8 Day South Island Lord of the Rings Private Tour
8 Day South Island Lord of the Rings Tour
‘Dimrill Dale’ – ‘Ford of Bruinen’ – ‘the Gladden Fields’ – ‘Pillars of the Kings’ – ‘Amon Hen’ – ‘the Ithilien Camp’ – ‘Lothlórien Forest’ – ‘The Pelennor Fields’ – ‘Edoras’
Highlights include; A helicopter flight over Mt Owen ‘Dimrill Dale”. The majestic West Coast of the South Island featuring the stunning Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes. Queenstown ‘The Adventure Capital of the World ‘ featuring 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 a visit to Mt Cook National Park featuring a trip to the location for the Pelannor Feilds. This is your private Lord of the Rings Tour done your way. Sit back, relax and enjoy the luxury of being transported by one of our expert local private driver guides.
Day 1 – Christchurch Arrival
You will be met at the airport by one of our friendly staff and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon we will take a city tour around Christchurch known throughout New Zealand as ‘The Garden City’. The city tour includes a visit to ‘The Sign of the Kiwi’, the most panoramic of Christchurch’s viewpoints, a stroll in the botanic gardens and drive around the bays of Christchurch, taking in Lyttelton – The gateway for many of Christchurch and the Canterbury region’s first settlers. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner and prepare for our journey north in the morning.
Overnight: Colombo in the City or similar – Meals B
Day 2 Christchurch to Kaiteriteri (5.5 hours driving time)
Today we make our journey north to Kaiteriteri, a beautiful beachfront holiday town situated on the South Island’s sunny north coast. Arriving in the afternoon, we will have time for either a stroll on the beach, a game of mini golf, a kayak or simply some time to relax, unwind and enjoy a nice meal before we venture off on our epic Lord of The Rings tour tomorrow morning!
Overnight: Kimi Ora Eco Resort or similar – Meals B
Day 3 Kaiteriteri to Punakaiki (3.5 hours driving time)
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.
Overnight: Punakaiki Resort or similar – Meals B/D
Day 4 Punakaiki to Franz Josef (3 hours driving time)
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.
Overnight: Aspen Court Motel or similar – Meals B
Day 5 Franz Josef to Queenstown (4.5 hours driving time)
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 3D 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.
Overnight: Peppers Beacon or similar – Meals B
Day 6 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.
Overnight: Peppers Beacon or similar – Meals B
Day 7 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.
Overnight: Hermitage Hotel – Meals B
Day 8 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 private Lord of the Rings Road Trip with us.