The Middle Earth Journey Itinerary

The Middle Earth Journey Itinerary

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Full 24 Hour Support50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide 
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Welcome to Middle-earth!

Welcome to Auckland, situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, 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.

We will transfer you from the airport and after checking into your hotel, relax, take a stroll around our beautiful city, explore the highly acclaimed Waterfront Restaurant Quarter or choose one of the many activities available to give a more in depth understanding of Auckland and the surrounding area.

Some Activities and sightseeing options if you have time:

Explore Waiheke Island    Island Kayaking Adventure    America’s Cup Sailing
Auckland's Sky TowerRelax on the BeachRangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine TourWhale and Dolphin SafariMuriwai Surf Beach

Accommodation: Auckland - 1 Night

Auckland Viaduct
Ideally situated in central Queen Street, the Airedale Boutique Suites is a beautiful four-star hotel with an elegant art deco apartment style accommodation. Enjoy shopping, eating and the city entertainment precinct right at your doorstep. Guests are welcome to enjoy stylish inner-city accommodation that offers space and convenience. A lavish renovation of this heritage building blends its fabulous art deco architecture with a contemporary feel and modern comforts.
Old MLC Building


Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Hobbiton - Rotorua

Enjoy today a journey into the heart of the Central North Island. Setting off from Auckland, travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions.

First stop explore the subterranean world of the Waitomo Caves – a celebration of nature's work over the last one hundred thousand years. There are hundreds of miles of labyrinthine caves, glow-worms, under ground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites, and all manner of limestone crustaceans - a lost world waiting to be discovered. Tour the Waitomo Glow Worm Grotto by boat with a local guide.

This afternoon will be exciting! You will 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. 

From here your journey continues to Rotorua.

Accommodation: Rotorua - 2 Nights

Waitomo Caves Spellbound
Hobbit Movie Set Tour

Set in a magnificent location on the shores of Mystical Lake Rotorua the Sudima Hotel Lake Front Rotorua enjoys a location that is second-to-none. Enjoy a swim in the geothermal heated pools or relax in the spa complex. Adjacent to the renowned, Polynesian Spa and offering beautiful vistas across the lake, this well-appointed Qualmark 4-star hotel is just a short stroll from Rotorua's vibrant CBD.

Sudima Hotel Lake Front, Rotorua


Rotorua Sightseeing & Mitai Maori Village

This morning you will discover three of Rotorua's top visitor attractions. Gain an insight into New Zealand's Māori culture at Te Puia, then experience Rotorua's famous geothermal activity with a tour of the neighbouring Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley - a place where mud pools bubble and boil and geysers shoot steam high into the air.

Continue to the Rainbow Springs Nature Park where you can join the Kiwi Encounter and see a Kiwi bird before heading to the Agrodome Sheep Show for a taste of 'very kiwi' farm life. 

The afternoon is at leisure in Rotorua

Some suggested excursions in Rotorua:

See Geysers & Boiling Mud    Polynesian Hot Springs  Whirinaki Forest Walk
Thermally Active GolfBiking the Mighty ForestsFlight to Volcanic Island
Museum of Art & HistoryEvening Cultural Experience   White Water Rafting

This Evening: Enjoy the evening in the Mitai Maori Village. An authentic traditional Maori Experience! An evening at Mitai will give you an introduction to Maori culture leaving you amazed in awe. You will have an authentic hang dinner while being entertained. 

Maori Show


Volcanic Plateau - Wellington

This morning you will continue south to Wairakei - wreathed by steam, then to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. You will continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington.

Your arrival in Wellington will be in the late afternoon. Wellington is known as the ‘Middle of Middle-earth’ and is home to the New Zealand film industry, formed the production base for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Several filming locations are dotted throughout the Wellington region, while WETA Workshop Headquarters is within the city itself. The location for the creation of the Outer reaches of The Shire scene and where the Hobbits hid to escape the Nazgul can be found on Mount Victoria. 

Accommodation: Wellington - 2 Nights

Volcanic Plateau
Located on Wellington's premier Oriental Parade, overlooking the stunning Wellington Harbour, Copthorne Hotel Wellington Oriental Bay is the perfect base to explore the city. Merely 10 minutes away, are the city's shopping, commercial, and entertainment centre. The Te Papa Museum, Live Theatre in Courtney Place. The beautifully appointed rooms incorporate design cues from the surrounding natural environment and feature all the modern comforts you would expect from a contemporary city hotel.
Wellington Harbor


Wellington LoTR Movie Tour + Weta Workshop

Today you will see the best of the Middle Earth on your Lord of the Rings Movie Tour. Embark on a tour of Middle-earth magic.There is something for all the Lord of the Rings and movie fans alike, see world famous Lord of the Rings scenes, introduction to the movie-making industry and long visit to THE WETA CAVE included.

Let us show you where they filmed:

  • Hobbiton Woods
  • Frodo Tree
  • Shortcut to Mushrooms
  • "Get off the Road!"
  • Race to the Ferry

and a couple more scenes if we have time...

​We visit Miramar - the home of New Zealand's movie industry, including Stone Street Studios and Park Road Post. Then we spend over an hour at THE WETA CAVE, you have plenty of time to take pictures and purchase movie memorabilia or simply absorb the creativity within. You have the option of viewing Weta's documentary or upgrading to join the Weta Cave Workshop Tour.

Wellington WETA Lord of the Rings


Interisland Cruise and Train Journey to Christchurch

This morning you will take the ferry from Wellington to Picton, then enjoy a ride on the Coastal Pacific Train to Christchurch. Winding down the rugged East Coast of the South Island, the Coastal Pacific showcases both towering mountains and surging ocean. Travelling between Picton – located at the tip of the South Island - and the city of Christchurch, this very special train journey makes a magnificent addition to any New Zealand holiday.

After your arrival in Christchurch you will be transferred to your accommodation. 

Somme Suggested Activities If you have time

Easygoing Cycling Tour  Punting the Avon River  Lyttelton Harbour Wildlife Cruise
Māori Cultural EveningFrench Akaroa TourSouthern Alps Ballooning
Christchurch GondolaClearwater GolfArthur's Pass TranzAlpine Hike


Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights

Interisland Ferry
This inviting and modern brand new hotel features contemporary rooms, Restaurant & Bar. Nearby to the Cashel Street Re:START mall - this "pop up" shopping precinct is the new vibrant heart of the city, featuring many new designer shops and modern cafes. The Hotel is very close to the famous Cathedral Square, the historic heart of the city providing easy access to local activities, outer lying attractions and the airport.
Ibis Hotel Christchurch.


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.


WD Journey into Edoras


Christchurch - Mt Cook

Today we are heading south through the picturesque town of Geraldine. Our lunch stop is at the beautiful Lake Tekapo where you will have the possibility to enjoy the scenery. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the lake. This is one of the most photographed churches in the world made of stone and sand from around the lake. You will drive past Lake Pukaki which has its source in the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers close to Aoraki/Mount Cook. This night you will stay in a hotel in Mount Cook.  

Accommodation: Mt Cook Village - 1 Night

Mount Cook National Park

A stunning destination surrounded by the silent splendor of the Southern Alps and with spectacular views of Aoraki/Mount Cook and the surrounding National Park World Heritage area. There is a selection of properties within the Terrace Road campus from Hotel to Chalet and Mountainview Motels - all budgets and standards can be catered for.

Hermitage Hotel Mount Cook


Mount Cook - Queenstown

Heading South of Mount Cook, pass through the high country towns of Twizel and Omarama before entering the beautiful Lindis Pass, the pass offers a unique mountain and tussock grassland scenery - Lindis Pass Scenic Reserve was formed in 1976 and was one of the first tussock reserves in New Zealand.

Relax as you take in the spectacular scenery that changes from rugged ranges and mirror lakes to the winding Kawarau River Gorge before emerging into the lush green farmland surrounding Queenstown

Accommodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights 

Experience tranquillity all year round. The Copthorne Resort Lakefront in Queenstown sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area. Exploring panoramic views of the lake and nearby mountains, the Copthorne is the perfect venue to relax! The Copthorne Lakefront blends superior facilities and comfort with friendly service. The hotel Balconies and garden views are a feature of many rooms.
Copthorne Resort Queenstown


Majestic Milford Sound Cruise

Today you can board the Milford Sound cruise and see glorious labyrinth of soaring peaks, plunging valleys, azure lakes, waterfalls and glaciers. Following a boat cruise of the sound, you will understand why this place was once described as the '8th natural wonder of the world'. From the spectacular scenes of Milford Sound, you will travel on to the beautiful sights of Queenstown. The afternoon is at leisure. 

Recommended excursions in Queenstown:

Routeburn Day WalkHighest Bungey JumpExplore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

Biking Skippers Canyon      Round at Millbrook Golf Resort
Earnslaw Steamboat Cruise  Dart River Jetboat Safari      

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

For something a little calmer, the boutique stores offer wonderful shopping, and there are the Botanic Gardens and several lakeside walkways to enjoy. However you choose to enjoy your day, Queenstown has something for everyone and the surroundings are truly magical.

Milford Sound Mitre Peak


4wd Safari of the Lotr Scenes Queenstown

A full day Middle Earth guided 4WD experience awaits you today. Head off in the morning to The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the trilogy including the Misty Mountains. Travelling part way up this beautiful mountain range you get a bird’s eye view onto Deer Park Heights, which was used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes. Travelling from The Remarkables head to the Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath, or Pillars of the Kings before heading to Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring at Gladden Fields was filmed.

After time for lunch (at own expense) join the Glenorchy tour and follow the Dart River to the spectacular filming location for Isengard. This location offers stunning views of Mt Earnslaw. Heading to Paradise to discover the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown you will stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.

Lord of the Rings 4WD


Depart Queenstown - Bon Voyage!

Alas ~ your journey through Middle Earth is at an end and we will transfer you to the airport today for your onward flight.

Thank you for travelling with us ..... there and back again..... Haere ra ~ Good-bye from us all

"Nai tiruvantel ar varyuvantel i Valar tielyanna nu vilya: May the Valar protect you on your path under the sky."

Lord of the Rings


What is an Independent Coach Tour 

Tour Inclusions

  • 3.5 to 4 Star Accommodation
  • Experienced Driver Guides
  • Detailed and informative commentary
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach
  • 24 Hour Assistance
  • 2 lunches included
  • Ferry from Wellington to Picton
  • Coastal Pacific Train from Picton to Christchurch
  • 4WD Remote LOTR Tour Into Edoras
  • Agrodome Rotorua
  • Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour
  • LOTR 4WD Sightseeing Queenstown
  • Māori Cultural Experience Rotorua
  • Rainbow Springs Nature Park
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Wellington LoTR Tour + Weta Workshop
  • Te Puia - Thermal Mud Pools & Geysers
  • Milford Sound Scenic Cruise
  • Return airport transfers - flight details to be provided 14 days prior to travel
Middle Earth Tour Map

Profile picture for user Natalie 2
What Natalie 2 says about this tour: I tell my clients that this tour is a standout for all Tolkien fans and lovers of outstanding scenery - Peter Jackson was spoilt for choice with the locations on offer when he set the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies in New Zealand. Whether cruising the majestic Milford Sound or visiting the actual Hobbiton Movie set and Weta Studios in Wellington- just make sure you have plenty of memory cards for all the photo opportunities on offer.
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