"MATAMATA" Top 5 Page for this destination Matamata by kiwi

Matamata Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 137 photos

Matamata - "Headland"

My local town of Matamata. This region is reknown for its rich green pastures and lovely green hues. It is here, where the most efficient conversion is performed of grass to milk!! The cows never have time indoors, they remain in the fields all year round.

Matamata the name is a Maori word and closely translates to "headland", referring to many years ago being surrounded by the Waitoa River and swampland. Back in 1830 when Maori Chief Te Waharoa built his Matamata Pa (fortress/village). I suppose you could say the building of the Railway station in 1885 was the birth of the town of Matamata. The population is difficult to state, but is around 6000 in town with a further 4-5000 in surrounding rural areas. A true heartland Waikato town that services a far wider area.

Be sure to view my travelogues to find out more about things around and about, such as the Opal Hot Springs.

Matamata was the host town to the filming of part of the movie trilogy, Lord of the Rings. The area was perfect for Tolkien's Shire of Middle Earth. So Hobbiton was built here and the town of Hobbits was formed.

Wairere Falls and Track.

Wairere Falls sit nestled in the lovely Kaimai Range to the East of Matamata town. There is a walking track to climb up to the falls, which is a pleasant mid-range afternoon or morning walk. You can walk to the base of the falls, and see them from the same viewpoint as this photo. That is roughly 80 mins return to the carpark. Or you can take the longer walk to the top of the falls and view over the top to the Bay of Plenty.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Only 2 hours from Auckland and 45 mins from the coast.
  • Cons:Too far from the coast. Foggy in the winter.
  • In a nutshell:Central and handy to access many interesting towns.
  • Last visit to Matamata: Mar 2014
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (44)

  • wandeljp's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2009 at 1:41 AM

    Nice page . The warm spring, skydiving and the waterfall are very interesting for me. Thanks for sharing. JP

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2008 at 2:26 AM

    Top page! (oh yes i have seen all this already but it didn't quite seem possible - now it does)

  • lbhspatriot's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2008 at 2:42 PM

    Matamata is my dream home! Wouldn't everybody love to live in the Shire? Hobbiton seems almost real. I always hoped they would build some kind of a theme park somewhere, but for some reason they didn't... ?

  • Sep 25, 2007 at 1:23 AM

    Please do not leave valuables in cars at the carpark near the track to the falls it is a well known place to have for cars to be broken into.Please be aware.It is a lovely walk ,please enjoy it!

    • kiwi's Profile Photo
      Mar 28, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Although this will always be an issue, one main offender was apprehended and lets hope the main problem has gone.

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2007 at 4:22 AM

    Wow you have Matamata Highschool as yr main pic!my sis was gardener there!!won prizes for her roses grown there!what a life eh!Reading on - how special to read of Helen Clark, and the kids doing the haka - xlnt pages Pam!

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2007 at 12:33 PM

    well Pam i read your Matamata page and looked on the web see they do sky diving and gliding in Matamata now i understand. LOL very nice page Pam -- Centennial Drive and Wairere Falls looks great

  • Jan 17, 2007 at 5:19 AM

    I'm with you on the vege fritters! We recently visited from the UK and ate here twice. The second time was lunch after a VERY wet walk to the beautiful Wairere Falls. The Vege fritters tasted sooo good! Brilliant place.

  • aussiejen's Profile Photo
    May 25, 2006 at 3:19 PM

    Ahhhhh, memories : ) The pools still look the same and it's been about 40years!!! You're on for a mini meet there one day : )

  • allikat's Profile Photo
    Mar 6, 2006 at 12:24 PM

    Did you see the weather sketch? Not a bad day for that green bit up the top. And that other green bit further down, not a bad day either Trev.

  • oisha's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2006 at 6:10 AM

    Sounds like fun - million times better than crewing! Well, he emigrated from Christchurch in 1966, but I know he's flown in the South Island since. Unfortunately don't know the details.

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