Head south from Auckland with your North Shore Rental Car!

If you’ve booked your North Shore rental car and are ready to explore but don’t know where to go… well, never fear, Realistic Rentals are here! This week, we’ll be extolling the virtues south of Auckland, where some of the North Island’s most famous tourist attractions are only a few hours drive!

Go see a Hobbit!

A quick two hours south of Auckland in your North Shore rental car lies the beautiful green farmland of the Hamilton-Waikato region. Matamata is a must see if you’re a Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fan. It’s easy to see why these green pastures and rolling hills were chosen to portray Hobbiton and The Shire. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set and hear the fascinating commentary about how it was all created.

A number of great farmstays are also on offer in Matamata. Just east of town you can discover the North Island’s highest waterfalls, Wairere Falls, which are a spectacular sight plunging 153m. The Wairere Falls walking track showcases a diverse range of natural scenery and from the lookout you can enjoy magnificent views over the valley and the Waikato Plains.

Float under the glow worms

Another few kilometres on with your North Shore rental car and you’ll discover that the green hills of Waitomo lies a labyrinth of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The area’s name comes from the Maori words wai (water) and tomo (hole).

The caves were carved by underground streams pushing through soft limestone over thousands of years. Many have amazing stalactites growing down from the ceiling and stalagmites growing up from the cave floor, pointy cones of layered rock formed over centuries by dripping water. The cave walls are also decorated with galaxies of native glow worms.

The easiest way to see the caves is with a walking or boat tour. If you’re into adventure, try the unique experience of blackwater rafting – you’ll crawl, swim and float through the caves on a rubber tube. Or you could abseil or zip-line through the darkness. However you choose to explore Waitomo Caves, you’re bound to agree they’re a wonder of nature.