If, like me, you like to see as much as possible in as little time as possible while you’re on holiday, you’re going to love the Matamata Day Trip. Starting at Sky Tower in Auckland, the coach leaves Auckland city and heads south towards Waitomo. Don’t fall asleep on the bus! You won’t want to miss any of the incredible scenery on the way there. I’m talking grass you’ve never even imagined so green.
After enjoying our including morning tea of fresh fruit and a muffin, our first stop was at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. You’ll be taken on a comprehensive tour of the caves, complete with a boat ride below the glowworms themselves. This is truly something you need to experience when you’re in New Zealand! Unfortunately you won’t be able to take photos of the glow worms, they’re very camera shy.
After our tour and a brief stop in the gift shop we all hoped back onto the bus for an included picnic lunch. We had a turkey, salad and cranberry sauce roll, juice, a slice of cheese cake, a chocolate and an apple.
After that it was onto Rotorua.
Our coach made a brief stop at a farm in Rotorua where I bought an extremely warm pair of Merino socks. If you’re shopping for woollen goods I definitely recommend you buy them from here. Not only can you meet the sheep your socks have come from, but you can also meet the people who made them.
From here the group split up into those going to Hobbiton and those heading on to Rotorua. For us it was an easy decision. Hobbiton of course!
Hobbiton is AH-MAZ-ING! I’m not a massive fan of the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit movies (the books are always better), but you don’t need to be to appreciate just how intricate this little hobbit town really is. You can’t enter any hobbit holes because they don’t actually contain rooms but you can take photos in front of them, walk up to the door of Frodo’s home and grab a drink in The Green Dragon.
After the Hobbiton tour was completed, the coach headed back to Sky Tower. We chose to eat dinner here because we got back a little later than expected due to the traffic on the way home. But the food here is cheap if you simply head to the all-you-can-eat buffet.
This is a great one-day trip if you haven’t got much time or money to spare travelling the area in depth. It covers a lot of ground very quickly. You will be tired after the trip so don’t plan on doing too much more for the rest of the night!
Complete day tour from Auckland
Departs: 7:30am SkyCity Travel Centre, Auckland
Duration: Approx. 12 hours 30 minutes
Cost: $305 AUD