LOTR Filming Locations Private Tour

 

Your Private Driver/Guide

When you touch down in New Zealand you will be met at the airport by Your Private Driver/Guide. 

Our guides have been with us for a long time and are seasoned professionals. Our aim is to give ‘you’ our guests a memorable experience of New Zealand and its stunning scenery. With years of experience in tourism in New Zealand, we guarantee that you will receive a first-class service!

The best part about our guides is that they are local and chances are they have their go-to destinations that only locals know about. Whether it’s a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, a favourite local pub, or a fantastic attraction that most tourists overlook, our guides can help recommend authentic experiences that you may not discover on your own.

NZ Private Guide

1

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 a coastline facing both the Pacific Ocean and, on the wild West Coast, the Tasman Sea.

After collecting you from the airport your guide will check you 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

Beautiful view of Auckland by night.
Hotel de Brett is situated in downtown Auckland and is considered a very unique luxury boutique hotel. Set in Auckland’s hip High Street, the fashion district, the iconic building has been reinterpreted into a 25 room luxury boutique hotel with each room designed with eclectic furniture, New Zealand Art and photography. The décor is a celebration of contemporary New Zealand art and design, with hints of the hotel’s art deco past.
Hotel De Bretts Auckland City

2

Waitomo - the Land of Caves and Trolls

Find your inner Hobbit (or Orc)  and 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. There are a range of options here – witness the Glowworm Galaxies Cave Tour up close or test your limits and abseil down into the wet dark underworld for a tour of the mysterious Lost World cavern (7 Hours). Above ground, the area around Waitomo is also popular for horse riding and bush walking.

Approximate Distance: 195 kms | 121 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 21 mins

Accommodation Waitomo - 1 night 

Magical Waitomo cave.

These Wilderness Cottages were built to capture the unique beauty of its surroundings. This farm is a fantastic example of what Waitomo is renowned for: subterranean caves with glowworms, rough limestone out-crops, lush green fields and friendly people. There are a number of walking tracks through our native bush. There are also a number of rock climbing areas which are mapped out for those interested.

Wilderness Cottage

3

Journey to the Shire (Hobbiton)

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 2.5 hr 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. 

Afterwards, continue on to Rotorua, 2hrs drive. The history of New Zealand Maori is at its most visible in this area rich in geothermal activity and blessed with abundant rivers, lakes and forests. An evening Maori Concert with Hangi Meal (cooked in underground oven) will give you insight into the First People of New Zealand.


Approximate Distance: 137 kms | 85 miles  Total Driving Time: 1 hours 47 mins

Accommodation Rotorua - 1 night

amazing view at hobbiton matamata film location.
Accommodation:

Rotorua’s designer 5 star Boutique Hotel and Spa offers stylish luxury accommodation, with accommodation to suit most groups of travellers from Hotel rooms to 2 bedroom family apartments situated amidst the exciting attractions and experiences Rotorua has to offer. With excellent facilities such as the restaurant, heated pool, gym and mineral bathing facilities. 

Regent of Rotorua

4

Rotorua - National Park

Today head for Mount Doom - stopping first at Wai-o-tapu (Sacred Waters) where New Zealand's most colourful volcanic area will have you reaching for your camera. Take in the volcanic sites at your own pace as you view massive boiling mud pools and vast steaming hotpools.

Journeying on to the pretty crater lake town of Taupo situated before the desolate Central Plateau of Tongariro National Park. Here, volcanoes soar from plains of golden tussock and rocky gorges – this is Mount Doom and Hidden Bay (entrance to Lonely Mountain) country. Drive past the foot of Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand’s tallest volcano, before arriving at your accommodation in the hamlet of National Park village. 

Approximate Distance: 185 kms | 115 miles  Total Driving Time: 2 hours 20 mins

​Accommodation National Park - 2 nights  

The Radical Colours of Rotorua.
Accommodation:
Located in the Tongariro National Park, The Park Hotel Ruapehu offers affordable accommodation in a stunning alpine setting. Guests are provided with free parking and 500MB of free WiFi. The Ruapehu Park Hotel is at the foot of a large ski field and volcano at Mt Ruapehu. It is surrounded by two other famous mountains Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.
The Park Hotel Ruapehu

5

Mt Doom - The Tongariro Crossing

Today, rise early to begin the spectacular Tongariro Crossing, an 8-hour journey over volcanic craters and past jewel-coloured lakes. These landscapes formed the ultimate destination for Frodo’s quest for the ring – the conical volcano of Mount Ngauruhoe played Mount Doom, the volcano in Mordor where the One Ring was created within Sammath Naur. The views of the desolate, grand landscapes that surround the track are spectacular; providing the Lord of the Rings production crew with the perfect base from which to create Emyn Muil and the Plains or Gorgonath. This is a phenomenal day where you’ll get to experience otherworldly landscapes that look exactly like Middle-earth – don’t forget your camera!

If you prefer a less strenuous adventure enjoy a 3 Hours  - Lord of the Rings Guided Tour of Tongariro National Park - this offers an outstanding opportunity for you to visit many of the actual filming locations used in Peter Jackson’s version of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, with first hand experiences to relay as we were involved in the production when it was here. You also explore a World Heritage status National Park of outstanding beauty with views and scenery that will leave you spellbound.

Mt Doom National Park.

6

MT Ruapehu / Wellington

Just nearby, the bush of Ohakune is home to the filming location for Ithilien Camp – stop by to experience it for yourself before continuing your journey south to New Zealand’s capital, a short three-four hour drive away.

Wellington, known as the ‘Middle of Middle-earth’ and 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. The pretty refuge of Rivendell and the encampment of Dunharrow are easily visited with a short drive from Wellington City.

Approximate Distance: 306 kms | 190 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 50 mins

​Accommodation Wellington - 2 nights

Wellington - New Zealands Capital.
The Bolton is an independent hotel that provides the discerning traveller with a high degree of comfort and privacy. Located at the junction of Wellingtons central business district and political heart, the 5 star Bolton Hotel is elegant, welcoming and well equipped to make the most of your time in the Capital city.
The Bolton Hotel - Wellington

7

Wellington - the Hobbit & LoTr Creators

Get excited about the prospect of exploring this movie making Mecca today, choosing between two fascinating Lord of the Rings tours. Both feature the amazing Weta Cave Tour.

1) 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.

2) 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.

Here are some alternative suggestions while in Wellington:

National Museum - Te Papa    Visit Cuba StreetWeta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve 

Wellington Cable Car   

Carter Observatory 
Weta Workshop Wellington.

8

Cruise to the South Island / The Hobbit Barrel Run

This morning crossing board the Interisland Ferry for a cruise across 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 road you will travel to Havelock at the head of the Pelorus Sound. The Pelorus river will give you access today to the scenes from the Desolation of Smaug - barrel escape. 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.

Approximate Distance: 36 kms | 22 miles  Total Driving Time: 50 mins each way

Accommodation Blenheim - 1 night

kayaking in the beautiful river.
Accommodation:
Chateau Marlborough, Marlborough's premier boutique hotel overlooking Seymour Square Gardens, prides itself on offering guests luxury accommodation with an enviable attention to detail - and all just a short walk from Blenheim's town centre.
Chateau Marlborough

9

Kaikoura Fur Seals - Or Have We Found Gollum!?

Today you will loop back towards the East Coast traveling through Marlborough Wine Country, home to world famous Sauvignon Blanc (along with other white varietals and Pinot Noir). The vines will keep you company as you reach the headlands of the East Coast. Once down on the flats this road - (worthy of any big budget car commercial) hugs the coastline - make sure you stop to enjoy the marine life as the New Zealand Fur Seals bask and play along the rocky shoreline, before arriving in gorgeous Kaikoura. The Kaikoura peninsula enjoys a mild microclimate and is overlooked by majestic snowcapped mountains. This unique proximity of ocean and mountain range offers a host of eco-tourism oriented activities, including whale watching, dolphin and seal swimming, kayaking, fishing and hiking.

Suggested Wildlife Encounters in Kaikoura

Whale Watching Cruise      Swim with the Seals
Whale Watching Flight      Dusky Dolphin Viewing
Kayaking with Fur Seals Pelagic Bird Watching


Approximate Distance: 309 kms | 192 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours 25 mins

Accommodation Christchurch - 2 nights

Seals Near Kaikoura.
The George, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is located in the heart of Christchurch overlooking the picturesque Hagley Park and river Avon and just steps from the cultural precinct and key attractions. The George will offer you a supreme comfort, with personalised stay and attentive staff. The hotel is located in the heart of Christchurch, and its just steps away from cultural precinct and key attractions.
The George - Christchurch

10

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.

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.
Beautiful location of Edoras.

11

Mt Cook - Tasman Glacier Adventure

Have you ever been alongside or touched an iceberg? 

Leaving the Garden City, head inland towards the rural Canterbury Plains, touring New Zealand’s spectacular Mackenzie region, you will encounter sweeping vistas of tussock lands and impressive mountains that make up the Southern Alps. This afternoon experience the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake and its icebergs, in Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. By boat explore the Tasman Glacier Adventure to the Terminal Lake, where you will discover the ever-changing ice face of the Glacier and icebergs, everchanging due to variable winds and currents.  Knowledgeable guides, enhance your experience with their expertise and passion for this amazing alpine environment. 

Approximate Distance: 332 kms | 206 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours

Accommodation Mt Cook - 1 night

Tasman Glacier Adventure

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

12

Queenstown - Adventure Capital

Today travel south via the Mackenzie Basin, the Lindis Pass and through the rugged scenery of Kawarau Gorge into Queenstown – the action packed capital of New Zealand. On arrival in Queenstown, settle in and explore the cafes and shopping district nestled around the head of Lake Wakitipu. Take a trip up the Gondola to view the spectacular alpine location, ice, lakes mountain tips abound!.

Recommended Excursions in Queenstown

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

 

Approximate Distance: 265 kms | 165 miles  Total Driving Time: 3 hours 10 mins

Accommodation Queenstown - 2 nights

Steamer Wharf Queenstown.
Experience the sophistication of Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel, a haven of stylish, 5 star accommodation for all seasons. A boutique hotel with a modern romantic style and exclusive service awaits you in the heart of New Zealand’s adventure capital. Set in peaceful parkland, and savour views of Queenstown’s majestic mountains. Enjoy easy access to the vibrant town centre where shopping, cafes and nightlife are nestled on the shores of spectacular Lake Wakatipu.
Queenstown Park Boutique Hotel

13

4wd Safari of the Lotr Scenes Queenstown

Today is one of those pinch your self moments as you take a full day to explore this stunning Tolkien wonderland. Explore the beauty of backcountry Glenorchy Township with a journey 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. Enjoy an easy, guided 40 – 50 minute walk through the ‘Heritage Trail’ at remote and very beautiful Real 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. In the afternoon collect your rental car and travel to Lake Wanaka

Leaving the Gorge the trip heads to to the historic gold mining town of Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring at Gladden Fields was filmed. Its near here you will experience some true off road adventure and follow a historic gold mining road up the Arrow River to get to the Ford of Bruinen, a perfect spot for gold panning and a beautiful location for drinks and snacks. From Arrowtown you will travel to the entrance of Skippers Canyon where you will be offered spectacular panoramic views of the Wakatipu Basin and over mighty Skippers Canyon - a really awesome way to experience area's usually not seen by many - a must on any LoTr New Zealand Itinerary.

Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tour

14

`Novaer' Farewell from Middle-earth

Transfer to Queenstown Airport today and board your onward flight. We know you will enjoy your Private Filming Locations Tour and you will leave New Zealand with a memory card overflowing with locations to sleuth when rewatching the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'Privately Guided LOTR (Hobbit) Filming Locations Tour' - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!

Beautiful sunset over the mountains and fields.

Profile picture for user Narissa
What Narissa says about this tour: What better way to combine your love of the LoTR Hobbit films with travel through the most gorgeous scenery New Zealand has to offer. I'd love to talk you through the highlights of this fantastic 14 day private tour.
Enquire Now

Want Your Very Own Custom Itinerary?

We can customise any of our online itineraries or create your own from start to finish

Pricing terms

The price is based on current exchange rates but is only an approximation. Please contact us for a final price