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

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 Available are:

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

Within a stones throw of the Britomart & Harbour side entertainment and dining precinct - your stay in Auckland will be a memorable one. Fully equipped modern serviced one, two and three bedroom apartments are perfect for short or long term stays within Auckland City. Full Kitchen Facilities - Oven & stovetop, microwave, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, cuttlery and cooking utensils and Internal Laundry Facilities allow you the freedom to stay as if you had never left home.

Waldorf Stadium Apartments,  Located in Auckland Central Business District.

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 Rotorua - 1 night 

Accommodation:

Woodlyn Park is in the middle of a working farm and also has New Zealand's first Kiwi Culture Show. This is an exceptional farm-stay motel near the famous Waitomo Caves - stay in the Worlds First Hobbit Underground Motels with circular windows. Or sleep in a train, stay in a plane - or sleep on the Waitanic Ship! Accommodation caters for 2 - 6 people.

Woodlyn Park Waitomo.

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

Relax in Rotorua at the Silver Fern Accommodation and Spa, located just minutes away from the city centre and close to the tourist attractions, cafes, restaurants and golf courses. Silver Fern offers spacious, light and secure suites with a private spa pool or double spa bath to enjoy on those cold nights. Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, Sky TV and DVD/CD facilities during your stay. A continental or cooked breakfast can be delivered to your room every morning of your stay and an 11am check out will make your stay in Rotorua totally memorable.
Silver Spoon 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 lodge is a small boutique colonial inspired accommodation whose buildings date back to the early 1900s. The lodge is made up of just six well-appointed, large, warm rooms with their own bathrooms. The lodges focus is to offer guests an unforgettable stay which corresponds to and magnifies the amazing surrounds of the Central Plateau area. Whether you are coming to hike, bike, canoe, ski or just wanting to escape the rat-race and chill in and around the mountains.
Tongariro Crossing Lodge

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.


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

Located right in the heart of Wellington is your unique boutique city apartment. Directly opposite Te Papa National Museum of New Zealand, it is the perfect base to explore Wellington, right by the waterfront restaurants, bars and esplanade. There are 12 modern rooms which offer an intimate feel and personalized service. 

Wellingtons 'At Home' apartments in the city centre.

7

WELLINGTON - THE HOBBIT & LOTRS 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 Street Weta Workshop Tour
Zealandia Wildlife Reserve 

Wellington Cable Car   

Carter Observatory 

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

Accommodation Havelock - 1 night

The lodge is located in the historic gold mining town of Havelock, which is home to a small port and marina near the Kaituna river mouth,  providing access to the Pelorus Sounds. Built in the 1800s, this two-storey lodge sits beside the Havelock Estuary created by the deposits from the Kaituna and Pelorus Rivers. Guests enjoy BBQ facilities and free mussel tastings each night throughout summer and have access to free bikes to access & enjoy local tracks. The lodge is friendly, comfortable & clean.

Blue Moon Lodge

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


Driving Times: Due to major roadworks in and around Kaikoura, up-to-date drive times will be supplied on enquiry.

Accommodation Christchurch - 2 nights

Accommodation:
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.

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.

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

The Aoraki/Mount Cook Alpine Lodge is located in the heart of the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and offer a range of accommodation style to suits your requirements. All rooms have ensuite facilities and most have spectacular views of Mount Cook and the surrounding peaks and glaciers. The lodge is hugged by mountains and surrounded by native bush and bird life, this is the perfect place to relax.  
Mount Cook Alpine Lodge

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 - 1 night

Just 8 minutes walk into the heart of Queenstown you will find the Alexis Motel and Apartments, surrounded by majestic alpine scenery and spectacular views across Lake Wakatipu. Choose from a variety of self contained accommodation which include One Bedroom Apartment, Two Bedroom Apartment and Studio Suites

Alexis Motel and Apartments

13

MILFORD SOUND OVERNIGHT CRUISE

Head off today for the often moody & dramatic Milford Sound via the famous Milford Road and Homer Tunnel.  This is a lengthy drive that will afford plenty of stunning mountain backdrops, cascading rainforest carpeted canyons that tumble to the sound, tunnels and the cheeky Kea (native parrot) to keep the visual symphony booming. Upon arrival at Milford, board the Milford Mariner for a leisurely cruise the full length of Milford Sound. The Milford Sound is home to three species of dolphin, along with fur seals and penguins. Return under sail and anchor overnight in Harrison Cove. An opportunity to sea-kayak or explore the shoreline from the tender vessels. Stay in a private cabin with en suite, enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner and a hearty cooked breakfast. 

Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours

Accommodation Milford Sound - 1 night

Accommodation:
For the ultimate Milford Sound experience, spend the night aboard the Mariner and wake up to the dawn of a new day in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The Milford Mariner then anchors in a sheltered cove, where you can join the nature guide and explore in the vessel’s tender craft (small boat) and kayaks. Or, if you prefer, you can simply relax on deck and soak in the beauty of this amazing place or go for a swim (if you’re brave enough). As evening falls, enjoy a delicious carvery buffet in the dining saloon, prepared freshly by our onboard chef. Then relax in the company of fellow travellers or indulge in some star-gazing before retiring to your private cabin 
Milford Sound Overnight Cruise

14

`NOVAER' FAREWELL FROM MIDDLE-EARTH

This afternoon you will return to Queenstown. 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. is time to leave the fellowship of New Zealand and head home. We know you will enjoy the Self Drive LOTR (Hobbit) 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. 

Approximate Distance: 289 kms | 180 miles  Total Driving Time: 4 hours

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


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Profile picture for user Debs
What Debs 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 self drive tour.
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