Senior-Friendly Agricultural Experiences in New Zealand

New Zealand’s welcoming ranches and farms are an integral part of its way of life and economy, from sheep shearing to farming to aquaculture featuring salmon, eels, prawns and alpacas – among many other activities you’ll experience during your visit.

Rural communities present unique challenges when it comes to the implementation and sustainability of age-friendly initiatives. This case study investigates older adults’ perceptions and experiences regarding existing community age-friendly attributes in a small rural town.


Hobbiton, located near Matamata on North Island’s Waikato region and famous from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies, is an idyllic oasis in New Zealand’s lush countryside that plays home to beloved hobbit characters from their respective movie trilogies. Fans should not miss visiting Hobbiton for themselves! Tour packages begin from $179 NZD per adult ticket.

Film set was initially located on an 1,250-acre farm owned by the Alexander family, which director Peter Jackson saw while scouting locations for his movies. Approaching them and asking to use their land for his Hobbiton film set. Once filming had concluded he attempted to restore its original condition after films had finished production.

If you’re planning a visit to Hobbiton, book one of the many tours offered in New Zealand. These well-organized trips provide transportation and guides, along with optional breakfast or lunch packages at additional costs. It is wise to bring closed-toe shoes, an umbrella (reserving is necessary), as the weather in New Zealand can change quickly; Hobbiton tickets include one as part of their admission cost but must be reserved prior.


Matamata, New Zealand is a small town situated within the Kaimai Range Mountains on New Zealand’s North Island. Known worldwide for being home to Lord of the Rings filming locations such as Hobbiton Movie Set and thoroughbred racing industry.

Many of the city’s attractions are easily reachable on foot. The North Island’s largest waterfall, Kaimai Ranges are full of trails suitable for hikers of all abilities, while restaurants serve up delectable dishes and provide the ideal place to sample local wines and craft beers.

Working on a dairy farm is hard work. You must rise early each morning to milk the cows, and most of your time will be spent outdoors. Most dairy farmers prefer employees who are driven and willing to learn; they also expect you to make decisions independently without much supervision from them.

WWOOFing in Matamata is an amazing opportunity to gain rural life experience and develop new skills. You could assist a farmer with gardening, animal care or managing livestock; cheesemaking lessons may even be offered or traditional farming techniques can be explored. In most cases your host will provide food and accommodation; sometimes another WWOOFer may join your efforts; these opportunities are available year-round!


Rotorua in central North Island city of Rotorua is an idyllic geothermal oasis. From geysers and hot pools, to boiling mud pits and geothermal vents – Rotorua’s geothermal wonderland attracts visitors seeking an experience New Zealand’s unique thermal landscape. Additionally, its rich indigenous history and location on Volcanic Plateau make it a cultural center as well as hotbed of volcanic activity with natural attractions like Pink & White Terraces created from Mount Tarawera eruption in 1886 being just some natural attractions that make Rotorua unique among tourist destinations!

City Gardens and historic architecture also draw tourists. Notable landmarks include a Tudor-style bath house on the lakeshore and Art Deco Blue Baths that give a glimpse of their rich past; while Government Gardens serve as home for the Museum of Art and History in town.

Visit one of the numerous Maori villages nearby such as Te Pa Tu, Mitai Maori Village or Whakarewarewa for some cultural enrichment – Te Pa Tu, Mitai Maori Village and Whakarewarewa offer traditional ceremonies and authentic Maori food as well as wood carving demonstrations. Additionally, visit Agrodome – an agricultural park filled with shows and exhibitions for people of all ages; recreational opportunities in this area include rafting and zorbing as well as Nocturnal Adventure tours that visit Waitomo glowworm caves for outdoor adventurers!


Queenstown is famously known as New Zealand’s adventure playground, and with its compact central city, energetic atmosphere, and vast array of things to do it makes a fantastic holiday destination for families. Lakeside playgrounds, jet boats roaring in and out of bays, buskers performing at weekly markets as well as busker performances are just some of the activities which make Queenstown truly special for families.

Families can also enjoy an enjoyable cruise around Lake Wakatipu. You have two options for vessels; either smaller craft like those operated by Southern Discoveries, or the luxurious Spirit of Queenstown cruise by Southern Discoveries will provide fantastic views of The Remarkables mountain range, Gondola ride and Bob’s Peak.

Kayaking or paddleboarding on the lake can also be enjoyed without needing a tour operator, and typically costs approximately $30 NZD for an hour of fun! Plus it provides you with the perfect way to unwind while taking in breathtaking scenery!

For something a bit less hectic, ride the gondola and admire its incredible views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountains. Or hop aboard Lake Wakatipu Railway and soak up more breathtaking sights while riding shorter segments or on shorter sectors; comfy seats provide comfortable rides while cafe cars serve delicious snacks!