Matamata is another of those towns that has a very strong connection to the Bloodstock industry. Quite a number of famous horses have been bred in the Matamata area.
State Highway 27 and the Kinleith Branch railway run through the town and Matamata has a total population of around 12,000 (6,000 in rural areas, 6,000 in the township.
Matamata and the surrounding hillsides featured in the Michael Jacksons Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. There is a Museum some 6kms from Matamata that gives a great insight into the movie. Matamata has in fact assumed Hobbiton as the town’s second ‘official name. A "Welcome to Hobbiton" sign has been placed on the main road. By an unusual coincidence, the world's only other Matamata – Matamata, Tunisia – was a site used during filming of George Lucas's Star Wars trilogy.
that nicely covers bloodstock industry.
Some three kms south of Matamata is the Firth Tower Museum. This is a first rate Museum that catches the mid 19th century and early 20th century in great detail. The museum is set in attractive garden surroundings. If visiting the Museum allow two hours.
And just a little further south is the Opal Hot Springs, and a further 10k down the road is the walk to the Wairere Falls. Allow half a day for the walk for the falls.