A 14-day self-drive expedition is a perfect way to enjoy an unexpected Lord of the Rings New Zealand adventure. Beginning your journey in Auckland – New Zealand’s City of Sails – in the North Island it is approximately 2.5 hours of scenic drive through rich agricultural landscapes to reach the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata in the Waikato region.
Hairy Feet Waitomo in the small New Zealand farming town of Piopio will be your next stop and takes approximately 2 hours to drive from Matamata. From here your options are endless – and a visit to the geological wonderland of Waitomo Caves, where thousands of twinkling glowworms light the way, is another New Zealand must-do.
A drive to New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington will take approximately 5.5 hours and from Waitomo and a breathtaking ferry trip across the Cook Straight (this takes approximately 2.5 hours) will bring you to Picton, a small seafaring town at the top of the South Island.
It takes approximately just 1 hour and 40 minutes to drive from Picton to Nelson where you will encounter some of New Zealand’s most precious landscapes. At around 9-hours the drive from Nelson to Canterbury is the longest on this suggested itinerary – but this can be broken up stopping in various places along the way.
From the Lake Pukaki area, it’s a 3.5-hour drive back to the ‘Garden City’ Christchurch where you can depart New Zealand.
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