[Experience the Trilogy] in North New Zealand!
Today I am going to share with you how I spent my 3 days in North New Zealand. Yea, short trip I know but given the time and budget constraint, for this trip, we decided to focus our travel in South NZ and explore a bit of the North. If you haven't read my South NZ journey yet, the links are below!
Back to North NZ, as we only had a limited time there, we knew we got to make the best of it. I was lucky to come across "Experience The Trilogy" tour as it comprises most of the North NZ highlights - Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Te Puia and Te Po combo (Rotorua) and the Waitomo Glowworm & Ruakuri Caves. What I like about this package is you get the flexibility to do the tours in 2 or 3 days. The flexibility of time is yours!
Before we go into details of the places, let me share with you briefly how this "Experience the Trilogy" tour package works. Basically, you purchase the entrance tickets to all 3 attractions in one go (at a lower price compared to purchasing the tickets individually of course) and you choose your own time to visit the places as transportation service is not included, meaning there is no fixed visiting time to the mentioned attractions.
As we arrived late to Auckland on our first day, we could only start our tour the next day. Our initial plan was to combine Waitomo and Ruakuri caves along with the Rotorua tour (Te Puia & Te Pa) on the same day, followed by next day morning Hobbiton tour before heading to the airport in the evening to catch our flight. However, after due consideration, we decided not to stress ourselves too much on the road and timing and decided to forgo the Rotorua tour (Te Puia & Te Po) and only did the caves and Hobbiton tour the next day.
This is a sponsored blog post but all opinions remain genuine.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves & Ruakuri Cave
We were so excited we finally got to visit the popular Waitomo Glowworm Caves and experience the glow of a million "stars", which came from Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand! Due to the restriction to take photographs in the glowworm cave, I can't show you the magical scene. However, I can briefly tell you about the tour. This 45 minutes tour started with a guide through the cave along with the story behind these special species, followed by a boat ride to admire the shining glowworm hanging down the roof of the dark cave, like thousands of stars shining through.
Address: 39, Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo Caves, Otorohanga 3943, New Zealand.
Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/rDx7D5h71dB2
Ruakuri Cave is probably often neglected as tourists usually only visit the ever popular Waitomo Glowworm Cave. However, I totally encourage you to take this longest guided underground walking tour and experience what must be seen to be believed! Our 2 hours were absolutely well spent in this spectacular cave featuring waterfalls and limestone formations. Our guide was fun and entertaining, and shared with us many historical Maori's myth and legends.
Address: 585, Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo 3977, New Zealand.
Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/YEiaFJDEPBu
Hobbiton Movie Set
How can one leave New Zealand without taking the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour especially if you are a "Lord of the Rings" (LOTR) fan! To be honest, I am not a big big fan of LOTR but was still excited to see the beautiful movie setups and scenery as I have heard so, so much about it.
We took the earliest tour, other than hoping to avoid a huge crowd, also because we got a flight to catch at 5pm that day (Don't worry, it is totally manageable to visit Hobbiton on the day you fly home if you take the earliest tour slot. You will still be left with plenty of time).
Anyway, the tour we had was pretty good and we got to see many interesting sights. I will let the photos do the talking. We got enough time to wander around and take some photos, though I have heard from my friend saying her tour was rushing through and she did not feel she had enough time to absorb the beauty of the place. I suppose the factor lies on the time slot or season when you go? All in all, we had a good time and ended our tour with drinks at the Dragon Inn.
Address: 501, Buckland Rd, Hinuera, Matamata, 3472, New Zealand.
Location link: https://goo.gl/maps/a9MiGCEXdWR2
Rotorua (Te Puia + Te Po combo)
Like I mentioned, we had to forgo this tour due to unforeseen circumstances and time restriction. However, I definitely encourage you to go as I believe it would be a very cool experience.
Rotorua is one of the best places in New Zealand to experience their Maori tradition and culture. Te Puia, being the centre of New Zealand's Maori culture and geothermal wonders is sure to bring you endless excitement, while Te Po is Te Puia's evening cultural experience with entertainment and Maori cuisine awaiting.
To know more and to book this amazing tour >> Experience the Trilogy
Our accommodation in Matamata >> Eldonwood Bed & Breakfast
Why we'd recommend this accommodation:
- Luxurious stay with affordable price tag
- Delicious breakfast
- Clean and Spacious room and bathroom
- Near to Hobbiton Movie Set (only 15 minutes drive)
Till next time~
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