13
days

Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand (Coach, Ferry & Train)

Embark on an unexpected journey, a magical tour of Middle Earth New Zealand... but even better you do not have to self drive! This tour includes the scenes and battlegrounds filmed for the retelling of J.R.R. Tolkiens masterpieces. Travel in comfort by way of coach, ferry, train and plane. We have scheduled this tour perfectly - the best mix of the highlights of New Zealand for a postcard perfect adventure.

Welcome to Middle-earth New Zealand - Beware the Orc and Troll!

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Itinerary

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1
Welcome to Middle-earth!

Welcome to Auckland and your tour of Middle Earth New Zealand. Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, Auckland sits next to a large harbour that bustles with life, both on water and on land. The Auckland isthmus straddles a slim piece of land with coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean, and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.

After checking into your hotel, take an afternoon tour of the best sights in the city - followed by an evening Dinner Cruise on the Pride of Auckland, exploring the beautiful Waitemata Harbour.  

Accommodation Auckland - 1 night

2
The Underground Realm of Trolls and Orks - Waitomo

Following the Mighty Waikato River south across lush rolling farm landscape to the mystical Waitomo Glowworm Caves. After lunch enjoy a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the Caves. Your tour culminates with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - lit up by thousands of tiny living lights. Continue your journey through to Rotorua.

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 nights

3
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour | Superheated Thermal Valley

An exciting day awaits this morning. Journey to the emerald pastures and rolling hills of The Shire, where Hobbiton was brought to life on a private farm in Matamata. This idyllic village blurs the line between fantasy and reality. Set to the scale of a 3ft Hobbit you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a magical world of smoking chimneys, bluebells, and the Green Dragon Inn. Visit Bag End as well as the other 43 Hobbit Holes on this fully guided 2.5hr Hobbiton tour. Learn about the production of the movies – how did they make Gandalf appear so tall? Why was this exact site chosen to build Hobbiton? The passion and knowledge gleaned from your guide brings this authentic Middle-earth experience to life.

Take an evening tour of Te Puia thermal park and an evening cultural performance. Te Puia's 70 hectare park in the beautiful Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley is right in the heart of the action. Restless forces boil to the surface in the enchanting, mud pools and hot springs and geysers gush hot steam and water in spectacular fashion. The famous Pohutu Geyser erupts approximately every 20 minutes and bursts reach heights of 30m (100ft). Silica terraces, native bush and birdlife and a wonderful insight into Maori culture and tradition rounds off a fascinating and memorable experience.

4
Fly to Wellington, then tour the Weta Workshop

Take a morning flight to Wellington - New Zealand's capital and cultural centre. Get excited about the prospect of exploring this movie making Mecca today, choosing between two fascinating Lord of the Rings tours - a highlight of any Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand.

Wellington Movie Tour: This short and popular tour is packed with a visit to filming locations in the Hobbiton Woods as well as a visit to the Weta Cave to gain behind-the-scenes insights into movie making magic.

Ultimate Movie Tour: Embark on a day of Middle-earth magic when you combine both the Valley and Wellington tours. This exciting full day incorporates special natural places, lunch at ‘Rivendell’, visits to the scenes in Hobbiton Woods and, to top it all off, a visit to the Weta Cave.

Accommodation Wellington - 1 night

5
Cruise across the Cook Strait

With a morning crossing on the Cook Strait Ferry - the challenging stretch of water that connects the Tasman Sea to the Southern Pacific Ocean, you will enter the South Island island through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. Setting off by connecting coach  you will travel to Havelock at the head of the Pelorus Sound. Enjoy this picturesque township - which boasts a Glowworm grotto - little more than a 5 minute walk from the centre of the village.

Accommodation Havelock - 2 nights

6
The Hobbit Barrel Run - kayak Tour

The Pelorus river will give you access today to the scenes from the Desolation of Smaug. Kayaking the Barrel Escape Adventure will have you stand on the same rocks as Bilbo and his dwarf friends. See the exact location where Kili was shot with an arrow. The gentle flow of the river is a relaxing way to connect with the untouched landscape of middle earth, onboard your inflatable two person kayak -The Pelorus river is considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.

7
Travel to Blenheim

Today take a coach to Blenheim. Of interest in Marlborough apart from being the centre of winemaking in New Zealand, there is also an excellent museum housing the most extensive collection of Airplanes from WW1 - produced by none other than Weta Workshops - the masters of puppetry behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies.

Accommodation Blenheim - 1 night

8
Coastal Pacific Train Journey

With views of marine wildlife such as seals and penguins to the wine growing region of Blenheim the Coastal Pacific Train Journey travels through 22 tunnels and crosses 175 bridges and the scenery is spectacular. Tip:  To get the best view we recommend you sit on the seaward side of the train – these cannot be pre-booked. On arrival in Christchurch transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation Christchurch - 2 nights

9
4WD REMOTE JOURNEY INTO EDORAS, THE CITY OF ROHAN

After a short drive is Methven, a quaint, pretty village that is home to pristine landscapes, down to earth local kiwis and many passionate outdoor enthusiasts. This town played an integral part in the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy; becoming a base for cast and crew as they worked in the nearby countryside. A must do when on any Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand.

The Tour
The capital of the Rohan people, Edoras, was created in the isolated and beautiful high country station of Mount Potts. Journey into this remote wilderness and soak up its crystal-clear lakes, rivers and crisp mountain air. This full day tour incorporates a 4WD tour onto Mount Sunday/Edoras, a gourmet champagne picnic lunch, full movie commentary from our expert, friendly guides and magnificent, signature New Zealand scenery for an experience you’ll never forget.

Tour Highlights:

  • Thrilling 4WD adventure across a handful of small streams and right to Edoras itself.
  • Standing on the summit of Edoras just like Eowyn did, after a guided walk to the top.
  • Fascinating photos of Edorasunder construction during production – exclusive to us!
  • Spot the Misty Mountains and the landscapes that created the backdrop to Helms Deep.
  • Enjoy a gourmet champagne picnic lunch in the outdoors.
  • Entertaining and interesting commentary from local, friendly kiwi guides.
  • Handle replicas – Aragorn’s Sword, King Theoden’s Sword, Gimli’s Axe, Gandalf’s Staff, Flag of Rohan.
  • Find out for yourself why this stunning location was so popular with the cast and crew.

 

10
Travel to Queenstown via Mt Cook

Take a scenic full-day tour from Christchurch to spectacular Mount Cook National Park.

Our tour departs Christchurch in the morning and travels through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, we continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, perhaps enjoy afternoon tea in the quaint village of Omarama and if time permits, visit the Jones Family Orchard near Cromwell. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area's history and sites of interest.

Accommodation Queenstown - 3 nights

11
Explore Queenstown

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to an excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax. It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to bungy jump or sky dive. Famed for its international winter skiing profile and outdoor beauty, Queenstown is a brilliant destination to visit year-round. One thing is certain here: you won’t run out of things to do.  

Recommended Excursions in and around 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
 
12
Dart River Wilderness Safari = Isengard, Lothlórien, and Amon Hen

Explore the beauty of backcountry Queenstown with a Jet Boat Adventure  deep into the coveted and hard to get to Mount Aspiring National Park. This Wilderness Safari lets you enjoy isolated valleys and ancient native forests – frozen in time – amidst the adrenaline pumping action of the jet boat ride. Enjoy an easy, guided 30 – 40 minute walk through the ‘Heritage Trail’ at Paradise, where your expert guide will enliven your walk with an interesting commentary about the local flora and fauna as well as the Maori and colonial history of the area. You’ll also journey by 4WD coach via a scenic back-road route while enjoying stories about the history of the surrounding countryside. En route, you’ll stop to view scenery that featured as epic backdrops for the award-winning Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These sites are Isengard, Lothlórien, and Amon Hen.

13
`NOVAER' FAREWELL FROM MIDDLE-EARTH

We know you will love the Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand and it is time to leave the fellowship of New Zealand and head home with a memory card overflowing with locations to sleuth when rewatching the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies. 

Later today head to the airport, flying out of Queenstown airport is spectacular – the grand Southern Alps seen from high above is an incredible view that you’ll never forget. Returning to Auckland to connect to your international departure flight. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand '  - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!