Following an increasing number of potential safety incidents on KiwiRail’s Great Journeys of New Zealand scenic rail services, the outdoor viewing carriage on the Northern Explorer only will be closed until further notice while a safety solution is found.
Enjoy guided tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a full-day sightseeing tour from Auckland.
Day 1 – Auckland City Sights Morning Tour - 9.45am - 12.45pm
See the best of Auckland and get your bearings on this relaxing half-day tour. Travel through the city centre, then cross over the famous Auckland Harbour Bridge which connects central Auckland to the North Shore. Travel along the waterfront and see the Viaduct Harbour area, then up the main road of Queen Street before visiting the Auckland Domain, the city's oldest park and home to the Auckland Museum.
Stop for a short break in Parnell Village, a historic suburb where picturesque villas have been transformed into a boutique shopping haven. Travel along scenic Tamaki Drive for another look at the harbour and the Eastern Bays suburbs, and drink in the views of city and sea from the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park before returning to the city.
Day 2 – Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves Day Tour - 8.00am - 7.00pm
Journey south through lush rural farmland to the Hobbiton Movie Set, hidden on private farmland near the town of Matamata. Here, the village of Hobbiton was carefully created in amazing detail as a film location for the Lord of the Rings and 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, tuck into a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn.
At the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves, take a 45-minute guided tour through impressive underground caverns and learn how stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone structures were formed over millions of years. Your tour includes a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - glide silently along an underground river as you gaze at the twinkling glowworms overhead.
After visiting Waitomo and Hobbiton, return to Auckland.
Please note the order of this tour is subject to change. Availability: If the Waitomo Caves tour cannot operate, a free upgrade to the Ruakuri Cave will be provided subject to availability. If the Ruakuri upgrade is provided, the Waitomo Caves portion is non refundable.