Waikato
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Waikato Nature & Adventure

  • Whitianga: 2-Hour Scenic Glass Bottom Boat Tour

    1. Whitianga: 2-Hour Scenic Glass Bottom Boat Tour

    Hop onboard this 2-hour guided boat cruise to explore stunning volcanic coastline, the amazing marine life as well as learn more about what you see and the history of the area. Visit Cathedral Cove, sea caves, towering rock formations and more. View an abundance of the marine life through the glass panels throughout your cruise. Meet the crew at the Whitianga Wharf to board the Glass Bottom Boat, then cruise out the harbour and learn about the history of Whitianga and abou Captain Cook's arrival. Once out the harbour hold onto your hats as the boat speeds up on the way to the stunning Shakespeares Cliff and Cooks Beach Blow hole.  Continue on into the marine reserve to get a first look at Cathedral Cove and to explore the surrounding bays. Enjoy some fantastic marine life viewing through the glass panels such as schools of snapper, reef fish, stingrays, crayfish and more. Learn all abo...

    Mark and Neve were friendly and chatty putting everyone at ease. They knew the area well and had lots of background knowledge to share. It was well worth it. A gorgeous sunny autumn day out on the water seeing everything so clearly from the water that would remain unseen from on land. The glass boat allowed a wonderful view of the fish and sea floor, seeing how much of a pest Kina have become outside the marine sanctuary was an eye opener. Mark did a fantastic job of positioning the boat to allow for great photos. Thanks guys.

  • Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

    2. Lake Taupo: Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise

    Cruise through the crystal-clear, turquoise waters of Lake Taupo, taking in the vibrancy of Maori culture all the while. After boarding your cruise, explore the stunning surroundings of the lake, surrounded by rugged mountains and lush trees on the banks. As you glide through the lake on your deluxe Catamaran, you’ll come to a massive carving depicting the traditional facial tattooing of the Maori people. Inspired by centuries of rich Maori tradition, artist Matahi Brightwell carved the elaborate relief into the side of a cliff directly above the lake’s pristine waters in 1980. Depicting one of his grandmother’s ancestors, the carving represent a triumph of Maori artistry, and the continued preservation of indigenous culture. Perfect for the whole family, after taking in the carving, you can feed the ducks, and maybe even catch a fish. After 1.5 hours, you’ll head back to the dock to di...

    It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

  • Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

    3. Lake Taupo: 1.5-Hour Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise

    Admire beautiful Māori rock carvings set against a stunning mountainous backdrop on a 1.5-hour journey around Lake Taupo's waters aboard a boat that features live audio commentary. Relax and enjoy coffee or tea and a homemade muffin as you admire panoramic views of New Zealand, picturesque mountain tops, and historic rock carvings inspired by centuries of rich Māori tradition and art. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cool outdoor breeze or cozily snuggle into one of the indoor booths, and enjoy a trout fishing demonstration by the crew — you may even get a "taste of Taupo" if all goes well.

    Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

  • From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

    4. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Day Trip with Lunch

    Join this tour to visit two of New Zealand's most iconic and famous attractions, the Hobbiton Movie Set and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, in one easy small-group day trip from Auckland. After pickup from your central Auckland hotel, travel south over the Bombay Hills for panoramic views of the Waikato Region and the scenic Hauraki Plains. Arrive at The Shire's Rest in Matamata, the home of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your guide will help you skip the crowds so you can explore the Movie Set on an official 2-hour tour. Be escorted through the 10-acre site and learn fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created. See Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, and The Mill. Savor a complimentary specially-brewed beverage at The Green Dragon Inn.  Afterwards, travel to the mesmerizing Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you'll enjoy a Kiwi-style lunch at The Homestead in Waitomo. On the way, sh...

    Amazing trio - great, knowledgeable and friendly guide, and two sites absolutely worth seeing! Would highly recommend.

  • From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Small-Group Trip

    5. From Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set Full-Day Small-Group Trip

    Make the most of your time in Auckland with a small-group tour to the magical and enchanting Hobbiton, Lord of the Rings Movie Set. You will have the movie set almost entirely to yourself. See how this beautiful piece of farmland has been transformed into the Shire from Middle Earth. Start off your adventure with pickup from your centrally located hotel or the Auckland Sky Tower. Travel south in an air-conditioned Mercedes-Benz. Look out the van's extra-large windows on the scenic drive to Matamata over the Bombay Hills and through the beautiful Hauraki Plains. Listen to facts and anecdotes from your guide clearly via a hi-tech audio system. When you arrive at Hobbiton, take a 2-hour tour with a knowledgeable guide. Take plenty of time to explore the locations you’ve seen at home. Pose for photos in front of your favorite places like the Hobbit Holes and The Mill. At the end of the ...

    We loved the hobbiton movie set what made it better was really -David, Our tour (bus) guide from AUCKLAND SCENIC TOURS. He was extremely social. Very accomodating. we enjoyed his charisma! It made our trip a whole lots better! When we got tot he scene he was happy to help and took us to all the right places to take lots of photos! Definitely would recommend going with Auckland scenic tours if you’re wanting to see the hobbiton movie set!

  • Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

    6. Auckland: Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Small Group Tour

    The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During y...

    I went with my mum & partner to Hobbiton & Waitomo. We had Michael for our tour & he was so generous & full of knowledge about everything & anything. Also such a great conversationalist . Highly recommend, would love to be on another tour with him. Thank you for a great day out!

  • Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    7. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

    The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Hobbiton. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During y...

    Our guide, Grant, was so full of knowledge!! He not only drove the van, but also was the tour guide. Because we were such a small group, he gave us a lot of individual attention. He was funny, and as hands-on, or hands-off, as we wanted him to be. We had a great time

  • Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

    8. Whitianga: Cathedral Cove 2 Hour Boat Cruise

    Based in Whitianga, this scenic boat cruise showcases Mercury Bay’s stunning coastal paradise at its very best. Embark on a 2-hour journey across the rugged volcanic shores of the bay and explore its beautiful beaches including Hahei and Lonely Bay. The highlight of the tour is the world-famous Cathedral Cove at Te Whanganui a Hei Marine Reserve. The site has a rich Maori heritage, attracts around 150,000 visitors per year, and was used as a filming location for the blockbuster movie Narnia. Sit back and relax as you sail around the bay, and marvel at its stunning natural landscapes that stretch across the peninsula. Along the way, listen to your guide share entertaining live commentary about the bay and the wildlife that lives here. Make sure to keep an eye on the water too, as there's always a chance to see dolphins, whales and orcas in their natural habitat.

    The driver on the boat informed all the travellers on the boat about the area and wild life etc

  • Hukafalls: 30-Minute Jet Boat Experience

    9. Hukafalls: 30-Minute Jet Boat Experience

    Your thrilling adventure will take you along the beautiful Waikato river environment, lined with native bush, sheer rock cliff faces, and natural hot springs. Enjoy the best water-level view of Huka Falls from the unique vantage point on the jet boat. The manoeuvrability of the Hukafalls jet boat is legendary. Be in awe at the speed and precision in which you torpedo gracefully down the river to play in the tail of the mighty whitewater of the Huka Falls. Pass by clouds of steam rising where a hot stream joins the river. See the Huka Prawn Park, the Wairakei Geo-Thermal Power Station, and the Aratiatia Dam. Zoom past sheer rock cliffs with just centimeters to spare, exhilarated and secure in the knowledge that your driver is an expert.

    Fantastic fun. Kids and the parents loved the 360 turns, expert driving and getting up close with the falls.

  • From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

    10. From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

    Get picked up from your accommodation or an agreed-upon meeting point in Auckland or Rotorua and set off for Hobbiton. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get something to eat or explore the Shires Rest souvenir shop before joining a two-hour walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which includes a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Transfer to the movie set on one of the tour operator's buses and hear about how this set was used for all filming of both "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Hobbit" movies. After the tour, take 15 minutes to relax in the Green Dragon Inn before traveling to Waitomo Caves. Between the two stops, you'll have time to enjoy your picnic lunch. At Waitomo Caves, join a group of up to 12 people on the Black Labyrinth tour, which includes cave tubing and caving in the river that runs through the bottom of the Ruakuri Cave. After arriving at the cav...

    Hobbiton was much larger than expected and the tour did not disappoint! Tubing through the gloworms at Waitomo was a great way to see them. The cave river is definitely cold but worth it. Nothing too scary or difficult! The pick up in Royorua and drop off in Auckland was perfect for us! Anne our driver was very knowledgeable about the area even with the detours for roadworks.

Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

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What people are saying about Waikato

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 37 reviews

Genuine kiwi welcome guidance and hospitality on arrival. Correct local history on both tribal boundaries both Maori and pakeha influences. Great geothermal information in regards to changes within the landscape. Excellent pronunciation of Maori words in regards to forecasting history. Staff well equipped for delivering a top of the range experience. Felt safe on board and understood evacuation and health and safety procedures delivered by skipper over loud speaker. Awsome work team

It was really amazing experience. We enjoyed a lot and cruise crews explained all the beautiful places and there history clearly. They are very helpful all the time. Thank you for giving opportunity to express my feelings.

Had a great trip. Calm, loved the fishing experience. Fun for kids. Nice food and drink provided. Great, funny tour guide

The driver on the boat informed all the travellers on the boat about the area and wild life etc

Guide David was knowledgeable and shared many info with us