New Zealand's 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.

Climb the magnificent Edoras, Explore Bilbo’s Shire!, Mordor, Mt Doom, Weta Workshop, Scenic Cruise, Fur Seals, Beautiful Trollshaw, Impressive Leaf Brooch Canyon - and many more LOTR locations

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Welcome to Auckland New Zealand

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.

Some Activities and Sightseeing Options Available are:

Explore Waiheke Island Island Kayaking Adventure America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night


Departing Auckland 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.

Recommended excursions in and around Rotorua are:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud Polynesian Hot Springs Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active Golf Biking the Mighty Forests Flight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & History Evening Cultural Experience White Water Rafting


Banquet Dinner at Hobbiton (The Shire)
This evening you will be enchanted by Hobbiton - a very special site to visit, restored to its full glory for the Hobbit trilogy. We will experience their evening Tour of the Shire, followed by banquet dinner in the Green Dragon.

Meals: Breakfast, Banquet Dinner

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night


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!

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Ohakune - 1 night


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.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Wellington - 3 nights

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.

Meals: Breakfast


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.

Suggestions for an afternoon outings.  

National Museum - Te Papa Visit Cuba Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve  Wellington Cable Car
Carter Observatory 

Meals: Breakfast


Our North Island Adventure concludes and our South Island Adventure begins! We sail to Picton in the South Island (approx. 4 hrs) on the the InterIsland ferry from Wellington, 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 Pelorus River and movie location!! (optional extra)

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Nelson - 1 night


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.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Marlborough - 1 night

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.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation Christchurch - 1 night

MT COOK And the Southern Lakes

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.

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Twizel - 1 night

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?

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Cromwell - 1 night


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.

Recommended Excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Track Guided Day Walk Explore Historic Arrowtown Highest Bungy Jump
Wine Tasting Tour Central Otago Biking Skippers Canyon Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
TSS Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise Dart River Jetboat Safari Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights


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!

Meals: Breakfast


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.

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!

Meals: Breakfast