Trail Through Middle Earth - Itinerary

 

Documentation pack and support: We've got you covered!

When you touch down in New Zealand your detailed documentation pack will be hand-delivered by one of our trusted representatives. You'll find everything you need in one handy place: your personalised itinerary, clear instructions and maps, and reservation details for your accommodation and activities.

24 Hour Assistance: We’re just a free phone call away if you encounter any issues while you're on the road - at any time of day or night. Don’t waste your precious vacation time stressing - First Light Travel are here to help you quickly when every second counts.

What's also included?

Dedicated Travel Consultant                  Detailed Daily Itinerary and Vouchers        

 

Full 24 Hour Support 50 Page Essential New Zealand Guide  

1

Welcome to Auckland!

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 take care of your transfer 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 Tower Relax on the Beach Rangitoto Island Cruise & Walk
West Coast Wine Tour Whale and Dolphin Safari Muriwai Surf Beach


Accommodation Auckland - 1 Night

Accommodation:
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

2

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.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
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.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
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, 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. 

From here your journey continues to Rotorua, where you will stay the next day.

Accommodation: Rotorua - 1 Night

Accommodation:
Located only a short way from the town centre and the lake front, our motel in Rotorua has been independently assessed by Qualmark as 4 star quality accommodation. Easy to find on Lake Road and from the moment you arrive, you'll enjoy the convenience of being located in close proximity to the nearby aquatic centre, the CBD, shops, entertainment and other activities.
Bella Vista

3

Rotorua - Christchurch

Explore Rotorua today while enjoying a tour on both water and lake. This 90 minute sightseeing tour takes place on land and water, on-board a WWII amphibious Duck. Start the tour in the heart of the city and learn about the history of Rotorua. Continue to the spectacular lakes district where you will splashdown into Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Okareka.

Later the day, you will take an internal flight from Rotorua to Christchurch (cost of flight not included). Once arrived in Christchurch you will be met and transferred to your accommodation.

Accommodation: Christchurch - 2 Nights

Accommodation:
Stay in the heart of Christchurch, the Rendezvous Hotel Christchurch offers chic accommodation with city views. Just 10 m from New Regent Street, the Rendezvous Hotel offers easy access to the Avon River as well as local restaurants and cafés. Christchurch Botanic Gardens is 3 minutes’ drive away.
The Heritage Christchurch

4

Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour

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.

 


5

Christchurch - Mt Cook - Queenstown

Leave the city today westwards through the Canterbury plains, you will find a superb location for some great photos at Lake Tekapo. Tekapo is one of three significant, neighboring lakes that border the Mackenzie Valley in New Zealand's South Island. Golden tussock grass carpets the surrounding hillside and roll away into the distance where the Southern Alps frame the horizon. The charming 'Church of the Good Shepherd' sits alone on its shores and the views to our highest mountain, Aoraki Mt Cook are remarkable. 

Heading South from 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.

Accomodation: Queenstown - 3 Nights

 

Heartland Hotel Queenstown offers panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu to the mountains. The friendly Swiss-style Heartland Hotel boasting one of the best central locations in Queenstown. Access a range of leisure activities from bungy jumping to shopping from one of the best accommodation locations in Queenstown. Featuring 81 well-appointed guest rooms, many with spectacular mountain and/or lake views, restaurant & bar, extensive guest services and facilities, the Heartland Hotel Queenstown is the perfect place to base your stay in this premier resort town.
Heartland Hotel Queenstown

6

Trails of Middle Earth Tour

Today you have a personalized journey through the real Middle-earth and explore the sights and scenes at many Lord of the Rings filming locations.  in and around the beautiful Southern Lakes including Arrowtown, Kawarau, 12 Mile Delta and Wakatipu and Queenstown. Enjoy stunning sceneries and act out your favourite scenes. Examine many fascinating weapons and costumes. An unforgettable experience for Lord of the Rings fans!

  • Visit Locations of Ithilien, Gladden Fields, Ford of Bruinen and The Argonath
  • A delicious lunch in a restaurant
  • View 'top secret' items from the movie
  • Traveling in small groups for a personal and interactive experience
  • A chance to look through the scripts and other memorabilla
  • Your entertaining and knowledgeable guide will help you uncover the
    secrets behind how each area was transformed into Middle Earth
  • Some of the finest scenery in the world
  • Thousands of dollars worth of weapons and costume items for you to handle and photograph

Meals: Lunch


7

Free day in Queenstown

Today is free to explore Queenstown and enjoy one of the many activities on offer or simply relax. 

Some Recommended Queenstown Excursions:

Routeburn Day Walk Highest Bungey Jump Explore Arrowtown

Wine Tasting Central Otago      

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

Gibbston Valley Wine Trail

 


8

Queenstown - Te Anau - Wilderness Jet Boat

Travel today to Te Anau and Explore River Anduin in unadulterated pure Wilderness. Set amongst a skyline of great mountains and beside the gorgeous Lake Te Anau, Te Anau is one of the great scenic towns of the South Island. It's location in Fiordland puts Te Anau Township squarely on the doorstep to adventure. 

LoTR Scenery, Maori History and Ancient Forests in Fiordland National Park

Wilderness Jet Boat: Jet boat down the Waiau river, across Lake Manapouri, to the ancient forest of the Fiordland National Park. Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the majestic trout-filled Waiau River, to the serene Lake Manapouri. Step foot into the Fiordland National Park and go for a short walk while learning about the ancient beech forest and ferns. Your jet boat ride includes a number of stops at the exact locations of the filming the "Fellowship of the Ring" on the Waiau or Anduin River, where the driver will tell you the inside story of the filming the Lord of the Rings on this river. The trip will also include some thrilling 360 degree turns and spins as well as some interesting interpretation about the flora and fauna and the local European and Maori history.

Accommodation: Te Anau - 1 Night

Accommodation:

Te Anau’s modern, up-market motel offers superior accommodation and a genuine welcoming service. Lakefront Lodge is a great base to discover Fiordland National Park and the various walking tracks such as Kepler, Routeburn, Hollyford or Milford. 


9

Spectacular Milford Sound Nature Cruise

Today promises to be one of the major highlights of your time in New Zealand. We journey to Te Anau, the gateway to the stunning Fiordland National Park, before driving the spectacular Milford Road. Lush forests, glacier-carved valleys, snowy peaks and mirror-like lakes dot this very special driving experience into a renowned World Heritage Site. Continuing through the hand-carved Homer Tunnel and on to Milford Sound itself, the views of this grand fiord are breath taking. We explore its inky waters on a boat cruise, soaking up the surroundings of granite cliffs, tumbling waterfalls and unique wildlife before journeying back to Queenstown
 

Accommodation: Queenstown - 1 Night

Heartland Hotel Queenstown offers panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu to the mountains. The friendly Swiss-style Heartland Hotel boasting one of the best central locations in Queenstown. Access a range of leisure activities from bungy jumping to shopping from one of the best accommodation locations in Queenstown. Featuring 81 well-appointed guest rooms, many with spectacular mountain and/or lake views, restaurant & bar, extensive guest services and facilities, the Heartland Hotel Queenstown is the perfect place to base your stay in this premier resort town.
Heartland Hotel Queenstown

10

Bon Voyage!

"Haere rā" Goodbye! and Bon Voyage! Today we say farewell. We take care of your transfer to Queenstown Airport where you will board your onward flight, taking with you the magical memories of a truly exceptional New Zealand holiday.


Notes

What is an Independent Coach Tour

Tour Inclusions

  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Experienced Driver Guides
  • Detailed and informative commentary
  • Travel in an air-conditioned coach
  • 24 Hour Assistance
  • Daily Departures
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • Rotorua Duck - City & Lakes Tour
  • Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour
  • Trails of Middle Earth Tour
  • 4WD Lord of the Rings safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin Tour
  • Pure Wilderness Jet Boat Te Anau
  • Milford Sound Day Cruise
  • Return airport transfers - flight details to be provided 14 days prior to travel

Profile picture for user Emma
What Emma says about this tour: With your connections taken care of and good quality accommodation centrally located - you will be able to devote your time to spotting hobbits and orcs in Hobbiton, Waitomo Mt Cook and thrilling Queenstown.
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