We took a 2 day trip out from Auckland to drive about North Island and see Rotorua and Hobbiton. I watched the entire Lord of the Rings series throughout planning the trip and while on the trip too, so I was excited to see some of the scenery from the movies.
Rotorua – A town known for geothermal hot springs and Maori culture. Be sure to book a hotel with an active hot spring or save some time to hit the spa!
Te Puia – We booked an authentic Maori experience at Te Puia and had a great night. They start the evening by showing you your food, cooked using Hāngi, a traditional Maori way of cooking food in a pit.
Then we hear a bit about Maori culture and watch a performance of music, dance, and traditions. It’s interactive, and you’re encouraged to participate and learn a dance move or two. Here’s Andy doing the Haka 😂
Then, they take you back to eat the food prepared in the Hangi. Food was super tasty. Approve.
After dinner, you can visit the geysers/hot springs. There’s a rock seating area where you can feel the heat of the thermal pools with. I loved cuddling up on the rocks, since it was pretty chilly when we were visiting.
Hobbiton – If you’re a LoTR or The Hobbit fan, definitely take a visit. The tour will take you on a drive to the shire and give you some behind the scenes anecdotes. The hobbit homes are so cute! At the end of the tour, they give you a complementary cup of cider or beer at the Green Dragon.