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Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

Ballarat, Australia
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Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

We are in Auckland for 1 day, arriving on a cruise ship, we would like to hire a car and drive to Hobbiton and back, we arrive at 10.00 am and leave at 8.00 pm. Can it be done in that time frame and would we need to per book Hobbiton tour tickets before we arrive?? Driving is not a problem i am just not sure on the roads and if it can be done, don't want to miss the boat.

Thanks in advance

Rarotonga, Cook...
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1. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

Hi Elaine,

What day-tours is your cruise company offering passengers for the Auckland stop? Hobbiton may be one of the options, and although works out more than a piece-meal arrangment that you can organise, the tours are stress-free and designed to gain preferential treatment into the attraction.

This tour company which already offers a Hobbiton day-tour from Auckland is another option. I see they do private tours, since their main tour leaves the city around 7am for an 8 hour trip in total - www.bushandbeach.co.nz/new-zealand-tours/…

A rental car independently booked for say 11:00/11:30am pickup (at latest) will get you on the road to Matamata (use SH27) followed by the tour, back to rental depot and cruise ship by the latest boarding time. Can possibly be done, with sufficient rest stops, and driving at a steady pace on the open road. You haven't identified when your cruise arrives Auckland? Summer-time daylight saving is good for late afternoon driving, on unfamiliar NZ roads. Assuming your cruise will take place over summer?

Can't access Hobbiton booking site (due to their technical problems), but you'd probably need to arrange a tour around 2:30pm (3pm at latest) - …centaman-apac01.net/OurTours/…Default.aspx.

Here are the distances and recommended drive times - www.aatravel.co.nz/main/td-calculator.php

Edited: 03 February 2014, 18:48
Ballarat, Australia
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2. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

Hello Frangipan80, thank you for you answer.

We arrive on the 20th of March at 10.00 am in the morning. I have checked out the tours available and they all leave early morning, can't find anything around 10.00 am, and they cost an arm and leg. We are confident drivers, we are not to worried about the driving, just the time frame. Google maps is saying a 2 1/2 hour trip one way. We are looking at hiring a car from Europcar, getting under way by 11.00 am, doing a 2.00 or 2..30 tour of Hobbiton as you have suggest and then back to the ship by 7.00 pm.

Regards

Elaine

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

If you can meet your timeframe of 11:00am pickup or thereabouts, you should be on the motorway by 11:30am all going to plan.

Even if you allow for a 2 hour 30 minutes drive to reach Hobbiton ticket office, the 2:00pm tour should be possible. I suggest that you take SH27 instead of SH1 which has you driving across the Hauraki Plains to Matamata. Not so pretty to drive, but more direct having flatter terrain.

Study a google map carefully or download one from the AA NZ site to familiarise yourselves with the route. You can always return north through Hamilton for a change of scenery, time permitting. Although you will likely be running into commuter traffic around Hamilton city, on a weekday. Daylight saving will still in place in NZ on 20th March - an added bonus for you.

All the best, and enjoy the shire and your cruise.

Wellington, NZ
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4. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

Is 10am the time you berth at Auckland or the time you are guaranteed to be off the ship?

Ballarat, Australia
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5. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

Frangipan80 once again a big thank you, hoping all will go to plan and the 6 of us can't wait, i have been in your beautiful country and it beautiful, the other 5 are in for a wonderful time :)

Ballarat, Australia
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6. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

The ship docks at 10.00, i am hoping that it will be on time so we are off the boat, get the car and be on our way by 11.30 am. One thing i do need is a backup plan, is there anything else we could do if we can't get down to Hobbiton?????

D K
Perth, Australia
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7. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

I'm sorry but it looks too tight a schedule to me.

What if there is a huge line at the booth and it takes you more time than you anticipated to get your car?

Plus, even if everything is on time, it gives you only about 4 hours in Hobbiton. You would want to grab a nice meal, absorb the surrondings, click a lot of pics. You don't want to keep a tab on time all the time, right?

If I were you, I would stick around in Auckland :)

But you are not me :P

If you choose otherwise, we are happy to help you figure a way out.

Auckland Region...
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8. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

It is doable but will be quite a rushed day. We took a couple of visitors in a private car to do the tour from The Shire's Rest over the summer holidays and it was extremely busy but organised and rigidly on time.You'd definitely need to book. The 2.30pm tour would suit the best as you have to pick up tickets from the office and then line up for your bus across to Hobbiton.

Google the Hobbiton tour and imagine queues of people in front and streaming past the Hobbit houses and that is what your tour will be like. Photos are difficult as the place is crowded with a new busload of 52 people being shunted in every 30 minutes. It may be less busy when you go.

If you're a crazy Hobbit fan you'll love it and having relaxed on your cruise you may be happy to have a full on excursion for a day.

Ultimately it is your decision.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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9. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

I'm sure you are carefully weighing up the risks already Elaine. A main issue would be getting off the cruise-ship to be on the road on time. There are always ifs and buts and maybes in any travel plan. I find the AA NZ distance and times more accurate than google maps.

Alternative independent tours? Explore the Waitakere Ranges and Arataki visitors centre, drive the Scenic Drive through regenerating native bush, then visit Muriwai beach. Or drive north to the Hibiscis Coast then to Warkworth and Matakana. Or perhaps a day-trip to Waiheke Island by passenger ferry combined with buses, or a local tour. The Waitomo Caves are further south (W) than Hobbiton.

Edited: 04 February 2014, 19:58
London
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10. Re: Auckland to Hobbiton in a day

My worry is that on many cruises, the passengers opting to take the ship's tours have priority on disembarking over those travelling independently.

Not trying to throw a spanner in the works, but it's something to be aware of.