Hobbit mania at Te Puia’s living-earth

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the real ‘Middle-earth’? A tribe of 75 Hobbit fans, their guests and 40 high-profile international media recently experienced a trip of a lifetime as part of an exclusive global online competition – The Hobbit Fan Fellowship - which began with a visit to our geothermal wonderland, Te Puia, in Rotorua where the die-hard fans received an official Māori welcome.

Here at Te Puia, we are as excited about the 11 December release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies as the rest of the fans around the world – the competition winners were lucky enough to enjoy their own private screening at Sir Peter Jackson’s private studio. Their enthusiasm for the films, our country and our unique geothermal landscape was catching and made us proud that we were able to show them our sense of manaakitanga (hospitality).

Te Puia, along with Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, is part of the Experience The Trilogy – a package that brings the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies to life for young and old.

The Middle-earthTM Trilogy offers a unique insight into the wonders and movie magic of the Central North Island – living-earth at Te Puia, under-earth at Waitomo, and Middle-earth at Hobbiton Movie Set.

The Trilogy provides visitors with a unique experience both above and below the earth, along with some special insights into our Māori culture and heritage.

Our guides carry on a legacy that dates back to the 1800s and they take great pride in their manaakitanga, welcoming manuhiri (visitors) as if they were whānau (family). Te Puia is a special place for us all and we treasure being part of the Middle-earth journey.

The original Trilogy package includes Te Pō Indigenous Evening Experience at Te Puia and a guided tour of Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Hobbiton Movie Set.

Middle-earthTM Trilogy Supercharged has been tailored for those looking for an even greater sense of adventure with the unique Steambox experience at Te Puia and the Black Labyrinth Tour (The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.) at Waitomo as well as the Hobbiton guided tour.

Te Pō Indigenous Evening Experience welcomes visitors after dark to experience the mystique of Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley after the sun goes down. The evening includes a traditional Māori welcome and cultural performance followed by a feast and concludes with a hot chocolate on the warm geothermal steps of the geyser terrace.

The Steambox experience involves a special guided tour of Te Puia, Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and national carving and weaving schools, and either a Māori cultural performance or an interactive weaving session. The tour concludes with guests watching their food being lifted from a ngāwhā (natural geothermal steam vent) and enjoying their steam cooked lunch on the terrace overlooking the Pohutu Geyser gushing 30 metres high into the air.