You don’t need to be a hobbit to find your way into fantastical subterranean wonderlands in New Zealand. Just let the dark waters of the Waitomo River carry you into a sparkling glow-worm grotto and you’ll understand why six Travellers Choice agents believe the destination is “100% pure magic”.
The Waitomo Glow-worm Caves – located just over two hours from Auckland – weren’t the only unforgettable experiences enjoyed by the consultants, who recently crossed the Tasman on an exclusive famil organised by Kirra Holidays and Air New Zealand.
The group witnessed Rotorua’s boiling mud pools, explored Lake Rotoiti’s coves on luxury catamaran Tiua, flew back over the spectacular lake in a floatplane, bathed in the Manupira Thermal Pools, and dined at a traditional hangi.
The five-night tour of the North Island also included the ruggedly beautiful Coromandel Peninsula, a sail across Auckland Harbour on an America’s Cup yacht, and a visit to Agroventures Adventure Park in Rotorua, where the agents volunteered to body-fly in the Freefall Xtreme, a 20m-high, adrenaline-surging wind tunnel.
And of course no trip to the North Island would be complete without a precious tour of Hobbiton, and lunch next to The Green Dragon, a replica of the inn featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.