Hob­bit link puts town on the map

Matamata Chronicle - - Welcome To Matamata -

Mata­mata is proud of its unique con­nec­tion to the Lord of the Rings and The Hob­bit movies which has made the town an in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised vis­i­tor des­ti­na­tion.

Vis­i­tor num­bers to the Waikato town are ex­pected to reach 400,000 this year.

Sue Whit­ing, manager of the Mata­mata Public Re­la­tions As­so­ci­a­tion, said Mata­mata was truly for­tu­nate to be closely as­so­ci­ated with Hob­biton Tours.

‘‘Our many vis­i­tors are stop­ping to take the tour, or tak­ing some time to en­joy our many cafes and bars, or sim­ply stop­ping to take a photo of the beau­ti­ful Mata­mata i-SITE Gatehouse. Mata­mata is now a sig­nif­i­cant tourist town and that cer­tainly adds value to Mata­mata’s econ­omy.’’

The com­ple­tion of the Gatehouse in 2013 has given vis­i­tors a rea­son to stop in our town and has put our lit­tle town on the world map, Whit­ing said.

Mata­mata has a lot to of­fer, such as a num­ber of walk­ing and tramp­ing op­tions in the Kaimai Range. The most popular is the Wairere Falls, a 11⁄ hour re­turn walk to the first look­out, through nikau, puriri and ko­hekohe which are spec­tac­u­lar, par­tic­u­larly af­ter heavy rain. Mata­mata has an ac­tive walk­ing and tramp­ing club that meets fort­nightly and en­joys walks in and around the re­gion.

The Firth Tower Mu­seum of­fers an in­sight into the town’s ru­ral pi­o­neer­ing ways with dis­plays fea­tur­ing Mata­mata’s colo­nial farm­ing past. The mu­seum is set in tran­quil gar­dens.

For golfers there is the Mata­mata Golf Club on Springs Rd and the Wal­ton Golf Club a few kilo­me­ters from Mata­mata. Opal Hot Springs and the Mata­mata Sports Cen­tre are ideal for a warm swim in win­ter. Sue and the i-SITE team of­fer a warm wel­come to those who are mov­ing to Mata­mata. Visit the i-SITE Gatehouse and talk to Me­morie, Hay­ley or Jodie who can as­sist you with in­for­ma­tion on the many groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions you can join and the ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer.

Photo: TERESA HAT­TAN

Hob­biton Movie Set won Mata­mata’s Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence award at the 2014 Busi­ness to Busi­ness awards.

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