When you step on the bus to Hobbiton, you’re taken care of. My wife and I were scheduled to transfer to another company tour when we arrived at the Hobbiton reception center. Our first driver stayed with us until our tour leader arrived and had us on the bus. She even told us to use the restroom while she stayed with our luggage. IT made it very easy for us to enjoy our trip and take advantage of the bus that went from Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo.
Hobbiton itself is a massive movie set built to last for the Hobbit trilogy (affiliate link). Kiwi and director Peter Jackson found out people who loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy ( affiliate link) were coming to the farm, where Hobbiton was originally, and there wasn’t much to see. He built the next set to last longer.
If you’re planning on visiting Hobbiton, go in the morning when there are fewer people. The buffet is a worthwhile meal with great potatoes (Samwise must’ve been in the kitchen), the beef was juicy, and they even had a bulgur wheat salad!
The highlight of our tour was when the tour guide invited us to run down the hill shouting, “I’M GOING ON AN ADVENTURE!” If your guide offers you the option, take it. It’s great fun for everyone on the tour, even if most are too shy to do it. Revisiting the films will add to your experience. The only downside is that the gift shop on site was a little disappointing. I’m not sure what I wanted, but I didn’t find it there. I did get a mug and some other items, but only because we had vouchers to spend.