It's hobbit enthusiast's dream come true in Tauranga. This town on the Bay of Plenty, perched on New Zealand's North Island, is just a short trek from the rolling hills of Waikato — this is where you'll find Hobbiton, the location that served as the Shire in the uber-popular "Lord of the Rings" movies. But the fantastic findings of Tauranga don't end there. Cruise to Tauranga and take the one-hour drive to Rotorua, a geothermal fairyland where you can soak in the rejuvenating waters of the natural hot springs.
Valuta som kan användasNew Zealand Dollar (NZD)
Things To Do in Tauranga
Hole Up in Hobbiton
Take an excursion to Middle Earth, or at least to the filming location of Bilbo's house in the Shire. Visit the 44 Hobbit Holes and The Green Dragon Inn to learn more about how "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" were filmed here by New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson.
Named the Bay of Plenty by Captain Cook, the Tauranga area has an abundance of products from the land and sea. Cruise to Tauranga and try lamb belly with burnt pumpkin or crusted local venison loin at a hip brasserie in downtown Tauranga. You'll find wine here, too, especially Pinot Noir — Mills Reef Winery has an on-site restaurant where you can order creative, Asian-inspired dishes alongside your glass of choice.
In the town of Paengaroa, about a half hour away, you'll find the production plant of Comvita, one of the world's leading producers of manuka honey. Take a couple jars home, or pick up beauty products made with the sweet stuff. Take home a bottle of your favorite wine from a local vineyard, or seek out local jade and sterling silver jewelry — Jens Hansen Ringmakers in Nelson even makes a replica of the One Ring from Tolkien's epic.
1Walk out to Moturiki Island at low tide to get the easiest access to view of the blowholes.
2If you're into surfing, the beach at Mount Maunganui is the ideal spot.
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