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 MIDDLE-EARTH!

 Mae govannen! (Elvish) Greetings!

Welcome to Auckland and your tour of Middle Earth New Zealand. Situated amongst a cluster of extinct volcanic cones, Auckland sits 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.

Visually one of the world's most stunning cities - and easily the country’s largest metropolis - the city of Auckland is flung over a narrow isthmus, characterised by numerous pa-sculptured   volcanic cones, sea-flooded caldera and  sparkling  beaches. The many reaches of Waitemata and Manukau, twin harbours, extend east and west, and irresistible regional parks are within easy reach.

After checking into your hotel, take an afternoon tour of the best sights in the city - followed by an evening Dinner Cruise on the Pride of Auckland, exploring the beautiful Waitemata Harbour.  

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.

Nesuto Stadium Apartments,  Located in Auckland Central Business District.

2

THE UNDERGROUND REALM OF TROLLS AND ORKS - WAITOMO

Following the Mighty Waikato River south across lush rolling farm landscape to the mystical Waitomo Glowworm Caves. After lunch enjoy a guided tour through the galleries and lofty chambers of the Caves.

The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland you'll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos, and you'll marvel at the amazing stalactites and stalagmites - 'decorations' created by Mother Nature. Experience the wonder of our unique and unrivalled boat trip. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you will glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto, your way lit by a myriad of tiny glowworm lights, glittering, glimmering and reflecting off the water. The caves at Waitomo are one of New Zealand's most commanding wonders - a celebration of nature's work over the last one hundred thousand years. This particular glow-worm is unique to New Zealand. It emits light to attract food in the form of other flying insects, it requires a select habitat to survive. 

Your tour culminates with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto - lit up by thousands of tiny living lights. Continue your journey through to Rotorua.

Accommodation Rotorua - 2 nights

Accommodation:

Centrally located, this Motel offers great facilities, treat yourself with your own private SPA pool or relax in the outdoor heated swimming pool. The Motel plays on the RotoVegas theme by offering 'groovy' and retro rooms that are a tasteful collection of retro touches that aim to make your stay memorable.

RotoVegas Motel Rotorua

3

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour / Superheated Thermal Valley

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 2.5hr 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.

Take an evening tour of Te Puia thermal park and an evening cultural performance. Te Puia's 70 hectare park in the beautiful Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley is right in the heart of the action. Restless forces boil to the surface in the enchanting, mud pools and hot springs and geysers gush hot steam and water in spectacular fashion. The famous Pohutu Geyser erupts approximately every 20 minutes and bursts reach heights of 30m (100ft). Silica terraces, native bush and birdlife and a wonderful insight into Maori culture and tradition rounds off a fascinating and memorable experience.


4

FLY TO WELLINGTON / WETA WORKSHOP TOUR

Take a morning flight to Wellington - New Zealand's capital and cultural centre. Get excited about the prospect of exploring this movie making Mecca today, choosing between two fascinating Lord of the Rings tours - a highlight of any Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand.

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.

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.

Accommodation Wellington - 1 night

Flight additional to costing

Located in the heart of the entertainment district is the Apollo Lodge Motel & Majoribanks Apartments. Within a minute’s walk you have access to restaurants, cafes and bars. All units are serviced daily and have Sky Digital (12 channels) plus WiFi internet (200Mb free) available in all units. There is also free off-street parking for all guests.

Apollo Lodge Motel

5

CRUISE ACROSS THE COOK STRAIT

With a morning crossing on the Cook Strait Ferry - 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 connecting coach  you will travel to Havelock at the head of the Pelorus Sound. Enjoy this picturesque township - which boasts a Glowworm grotto - little more than a 5 minute walk from the centre of the village.

Accommodation Havelock - 2 nights

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

6

THE HOBBIT BARREL RUN - KAYAK TOUR

The Pelorus river will give you access today to the scenes from the Desolation of Smaug. Kayaking the Barrel Escape Adventure will have you 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 -The Pelorus river is considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.


7

TRAVEL TO BLENHEIM

Today take a coach to Blenheim. Blenheim is situated in the Marlborough Region, on the north east corner of the South Island, due west of Wellington city. Blenheim's attractions include its wine industry, the Marlborough Sounds, gourmet foods and adventure activities. For centuries Blenheim has offered safe harbour to travellers sailing to the spectacular South Island: first the Maori traders and war parties; then explorers like Captain James Cook and Dumont d’Urville; and now, to visitors seeking a retreat from city pressures, as they discover the unspoilt haven and foodie heaven that is Marlborough today.

Not to be missed: The Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre houses on of the largest collections of WW1 planes. Displays where put together by none other than Weta Workshop the folks who created the characters for the Hobbit and LOTR trilogys.  

Accommodation Blenheim - 1 night

The Scenic Hotel Marlborough is only a few minutes walk from the centre of Blenheim. It offers guests the ultimate in modern comfort and service and puts some of New Zealand's finest food and wine virtually on the doorstep. 

Scenic Hotel Marlborough

8

Coastal Pacific Train Journey to Christchurch

Winding down the rugged East Coast of the South Island, the Coastal Pacific showcases both towering mountains and surging ocean, the train ventures along the Kaikoura Coast on the edge of the South Island and gets breathtakingly close to both the surging Pacific and the soaring Kaikoura Ranges.

Christchurch is New Zealand’s second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch sits on the very edge of the Canterbury Plains and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. 

Accommodation Christchurch - 2 nights

Quiet and comfortable accommodation close to the centre of Christchurch. City Central Motel and Apartments offers 26 well appointed, spacious rooms with free off street parking and ensuite rooms. Each unit provides a kitchenette and individual balcony.

City Central Motel and Apartments - Christchurch

9

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.

 


10

TRAVEL TO QUEENSTOWN VIA MT COOK

Take a scenic full-day tour from Christchurch to spectacular Mount Cook National Park.

Our tour departs Christchurch in the morning and travels through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, we continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. The tour continues south, past Lake Pukaki and through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. En route, perhaps enjoy afternoon tea in the quaint village of Omarama and if time permits, visit the Jones Family Orchard near Cromwell. Your tour concludes in the evening upon reaching Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Along the way your driver guide will keep you entertained and informed with commentary on the area's history and sites of interest.

Accommodation Queenstown - 3 nights

Covering several green acres in a quiet corner of Queenstown, the Alpine Resort is just a five minute stroll to Queenstown town Centre. As well as attractively landscaped lawn and drive-on sites, they offer a wide variety of accommodation to suit your needs and budget- from lodge rooms through to fully self-contained motel units.

Top 10 Holiday Park

11

EXPLORE QUEENSTOWN

Nestled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by towering mountains, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s ultimate holiday destinations. It may be the adventure capital of the world, but it’s also home to an excellent food and wine scene as well as great shopping, hiking and endless opportunities to relax. It’s just as easy to go fishing, golfing, gold panning or wine tasting as it is to bungy jump or sky dive. Famed for its international winter skiing profile and outdoor beauty, Queenstown is a brilliant destination to visit year-round. One thing is certain here: you won’t run out of things to do.  

Recommended Excursions in and around 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


12

RIVER WILDERNESS SAFARI = ISENGARD, LOTHLÓRIEN, AND AMON HEN

Explore the beauty of backcountry Queenstown with a Jet Boat Adventure  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 – frozen in time – amidst the adrenaline pumping action of the jet boat ride. Enjoy an easy, guided 30 – 40 minute walk through the ‘Heritage Trail’ at 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.


13

"NOVAER" FAREWELL FROM MIDDLE-EARTH

We know you will love the Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand and it is time to leave the fellowship of New Zealand and head home with a memory card overflowing with locations to sleuth when rewatching the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies. 

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. 

Ready to find out more? Talk to us here in New Zealand about the 'Tour of Middle Earth New Zealand '  - We Guarantee it will be the Holiday of a Lifetime!
 


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What Sophie says about this tour: Explore the movie sets, workshops, landscapes, and journeys of your favourite Middle-Earth characters. This group tour gets you deep into LOTR and Hobbit territory with 4WD, jetboating, kayaking, and tours of Hobbiton film locations. Plus this tour includes cultural gems, harbour cruising and some city-life. A heady mix for lovers of adventure travel.
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