Being fans of the Hobbit and Biking Ange and Dave packed both into a 5 day trip around the North Island. Visiting Hobbiton and riding the Hauraki Rail Trail whilst still having time to experience the Waitomo Glowworm caves and the famous Matatoki Cheese Barn.
Auckland to Auckland
Best Time of the Year
- Waitomo Glowworm Caves
- Hauraki Rail Trail
- Matatoki Cheese Barn
Auckland to Waitomo
Distance 193km - Driving Time 2 hours
Going to Waitomo was a little bit of a detour as we were actually heading to the Coromandel but a friend suggested we go to the glow-worm caves and we’re so glad we listened to him. What an incredible experience!
The tour guides were fantastic and very knowledgeable and the glow worms were spectacular. It was like being in an enchanted world as we made our way through the caves in the boat. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch at the huhu café and went for a relaxing bush walk. Nobody should miss out on a day at this magical location!
Waitomo to Paeroa
Distance 165km - Driving Time 2 hours
We are both big fans of the hobbit, so we took our time getting to Paeroa (getting ready to start cycling tomorrow so we thought it’d be a good idea to take it easy anyway) and stopped in at Hobbiton on the way. We totally geeked out when we saw the hobbit huts and started quoting the movie, a few people laughed at us and a few others to a giant step to the side and looked at us like we were weirdos. Not that we cared. Hobbiton was great. The setting is stunning and was better than we imagined it to be. Dinner in the camper was great, Dave cooked up a delicious pasta with some fresh tomatoes and basil, and topped it off with a bottle of L&P (we couldn’t come here and not have a bottle!).
Paeroa to Waihi
Distance 20km - Driving Time all day!
We’d been wanting to cycle the Hauraki Rail Trail – in particular the Karangahake Gorge for a while now, so we were both excited about it and set out quite early to beat the heat of the day. Google told us it would take about an hour and a half to get to Waihi, but we stopped to explore on the way so it took us all day for the return trip. We followed the old railway track along the river. We stopped in at the winery and I made Dave carry the nights tipple back in his backpack. Lunch was at the Waikino Station Café. We were pretty famished by lunch-time and pretty much inhaled our meals. Riding through the tunnel was probably one of my highlights of the day. Dave doesn’t say much but I know he was blown away by how beautiful it was riding through there.
Paeroa to Thames
Distance 30km - Driving Time 30 mins
After such a big day biking yesterday we decided to be a bit lazy and drove to Thames. We grabbed lunch at the Matatoki Cheese Barn and while we were there they said they allow up to two campers to spend the night there for free. So we parked up the camper and went for another spin into Thames to have a look around. A shorter trip than yesterday, it took us about 40 mins to get there. We sat on the beach and relaxed in the sun and felt a bit sad about returning our camper the next day. I made dinner that evening. We had left over pasta, salad and some fish we picked up in Thames.