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Explore the fantasy landscapes of Middle Earth on this Tolkien-inspired Hobbit and Lord of the Rings New Zealand tour. From quaint Hobbiton to dramatic Mordor and MountDoom, you’ll follow in the footsteps of Frodo on your journey through film locations on this self-drive adventure.
You’ll start in Cambridge, with a visit to the enchanting glow-worm caves of Waitomo and then head for Thermal Wonderland and Huka Falls. Then you visit Tongariro National Park, and you’ll take a helicopter Lord of the Rings tour from the sky. Be at a high country farm of Lake Heron, and then head to Queenstown for the New Zealand LOTR tour. End your trip with luxury food and drinks in Auckland.
This special interest tour combines New Zealand’s highlights with Lord of the Ringsinsider exclusives, immersing you in the mysterious world of Middle Earth and New Zealand’s unparalleled natural beauty.
Arrival in Auckland & Transfer to Cambridge
Start your holiday in hobbit tour New Zealand by flying into Auckland, where you can pick up your hire car and leave for your first stop, Cambridge. Stay at Huntington Stables Retreat, a luxurious lodge between tropical bush and farm property.
Relax in the swimming pool or in the hot spa in-house, then sit out on your own private deck for stunning views of the hillside. Your Hobbit tour New Zealand Adventure tour is finally underway.
Exploring Glowworm Caves & Transfer to Rotorua
You'll visit the Cave world at Waitomo on the first full day of the New Zealand LOTR tour. You will have a private tour of Glowworm Cave Footwhistle, a mystical location known to the Maori as Te Akaroa. During your path through the limestone caverns, follow the candlelight and the ethereal glow of the fairy tale animals. You'll move on to Rotorua after lunch, where you'll stay at the Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel & Spa.
Located in the town center, this luxurious property features an outdoor heated swimming pool and a calming mineral pool.
Private Tour of Hobbiton
You will visit Shires Rest for the first Middle Earth shooting location, and enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set used in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. Original structures used in the films include Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, and the double arch stone bridge, where the mill sits on the riverbank. You won't forget the luminous revolving doors nestled in the hillside.
Complete the tour by lunch at the Party Marquee with a Marquee Festive Feast.
Exploring Taupo & Transfer to Tongariro
Drive into Wai-O-Tapu to explore the Thermal Wonderland of the area, created by the ancient volcanic landscape, with erupting geysers and boiling mud pools. First, there's an entertaining jet boat ride across the foaming waters into Huka Falls. Grab lunch at Taupo, then go to Te Rangiita Marae to visit master carver Delani Brown for a special powhiri (Maori welcome) and a chance to learn about the Tuwharetoa tribe's rituals. Travel into Tongariro, where you can live at Bayview Chateau Tongariro, a luxury chateau hidden up in the mountain peaks of the park.
Explore Film Locations in Tongariro National Park
Spend the day visiting Tongariro National Park and seeing a plethora of diverse sites for shooting Lord of the Rings. You will remember the powerful and barren Mount Ngauruhoe as Mount Doom, Whakapapa Ski Field as Meads Wall (where Sam and Frodo capture Gollum and Isildur cut off Sauron 's finger) and Tukino Ski Field as the Rangipo Desert (where Frodo, Sam and Gollum lookout at Mordor 's Gates).
Alternatively, you should take a day hike to Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom) to throw in the one loop!
Exploring Tongariro National Park & Transfer to Turangi
Keep visiting Tongariro National Park for a chance to see more Lord of the Rings filming sites and stunning natural beauty. We suggest the Taranaki Falls Tour, which takes a few hours to complete and has beautiful scenery to offer.
Later, travel to Turangi and check into River Birches Lodge, right on the banks of the Tongariro River, where you can live in a luxurious cottage that is self-contained.
Transfer to Wellington
Next, it's on Wellington with an expert local guide who will show you some special LOTR stops along the way, like Kaitoke Regional Park, which you might know better as Rivendell 's film location, home to the elves. Arriving in Wellington, you'll check-in at the four-star Novotel Wellington, right in the city center, offering the ideal place to discover the area from.
If you have time, we suggest a visit to the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, that is full of treasures and history.
Weta Workshop Experience
Today, you will drive to the Weta Workshop and take part in a private guided tour of the original props and costumes made for many different famous films, learning about the history of the filming industry in Lord of the Rings New Zealand tour and the processes of crafting. You will take part in a chain maille laboratory where you will learn how to assemble chain maille which was used to make the chain maille suits in the films of the Lord of the Rings. You will then spend the afternoon sightseeing in Wellington after lunch.
We suggest a stroll around the coast to the Wellington City and Sea Museum or a trip to Pataka, which has a diverse blend of Maori, Japanese, Pacific Island, and other cultures worldwide.
Explore Middle Earth
Next, you'll undertake a half-day tour of Middle Earth movie locations with an experienced guide in a small community. You will visit locations such as the Great Anduin River (Isengard Gardens), Kaitoke Regional Park (Rivendell), and the quarry used by Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith. Climb Mount Victoria to see the Outer Shire and further filming sites, culminating with breathtaking Wellington views at the lookout.
Ferry to Picton & Transfer to Nelson
You'll take a cruise around the Cook Strait (between North Island and South Island) from the Wellington Interislander Ferry Terminal, before landing in Picton. You will travel to Nelson and your lodging at the Rutherford Hotel, just a stone's throw from the cathedral of the town. Throughout the afternoon, you'll be meeting Jens Hansen Goldsmiths, the original ring builders and creators from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, which involves a studio tour depending on availability.
Ultimate Lord of the Rings Helicopter Tour & Transfer to Kaikoura
Today, with a three hour Supreme Lord of the Rings Ride by helicopter, you'll discover the Middle Earth from the atmosphere. For some discovery of the South of Rivendell, you'll ride through Golden Bay and Mount Olympus, then ride into Mount Owen for spectacular views of Kahurangi National Park and the escape point from the Moria Mines. It's then into Salisbury Falls, right at the beginning of the Heaphy 's Trail, where Tauriel and Legolas meet before going to Lake-town. The flight back to Nelson provides views around the Bay of Tasman. You will then fly to Kaikoura where you can live at The White Morph, an oceanside hotel right on the Kaikoura Esplanade.
Scenic Drive to Lake Heron
Drive from Kaikoura to Lake Heron Station to visit an authentic, tucked away sheep farm in the Southern Alps, working in the high country. You can live at the 43,000-acre station in a cozy cabin with views of snow-capped hills, green valleys, and Lake Heron 's soothing lapping waters.
Open a free bottle of local wine and enjoy a toast, soaking up under the stars in your lavish outdoor bath.
Exploring Lake Heron & Transfer to Lake Tekapo
Today, you will enjoy a private tour of the surrounding area with a local guide who will lead you to Mount Sunday, a commanding mountain peak created by glaciers in Hakatere Conservation Park (you may know the place best as The Lord of the Rings' film location for Edoras: The Two Towers). You will then move on to Lake Tekapo, where you can live in Mackenzie Country's Peppers Bluewater Resort.
This rural retreat offers such activities as kayaking, star gazing, horse riding, trout fishing, and soaking in the hot spring.
Transfer to Queenstown
You will drive from Lake Tekapo to Queenstown, where you will stay at The Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments, which boasts five luxurious private residents right on Lake Wakatipu, with magnificent views of the Remarkables mountain range.
The property also features a luxury wharf, library, spa, city center luxury shuttle (only 10 minutes away), and a fine dining restaurant with an award-winning chef, plus quality Central Otago wines.
The Lord of the Rings Adventure Safari
Experience thrilling 4WD river crossings, learn about the gold mining history of the region and take tours to Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Ford of Bruinen, the Pillars of the Kings and the location of the destruction of Isildur – all part of an unforgettable Lord of the Rings Adventure Tour. After lunch, you'll enjoy a scenic drive to Glenorchy's quaint place, Isengard 's location, before taking a spectacular helicopter ride over Cecil Peak Ledge with stops for viewpoints and photo opportunities.
The 12 Mile Delta (Ithilien camp), the Rees Valley (Lothlorien Woods), the Skippers Range (Arwen), and Earnslaw Burn (Rivendell) can be seen from above.
Milford Sound Cruise & Road Tour Â
Enjoy a private guided tour through Milford Sound including a nature cruise where you'll visit the Anduin River and Dead Marshes; spot dolphins, seals, and crested Fiordland penguins; and enjoy a fiord picnic.
Today, you’re free to explore Queenstown at your leisure. We recommend the Queenstown Hill Time Walk up to panoramic viewpoints, a ride on the city’s Skyline Gondola, a visit to picturesque Glenorchy for hiking around Lake Sylvan, or a winery tour of the region’s famous local produce (with a stop at Amisfield Winery for lunch created by an award-winning chef). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try bungee jumping, zip-lining, paragliding, skydiving, canyoning, heli-mountain biking, and much more.
Then, relax at the Onsen Hot Pools, sipping champagne and reclining in the mineral-rich thermal pools, overlooking the Shotover River Canyon.
Transfer to Auckland
You'll catch an internal flight from Queenstown Airport to Auckland, where you'll be greeted by a private chauffeur and moved to the Hilton Hotel. This iconic luxury house, like a cruise ship, leaps out of the harbor with nautical-themed decor and spectacular ocean views.
Just five minutes away from Viaduct Harbour, the city's restaurants and bars are spoiled for options.
Departure from Auckland
Unfortunately, your lavish Hobbit tour New Zealand comes to an end, but you'll depart with unforgettable memories of beautiful mountains, natural wonders, and a much greater love for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series, and the thrill of seeing Tolkien's Middle Earth brought to life.