Located less than 200 km south of Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island, lies the town of Matamata in the Waikato region. The town shot to fame primarily as the location for the set of Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. The location for the set has since been turned into a tourist attraction that draws a huge number of fans of the world-wide box office phenomenon from around the globe. From the famous Party Tree, 44 hobbit holes, including Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole on Bag End, and the Green Dragon Inn amongst others, are all relics of the set that visitors can experience by themselves. Tours of Hobbiton may also include whole feasts with menus specifically designed from dishes featured in the books.
However, Matamata is not only about Peter Jackson or Hobbiton and has a host of other tourist attractions that deserve their own light. The Wairere Falls are the highest waterfalls in the North Island and cascades down for over 150m. The areas surrounding the Wairere falls and the walking tracks that envelope the falls offer some of the best hiking opportunities whilst showcasing the region’s spectacular scenic beauty. The Waikato Plains, the mountain ranges, and the valleys all create for a great image.
Matamata is also well-known for the numerous swimming holes and billabongs that can be found around the town. The Opal Hot Springs is one such notable example of this kind of swimming pool. The Firth Tower, located in the heart of Matamata town, is one of the defining landmarks in the region. The tower is a popular tourist attraction and is iconic in its own right. A stone’s throw away from the Firth Tower is the Matamata i-Site and this acts as the visitor’s centre for the town. The Matamata i-Site is also the perfect site for a quick lunch, or a coffee, or a pastry as well and is the ideal place to obtain information regarding any tourist attraction in the town.
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