Visiting Auckland, New Zealand? Add the movie set of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ / ‘The Hobbit’ to the top of your list. Located approximately two hours south of Auckland, this is a day-trip everyone can enjoy. A quick internet search will provide you with numerous pre-packaged tours. We won't cover that here, but we will show you how to visit ‘The Shire’ on a budget by bus!
The Intercity Bus is the foremost budget friendly option if you don’t have your own transportation. Before booking your Hobbiton Movie Set tour ticket check bus seat availability. Choose the bus which departs Auckland for Matamata at 8:00am with a return at 4:50pm. You might have to book two one-way tickets. If bus seats are available, visit the official Hobbiton Tour website to secure a 12:30pm tour that day. Make sure you purchase the tour that originates at the Matamata I-Site.
8:00am* InterCity Departs Auckland Sky City Bus Terminal (102 Hobson St.)
11:14am Arrive at Matamata I-Site
12:30pm** Hobbiton bus picks you up at Matamata I-Site
3:30pm Hobbiton bus drops you off at Matamata I-Site
4:50pm InterCity Bus departs for Auckland from Matamata I-Site
8:00pm Arrive in Auckland (102 Hobson St.)
Hobbiton Tour Tickets
Book your tickets ahead of time on Hobbiton’s official website. Remember that if you arrive by bus your tour begins at the ‘Matamata I-Site’ not ‘The Shires Rest’. Your tour is three hours long (half-hour bus ride each way, plus the two hour tour).
* If you are staying in Auckland, look outside and locate the Sky Tower which is the needle like building and the tallest in the city. The Intercity Bus Station is half a block from there at 102 Hobson St.
** It’s also possible to book the 11:30am Hobbiton Tour. This however makes for a tight schedule since the bus is scheduled to arrive at 11:14am. We preferred the calmer approach and decided that enjoying lunch in Matamata while waiting for the 12:30pm tour bus was a better option.
Click here for more images of Hobbiton.