16 day New Zealand Lord of the Rings Private Tour
New Zealand Wide Lord of the Rings Tour
‘Hobbiton’ – ‘Mount Doom’ – ‘Pillars of the Kings’ – ‘Rivendell’ – ‘The Gladden Fields’ – Rotorua – Tongariro National Park Queenstown – Franz Joseph Glacier – Christchurch
This tour is an absolute must for Lord of the Rings fans that want to see the films majestic sights on a private tour of both North and South Island. Enjoy a 2 hour guided tour around Hobbiton amidst beautiful Waikato farmland, the magic of a night in Tongariro National Park with visits to Mordor and Emyn Muil as portrayed on the films, a helicopter flight over breathtaking Mt Doom, a rafting trip down the River Anduin, Wellington City and the magic of Weta Workshop, Lothlorien, a second helicopter flight over Mt Owen ‘Dimrill Dale’, the majestic West Coast of the South Island and Queenstown. A safari trip to Lord of the Rings sites such as The Ford of Bruinen, the Gladden Fields, Pillars of the Kings, Amon Hen and Ithilien and many more.
Day 1 – Arrival Auckland
You will be welcomed to NZ and met by one of our friendly guides, where your epic journey through Middle Earth begins! Today we will take a trip to the top of the Auckland Sky Tower and view the City of Sails from 300m above, wander through the bustling streets of New Zealand’s largest city and venture up to Mt Eden; a stunning viewpoint and one of New Zealand’s most famous volcanic craters. Tonight serves us up the possibility to eat in one of Auckland’s many waterfront restaurants as we watch the world ‘sailing’ by.
Day 2 – Auckland to Rotorua (4 hours)
Today we will head south from the busy metropolis of Auckland towards the lakeside town of Rotorua, famous for its bubbling mud pools, hot springs and Maori culture. Along the way we will visit our first and northern-most filming site from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; the ancient watchtower of Weathertop, where Frodo was attacked by the Black Riders and the only remaining film set from the trilogy; the picturesque, peaceful village of Hobbiton! We will take a 2 hour guided tour through Hobbiton and its many hobbit holes, beautiful green rolling hills, vegetable gardens (real and fake) and even stop for a Southfarthing Ale at the Green Dragon! In the afternoon/evening we will head to Rotorua and enjoy a nice meal, possibly a traditional Maori hangi and cultural performance.
Day 3 – Rotorua to National Park (2.5 hours)
We leave Rotorua today and head south towards one of New Zealand’s three Unesco World Heritage sites; Tongariro National Park. On the way we will stop for lunch in Taupo, a beautiful town situated on New Zealand’s largest lake. Arriving in Tongariro National Park, we are surrounded not only by active volcanoes and the beautiful Mangawhero Falls but several LOTR filming locations, including areas used to portray Mordor, the rocky wasteland of Emyn Muil and the stunning volcano of Mount Ngaurauhoe, known by LOTR fans as the one and only Mount Doom! As most of these sites cannot be reached by road, we will leave you in the capable hands of Heliview, who will take you on a scenic helicopter flight, giving you the best views of these secluded filming locations. This evening we will enjoy a nice meal and a good rest at the picturesque Chateau Tongariro, ready for the big day that lies ahead.
Day 4 – Tongariro National Park to Taihape (1.5 hours)
Today we will drive to Mangaweka, where you will be taken on a full day rafting trip down the Rangitikei and Moawhango Rivers; entitled “Grand Canyons of the Rangitkei.” This tour is arranged by the river safety specialists for LOTR filming in this area, who will take you on your own breath taking rafting trip through gorges of enormous proportions, drifting through dramatic landscapes which portrayed the stunning “River Anduin.” On your return, there is a chance for a bungy jump, flying fox or swing! This evening we will be staying in the quaint farming town of Taihape, before making our way south to New Zealand’s capital city tomorrow morning.
Day 5 – Taihape to Wellington (3 hours)
Today we head south to our final stop in the North Island; Wellington, but not before stopping in at Trollshaw Forest and Osgiliath Wood, along with the Otaki Gorge, the area used to portray the young Hobbit’s journey to the border of Shire. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the home of production for Lord of The Rings, as well as a plethora of filming locations. Today we have the option of having a coffee or afternoon tea at the iconic seaside “Chocolate Fish Cafe,” where early discussions about creating the trilogy occurred between Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and producer Barrie M. Osborne.
Day 6 – Wellington City Sites
Today is filled with plenty of LOTR location visits, including the famous Weta Cave, where you will be taken on a guided tour through the production of the LOTR trilogy and will have the opportunity to get a photo with life-size statues of Gollum and Gandalf and the chance to purchase authentic LOTR merchandise. After exploring the Weta Cave, we will make our way up Mt. Victoria to explore Dunharrow, The Outer Shire and some hobbit hiding places used to escape from the Nazgul, along with many other points of interest around Wellington. Coincidentally, several LOTR filming locations lie just beneath the Mt. Victoria lookout, which will provide us with stunning 360 degree views of Wellington City.
Day 7 – Hutt Valley and Wairarapa Sites
Not far from the bustling streets of Wellington, lies the Hutt Valley and the Wairarapa districts, where we will venture in search of more glorious and dramatic landscapes used as the backdrop for the trilogy. These sites include the rainforest and river of Rivendell, The Isengard Gardens, The elegant homestead of Fernside, which includes the gardens used to portray Lothlorien and its manmade lake, used to portray the departure from Lothlorien, and The Dimholt Road; filmed in the Putangirua Pinnacles; a stunning yet unusual canyon like landscape surrounded by tall, thin pinnacle rock formations. We will then return to Wellington and enjoy all the city has to offer when it comes alive at night.
Day 8 – Wellington
Today is a day of leisure, entirely free for you to explore the cultural capital of Wellington. Enjoy lunch at one of the many boutique or bohemian restaurants located in the city centre, catch a live performance, wander through New Zealand’s national museum; Te Papa, take a ride up the cable car and get a glimpse of the panoramic views, or get some retail therapy by browsing the quirky clothing shops of Cuba Street.
Day 9 – Wellington to Kaiteriteri (2.5 hours driving time + 3 hour ferry trip)
It’s time to journey over the Cook Strait and wave goodbye to the North Island today, as we sail toward the mainland of New Zealand; the South Island. The Northern coast of the South Island is simply beautiful and you will be able to take it all in as you sit back and relax on the ferry through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. There is a possibility today of having lunch at a vineyard in the wine growing region of Marlborough, before we make our way to the beautiful beachfront holiday town of Kaiteriteri, where we will spend the night.
Day 10 – Kaiteriteri to Punakaiki (3.5 hours)
This morning we will head to neighbouring Motueka, where you will be taken on an exhilarating helicopter tour up to the remarkable and remote rock formations and mountain tops of Mount Owen, used to portray scenes from “Dimrill Dale.” A gourmet lunch is provided at the top and then it’s back in the helicopter to fly over New Zealand’s largest natural sinkhole and beautiful Boulder Lake. Upon landing, we farewell the sunny north coast and head southwest, to the lush rainforest and cliff formations of the west coast. Upon arrival in Punakaiki, we will explore the pancake rocks and blowholes situated right next to the village; a bizarre, rugged, rocky landscape which impresses thousands of visitors each year with its powerful forces of nature. We have the option of enjoying a true blue New Zealand pub meal this evening before calling it a night.
Day 11 – Punakaiki to Franz Josef (3 hours)
Heading south down the West Coast Road; known by many as the most picturesque road in New Zealand, you will see rainforest and the shores of the Tasman Sea side by side, along with cliffs, waterfalls and green paddocks. At the end of all this, we arrive at a Glacier! Franz Josef Glacier is unique in the fact that it terminates around 300m below sea level and the base is surrounded by rainforest. We will take a walk to the base of the glacier and look up to the rugged mountains where the lighting of the Beacons took place. Tonight you have the opportunity to relax and unwind in the thermal hot springs located in native rainforest in Franz Josef Village.
Day 12 – Franz Josef to Queenstown (4.5 hours)
Today we take a journey south through the beautiful native forests, streams and mountains of the Haast Pass, as well as the huge gleaming blue waters of Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea, toward New Zealand’s adventure capital; Queenstown. First of all though, it is vital to stop along the way at any of the region’s breath-taking waterfalls and take in the sights and sounds of the centuries-old native forest which has been described by the Unesco World Heritage Organisation as being some of the most reminiscent of Gondwanaland found anywhere in the world. Also along the way is the picturesque lakeside holiday town of Wanaka. Looking across the lake, you will see the backdrop used for Gandalf’s flight to Rohan with Gwaihir, after his rescue from Orthanc. You also have the option today of either walking the Diamond Lake walking track to see this location up close, or we can pay a visit to Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World; home to the great 3-D maze, incredible illusion rooms, a puzzle centre and the “psychic challenge.” Following this, we will conquer New Zealand’s highest altitude highway and possibly stop in at one of New Zealand’s oldest pubs; the Cardrona Hotel, for a thirst quenching beverage. Once we make our descent down the mountain into Queenstown, you will be inescapably bombarded by familiar Lord of the Rings scenery, including the spectacular Remarkables Mountain Range, another of the unforgiving landscapes used to portray the journey through the slopes of Dimrill Dale.
Day 13 – Queenstown
Today you will be taken on a full day LOTR tour, entitled the “Safari of the Scenes,” which includes all the major film locations surrounding Queenstown, such as The Ford of Bruinen, the Gladden Fields, Pillars of the Kings, Amon Hen and Ithilien! When you return in the evening, we have the option of taking a ride up the gondola, enjoying a meal and taking in the beautiful view of the town and the lake, or we can explore the lively waterfront precinct to find the bars and restaurants that are just right for you.
Day 14 – Queenstown
Today is a day of leisure for you to spend as you wish. The options are endless in Queenstown! Take a helicopter flight to the summit of Coronet Peak and play in the snow, experience the exhilarating thrill of a canyon swing or bungy jump, take on an 18ft shark submarine thrill-ride, get up to 15,000ft and jump out of a plane (with a parachute of course), or just take a stroll around the lake, hire a kayak, or reward yourself with some retail therapy!
Day 15 – Queenstown to Mount Cook (3 hours driving time)
Heading towards New Zealand’s tallest mountain, along the way we will stop for lunch at Gibbston Valley Winery for a wine tour and delicious lunch. After this, we will enjoy a guided tour of the site of the largest battle scene filmed for the entire trilogy; The Pelennor Fields, before continuing on to Mount Cook Village, where we will spend a relaxing evening at the foot of snow-capped mountains.
Day 16 – Mount Cook to Christchurch (4 hours driving time)
Today we head to our final destination on our epic journey through Middle Earth; Christchurch, via the stunning electric blue Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo where you will be transferred to your onward travel connections. We trust that you have had a memorable Road Trip.
Tour Price :
Quote Per person: Prices are NETT and in New Zealand Dollars (twin/triple share)
(2-3PPL in a private group)- From- $9995NZD PP 4 star
4-10PPL- $ 8995NZDPP $ PP- 4 star
10 PPL + $ 6995 NZDPP$ PP 4 star
15 nights’ accommodation in 4 star hotels/ motels and apartments featuring ocean, lake, volcanic and mountain views from the rooms
16 days guiding services from your own private, professional driver/ guide
All transport in spacious luxury vehicle stocked daily with bottled water inclusive of all fuel charges
All airport transfers
Foot passenger ferry crossing Wellington- Picton
The following attractions:
Hobbiton 2 hour guided tour
Rotorua Hangi inclusive of 3 course meal and cultural performance
Heli View 45 minute flight over the volcanoes including Mt Doom
Rafting Trip through the River Anduin
Weta Workshop Guided tour
Helicopter flight up to Mt Owen including gourmet lunch ‘ Dimrill Dale”
Lord of the Rings Safari Tour Queenstown