a thriving culinary scene with a variety of cafes, restaurants, and eateries offering cuisine ranging from traditional New Zealand fare to international flavors. The town is known for its award-winning cheese, wine, and beer production. Visitors should try the traditional New Zealand dishes such as Pavlova, Hangi, and Fish and Chips, all of which can be found at various eateries in Matamata.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Matamata
Matamata, a small town in the Waikato region of New Zealand is famous for being the filming location of the Hobbiton movie set in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. If you are planning to visit Matamata, there are several activities and tourist spots to explore. In this guide, we will detail how to spend your time as a tourist in Matamata.
1. Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set
A visit to the Hobbiton movie set is the main attraction in Matamata, especially for The Lord of the Rings fans. You can take a guided tour of the movie set and walk through the doors of the movie world. You can see the houses of hobbits, their gardens, bridges, a mill, and a small pond. The tour is usually a two-hour journey that takes you through Middle Earth. The Hobbiton Movie Set tour ends in the Green Dragon Inn, where you can enjoy a complimentary mug of local Hobbit brew.
2. Visit the Firth Tower Museum
The Firth Tower Museum is a unique historical site in Matamata, which is a twenty-five-minute walk from the town center. The museum has several buildings that feature the history of the town from the early Maori settlers to the European arrival. The museum’s centerpiece is the seven-story tower built-in 1882. The Firth family owned the tower, and it still contains a few Firth exhibits.
3. Enjoy a Scenic Walk
The town of Matamata is surrounded by hills and farmland. There are several scenic walks to get a better view of the town and the rural landscape. The Wairere Falls track is one of the most popular scenic walks in the area. A short drive from Matamata, the track begins in the car park and goes through lush forests, several outlooks, and ends at the foot of the Wairere Falls. It’s a three-hour round-trip walk, and the end view is a 153-meter waterfall.
4. Go Horse Trekking
If you love horseback riding and want to explore the countryside surrounding Matamata, then horse trekking is the perfect activity for you. The Matamata Country Lodge offers daily horse trekking tours around the hills of the town. The trek is a two-hour adventure through farmlands and up to the top of the hills, where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the town and the surrounding landscape.
5. Explore the Waihou River
The Waihou River is a beautiful spot located ten kilometers southeast of Matamata. The river is famous for its crystal clear waters that flow through the town of Putaruru. You can enjoy several activities at Waihou River such as fishing, swimming, boating, and kayaking. The river also has a popular walkway that takes you through the beautiful countryside.
6. Visit the Matamata i-SITE Visitor Information Center
The Matamata i-SITE Visitor Information Center is the perfect place to go if you want to get more information about Matamata and organize your activities. The center is located in the heart of the town and has a plethora of information about the town attractions. The staff at the center is very accommodating, and they can help you with booking tickets and providing information about upcoming events.
7. Visit the Opal Hot Springs & Holiday Park
If you want to relax after a day of exploring Matamata, then the Opal Hot Springs & Holiday Park is the perfect spot. The park has several thermal pools, hot pools, and private pools that are surrounded by beautiful gardens. The place also has a spa where you can enjoy a relaxing massage.
Book Your Tour Now
Matamata is a beautiful town that has a lot to offer to tourists. The town is famous for its Hobbiton movie set, but there are several other activities you can enjoy. You can visit the Firth Tower Museum, go for a scenic walk, go horse trekking, explore the Waihou River, visit the Matamata i-SITE Visitor Information Center, and relax at the Opal Hot Springs & Holiday Park. We hope this guide helps you plan your visit to Matamata and takes you to exciting places.