14
days

Lord of the Rings Location Tour

Beneath southern skies, a world of pure magic awaits. Soaring, snow-capped mountains stretch as far as the eye can see; fading into a mist of purple and pinks come sunset. Mirror-like lakes reflect wide open skies. Mist hovers above rivers and emerald-coloured moss clings to rocky banks. Welcome to New Zealand - the real Middle-earth.

Rafting, Film Locations, Hobbiton, Mount Doom and the Black Lands

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Itinerary

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1
ARRIVE IN AUCKLAND

Welcome to Middle-earth! Upon landing in New Zealand, you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel in Auckland. This evening, you’ll have the chance to meet your group and your guide in an informal gathering.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

2
AUCKLAND TO ROTORUA VIA HOBBITON

Departing Auckland at 8.00am, we discover the rolling emerald hills of the Shire this morning with a visit to Hobbiton. Peer over the gate of Bag End, dance a jig under the party Tree and enjoy a mug of Sobering Thought Ale with lunch at the Green Dragon Inn.  Later we travel to Rotorua, where we visit sites of geothermal activity. Optional activities for the afternoon include enjoying a soak in the mineral hot pools of the Polynesian Spa. This evening there is the chance to experience a traditional Maori culture show and feast.

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night

3
MT DOOM, HUKA FALLS TO OHAKUNE

This morning we venture deep into the heart of Lord of the Rings country. On the way to Ohakune we visit bubbling mud pools and the Huka Falls at Lake Taupo. We also stop to visit the Aratiatia Rapids, where part of the Dwarves and Barrels scene was filmed in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. On the way to Mount Ruapehu we stop for elevenses (morning tea), before visiting the spectacular sites of Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mt Doom. This is the place where Sam and Frodo got lost amidst volcanic lava flows and where they first met Gollum. Gollum’s fishing pool is also here – this is where Andy Serkis had to be careful not to plunge over the waterfall!

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Ohakune - 1 night
 

4
OHAKUNE TO WELLINGTON

After a relaxing night at the Powderhorn Chateau – where the cast and crew themselves stayed – we journey to Wellington via a River Anduin site.  For those after a little adrenaline, there is the optional extra Flying Fox, Canyon Swing or Bungy Jump. Afterwards, we continue on to Wellington City, the home of movie making in New Zealand. A great dining suggestion tonight is the Green Parrot Restaurant, said to be a favourite of Viggo’s.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Wellington - 3 nights

5
Wellywood Day, Miramar - New Zealand's movie capital

This morning is packed with visits to exciting film locations. We journey to the sites of Helms Deep, Minas Tirith and the stunning Gardens of Isengard. If the weather is good, we visit the location where Galadriel waved goodbye to the fellowship. This is also the place where Smeagol strangled Deago. On our way back to the city we stop for a relaxed lunch at Kaitoke Gardens before driving past Peter Jackson’s movie studios and on to Weta Workshop’s ‘Weta Cave’ – a fascinating insight into behind the scenes movie making. There is time to buy souvenirs, view a short DVD and, dependent on availability, an exciting optional extra. You may have the chance to visit the Weta Workshop Boardroom to view their display of figurines, their five Oscars and meet a Lord of the Rings artist. On the short drive back to our hotel we visit the site where the hobbits hid under the tree root in the ‘get off the road’ scene. Dining options tonight include Strawberry Fare, near the Embassy theatre, where two exciting Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie premieres have been held.

(Breakfast)

6
WELLINGTON - PRESENTATION DAY

Presentation day with LOTR / Hobbit Calligrapher Daniel Reeve and special Hobbit guest Mark Atkin - Thorin's scale double.Later today we check out the "Get off the road!" location from FOTR, overlooking the city. The afternoon is yours to explore Te Papa Museum / see a movie at the special Embassy Theatre / or visit other Wellington places of interest.

(Breakfast)

7
NELSON

Our North Island Adventure concludes and our South Island Adventure begins! We catch the Inter-Island ferry from Wellington, sail to Picton in the South Island (approx. 4 hrs). After lunch , we drive to Nelson City, stopping along the way to view the famous river, where the Dwarfs escaped from the Elves, in barrels! How about a fantastic 1 hour easy kayak down this amazing river and movie location!! (optional extra)

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Nelson - 1 night

8
NELSON

Nelson day : This morning, weather permitting, there is a two hour ‘optional extra’ helicopter ride to the LOTR sites of "South of Rivendell", at the top of Mt Olympus . More than highly recommended!
We head back into Nelson city to meet to chat with the makers of the "One Ring". There, we meet Jens Hansen's son, Halfdan Hansen and see his wonderful LOTR and Hobbit jewelry.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Marlborough - 1 night

9
Kaikoura Fur Seals - Have we found Gollum!?

An early start south along the East Coast this morning, stopping at a beautiful seaside cafe for 2nd breakfast. We'll make stops for photographs of Fur Seals basking and at play along the rocky shoreline, before arriving in picturesque Kaikoura for lunch and some souvenir shopping. We then travel on south to Christchurch. An early night tonight for a big day tomorrow.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

 

 

10
MT COOK

Prepare yourself for one of the most exciting days on tour. Today, we hike to the summit of the filming location of Edoras, the grand city of Rohan. You’ll be able to imagine the Golden Hall of Medusled that was perched on the very top here. Set amongst the grandeur of the Southern Alps, this filming  location is unforgettable. Afterwards we view the pastel blue lakes of Tekapo and Pukaki. Stunning Lake Pukaki was chosen as the location for Laketown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Don’t miss a peek of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook, standing sentinel over the landscape at 3,724 metres (12,000 feet).

Make sure you’re prepared with sturdy footwear, a small backpack, a bottle of water and your camera. Included in the tour today is also a delicious barbeque lunch and buffet dinner. We stay in Twizel for the night; a place known for spectacular stargazing – see if you can spot the Southern Cross.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Twizel - 1 night
 

11
Pelennor Fields

We depart at around 9-00a.m. for the Pelennor Fields ~ an area that once rang to the thunderous sound of 250 horses on the charge, as King Theoden’s battle speech roused men to battle. Moving on, we check out the site of The Great Chase and then head to scenic Lake Wanaka for lunch. After lunch we make time to try your archery skills - perhaps we have a budding Legolas or Tauriel amongst us?

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Cromwell - 1 night

12
QUEENSTOWN

We head out through Alexandra this morning to amazing Rohan country, where the Rohan village was burned and we walk through the canyon where the leaf brooch was dropped and 2 other sites. (Dwarves are "dangerous over short distances" here, or so Gimli tells us!) Lunch in Alexandra and then a very scenic drive to Queenstown , where the remainder of the afternoon is free for you to explore this beautiful town.

(Breakfast)

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

13
Arrowtown

This morning we visit Arrowtown ~ a charming old settlement, historically significant in the gold rush days of the 1860s. It’s also the location where Isildur was attacked by Orcs at Gladden Fields.
Buy a picnic lunch today to take to Mavora Lakes, where we visit 5 LOTR sites

  • The Silverlode bridge
  • The Orc funeral pyre
  • Fangorn Forest
  • The log which concealed Merry & Pippin before Frodo left the fellowship,
  • And where Sam and Frodo paddled away on the next stage of their journey. Stunning scenery!

We arrive back in Queenstown by mid-afternoon. Enjoy more free time in this picturesque paradise!

(Breakfast)

14
DEPARTURE DAY

Today is the final day of our Fellowship journey. Enjoy more free time to explore Queenstown’s scenic wonderland. Your guide will discuss the many options available, and can assist with bookings if needed. Ideas include:

  • Take a guided walk on the famous Routeburn Track
  • Explore exclusive filming locations with a horse trek from Dart Stables
  • Embark on a 4WD tour to Lothlorien country
  • Adrenalin-pumping Wilderness Jet boat ride or Bungy jump
  • Scenic relaxation at Onsen Hot Pools

This evening, we celebrate our Unexpected Journey with a Farewell Dinner. We ride the Skyline Gondola up to the Skyline Restaurant and enjoy spectacular views over Queenstown.

DEPARTURE DAY: Today your magical adventure through Middle-earth comes to an end. Thank you for embarking on this journey with us. Farewell!

(Breakfast and Dinner)