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Matamata and Surrounds

The aptly themed Matamata i-SITE on the main street is a clear indication of where you are, in prime Middle-earth territory, with the Hobbiton Movie Set just down the road. With the perfect combination of hillsides and plains, Matamata, meaning headland in Maori, has its rural roots in the equine and dairying industries.

Don't Miss:  

1. Hobbiton Movie Set
2. Firth Tower Museum 
3. Opal Hot Springs
4. Cheese Factory 
5. Horse Races
6. Wairere Falls & Walk
7. Heritage Trail  
8. Fashion designer Anna S - shop & café - Morrinsville

Today the town’s main attraction comes from the film industry after the Alexander brothers farm became the Shire in Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Take a tour to discover the magic behind the phenomenon and see the now permanent set as seen in The Hobbit film trilogy.

Set in the shadow of the Kamai Ranges the area’s diverse range of natural scenery means there are some hidden gem’s to uncover including the 153m high Wairere Falls. Meanwhile, the Opal Hot Springs, which are right next to the town’s 18-hole golf course, add to the region’s many opportunities for a soak or swim in naturally heated waters.

Back in town, Matamata’s cafes on the main street are popular local meeting spots while artisan producers are also claiming the area as a good base for their operations.

The many grand trees give the town centre a distinctive appeal and the iconic Firth Tower Museum in its park like setting gives an insight into the area’s pioneering history while “the kingmaker”, Wiremu Tamihana, is also recalled in placenames and historic sites.

Or take time to visit the nearby town of Morrinsville and explore antique stores, high end fashion, local heritage and NZ art.

How far to:

  • Auckland: 160kms 2 hours
  • Rotorua: 72kms 1 hour
  • Tauranga: 50kms 44mins

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