Explore Middle Earth and discover New Zealand in a different way. On this tour you will see a lot of highlights of this amazing country and you can visit many of the filming locations of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Hobbit Trilogy.
Price from €4,100 per person*
Day 1: Arrive Auckland
If you are not too tired after your flight, we would recommend a stroll along the Auckland waterfront and Viaduct.
Day 2: Auckland – Hamilton – Waitomo
Approximate driving time 3 hours (180 kms)
Pick up your rental car and head south. A highly recommended side trip to the West Coast brings you to the special and relaxed surf village of Raglan. In the afternoon you can explore the extensive cave system at Waitomo. There are many different options here, including visiting the glow worms, going on a boat trip through the caves, abseiling or Black Water Rafting, depending on how adventurous you feel!
Day 3: Waitomo – Matamata – Rotorua
Approximate driving time 3.5 hours (210 kms); Hobbiton tour included
Today you visit the first filming location at Hobbiton on farmland near Matamata. A tour guide takes you through the area and tells fascinating stories and details from the movie set.
Later you arrive in Rotorua, the heartland of Maori culture and centre of thermal activities in New Zealand. Visit some of the natural wonders of this amazing area and let yourself be entertained by a cheerful sheep show. We recommend a Maori cultural show with a traditional Hangi for the evening.
Day 4: Rotorua – Taupo – Tongariro National Park/Ohakune
Approximate driving time 4 hours (220 kms)
On your way to Tongariro National Park you can visit Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland or Waimangu Volcanic Valley. On a clear day Lake Taupo fascinates with spectacular views to the volcanoes. Later you enter Mordor, the Land of Shadows, with its three giant volcanoes. It is easy to see why the region was chosen as Mordor. Do you recognize Mt. Doom (Mt Ngauruhoe)?
Day 5: Ohakune
Explore Mordor with shorter or longer walks. If your fitness level and the weather permit we recommend the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This 8 hour walk over the moonlike landscape of the volcanoes is one of the best day tracks in the world. If you haven’t enough time or energy a scenic flight is another way to view this amazing landscape.
Day 6: Ohakune – Kapiti Coast
Approximate driving time 4 hours (230 kms)
You can do a rafting trip through the gorges of Rangitikei River which takes you to the location of River Anduin. The Mangaweka Mokai Gorge is an 80 meter deep canyon, only accessible by kayak or rafting boat. You can pre book this tour. Later visit Waitarere Forest where Trollshaw Forest and Osgiliath Wood was filmed. You spend the night at Kaipiti Coast.
Day 7: Kapiti Coast – Wellington
Approximate driving time 1 hour (50 kms)
Otaki Gorge is well worth a visit. Leaving the Shire and Lothlorien was filmed there. Parts of the Battle of Pelennor Fields happened near Paraparaumu. Later you arrive at New Zealand’s capital Wellington. We recommend a sightseeing tour and a walk along the waterfront to Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand.
Day 8: Wellington
Lord of the Rings tour included
Today you spend the whole day in the footsteps of the Lord of the Rings movies. You will visit the Gardens of Isengard with the famous Orc trees, Minas Tirith, Rivendell, Helms Deep and Weta Cave, where you can admire props and costumes of Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Disney’s Narnia movies. Lower Hutt near Wellington was home of the biggest film set of the trilogy.
Day 9: Wellington – Picton – Nelson
Three hour ferry ride, and approximate driving time 1.5 hours (110 kms)
The ferry to Picton will take you through the picturesque Marlborough Sound. From Picton you drive along Queen Charlotte Drive to sunny Nelson. Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith at Trafalgar Square created The One Ring. You can buy it there, too.
Day 10: Nelson
Takaka Hill – one hour drive from Nelson – was the location for Chetwood Forest. Many locations in Kahurangi National Park like Rivendell, Eregion Hills and Dimrill Dale are only accessible by helicopter from Motueka or Nelson. You can also make a trip to the Abel Tasman National Park. The park offers a lot of activities, including walks for every fitness level. You can also explore the park and its golden beaches by kayak.
Day 11: Nelson – Paparoa National Park/Punakaiki
Approximate driving time 4.5 hours (275 kms)
The drive along the winding Buller Gorge takes you to the wild West Coast. A side trip in Westport to a seal colony at Cape Foulwind is worthwile. We recommend a walk along the Pororari River near Punakaiki. Sunset at the Pancake Rocks is a memorable experience.
Day 12: Punakaiki – Westland National Park/Franz Josef
Approximate driving time 4 hours (225 kms)
Greymouth and Hokitika are the jade centers of the country. Visit a workshop and watch the jade carvers at work. The bizarre rock formations on the West Coast are fascinating. Glaciers, rainforest and coast are close together in Westland National Park. The many different shades of green of the dense rainforest will amaze you. There is a lot to see and to do in this area, including a jet boat tour in Whataroa to a White Heron Colony, where you can observe these rare birds. Or visit Okarito at the coast and kayak through the quiet lagoon. Helicopter flights with glacier landing are possible from both the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers.
Day 13: Franz Josef – Wanaka – Queenstown
Approximate driving time 6 hours (360 kms)
After a stop at Ship Creek Walk and a side trip to Monro Beach Walk you move inland from the West Coast. The Haast Pass is a scenic drive with many opportunities to stop and explore. You arrive at the next film location, Wanaka, where the Misty Mountains were shot. Via the Crown Range Road, the highest main road in the country, you reach Queenstown, the self-proclaimed ‘adventure capital of the world’.
Day 14 and 15: Queenstown
Queenstown is the Mecca for every Lord of the Rings fan. The whole area served as a filming location, including Glenorchy and the mountains. Half and full day tours with 4WD or by mini bus to various locations are offered, including helicopter tours for the more remote locations. There are no limits for adrenalin junkies in Queenstown: Jet boat tours; white water rafting; river surfing; all kinds of bungee jumping and river safaris. Don’t miss a visit to the gold mining town of Arrowtown which served as the location of The Ford Of Bruinen.
Day 16: Queenstown – Milford Sound – Fiordland National Park/Te Anau
Approximate driving time 5 hours (410 kms); Milford Sound boat tour included
The road to Milford Sound takes you through Eglington and Hollyford Valley to the reflecting waters of the sound with its 1,000 meter towering Mitre Peak. After the boat trip you drive back to Te Anau where you stay the next two nights. The dense green mountains and the quiet deep lakes in this area make it clear why this region was chosen for filming Middle Earth.
Day 17: Te Anau
Waiau River, between Lake Te Anau and Lake Manapouri served amongst others as River Anduin. A special Helijet tour from Te Anau can take you to remote filming locations. The isolated Mavora Lakes (65 km one way from Te Anau) served as background for Amon Hen, Nen Hithoel and the Silverlode River.
Day 18: Te Anau – Twizel
Approximate driving time 6.5 hours (360 kms)
You drive along Kawarau River where the Pillars of the Kings were filmed. The vastness of Central Otago and the drive over the Lindis Pass will captivate you. A visit to the Clay Cliffs near Omarama is worth the side trip.
Day 19: Twizel – Mount Cook National Park – Tekapo
Approximate driving time 2.5 hours (165 km one way)
The area around Twizel was the perfect location for Edoras and The Battle of the Pelennor Fields. You can visit the locations with a guided tour from Twizel. After that you can drive along the turquoise Lake Pukaki and over the wide glacier foothills to the foot of New Zealands highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook. Many walks and tracks (short and longer) start at Mount Cook Village. There are also a number of glacier- und climbing tours of various length and difficulty, both with or without a guide. You drive back and stay the night in Tekapo.
Day 20: Lake Tekapo – Mt. Hutt
Approximate driving time 3 hours (175 kms)
You have to start early if you would like to visit the location of Edoras and Meduseld, King Theoden’s Hall, with a rafting trip on the Rangitikei River. The scenery is spectacular. Otherwise a drive to the top of Mt. John near Lake Tekapo in the morning rewards you with an amazing view.
Day 21: Mt Hutt – Christchurch
Approximate driving time 1.5 hours (105 kms)
Today you have the opportunity of a guided tour from Methven to different locations of Edoras, Helms Deep and the Misty Mountains before you travel on. The attractive Rakaia River invites you to a jet boat tour into the mountains before you drive over the wide Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Day 22: Christchurch
You can spend the day in Christchurch, the “Garden City”, often referred to as the most English town outside England, where you can even go punting on the Avon River. Take the opportunity to tour the inner city, and marvel at the innovative and artistic reconstruction of the city, following the 2011 earthquake. Make sure you visit the fabulous new Cathedral designed by prize-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (and made out of cardboard!), and stop for afternoon tea at one of the many great cafes dotting the inner city. (We love C1 Espresso.)
Alternatively, if you would like to do some whale watching before you leave New Zealand, you can drive up north to Kaikoura for the day. Closer to Christchurch, you can make a trip to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, a lovely town with a special French flair. There, you can take a boat trip through Akaroa Harbour and swim with dolphins – the perfect end to a wonderful holiday.
Day 23: Depart Christchurch
Price from €4,100 per person*
Package includes standard accomodation, rental car, Meet & Greet on arrival in Auckland, Hobbiton tour from Matamata, Lord of the Rings tour in Wellington, Milford Sound boat cruise (from Milford), and the Interislander ferry. Also included is a personalised Tour Manual with detailed day-to-day driving instructions and recommended activities, New Zealand road atlas and map as well as regional brochures.
*Flights to New Zealand are not included in the above package price. Flights from Germany to New Zealand cost from €1500 and above, depending upon how far in advance you book, the season of travel, the airline, and the route. Please let us know if you would like us to assist you with booking flights to New Zealand.