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.
Today you will head south to visit the only remaining film set from the trilogy; the picturesque, peaceful village of Hobbiton! You 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! You will arrive in Rotorua late afternoon where you could have a walk through the wonderful redwood forest or take a tour through a thermal mud pool reserve and view Rotorua’s stunning Government Gardens and lakefront.
This morning you will take a guided walk around Te Puia and experience mud pools, geysers and visit the Maori Weaving School and Kiwi House. This is a chance to see our national nocturnal bird up close. This afternoon is free for leisure activities. Options include: Rotorua Gondola and Luge, a trip to Rotorua Agrodome to experience zorbing or a walk through the redwood forest. Tonight you will enjoy a Hangi and cultural performance with our native Maori people.
You leave Rotorua today and head south towards one of New Zealand’s three Unesco World Heritage sites; Tongariro National Park. Your first stop for the day is Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland – a Wonderland of Stunning Geothermal Activity. You will see New Zealand’s largest thermal mud pool, sinter terraces and stunning hot and cold pools of many different colours (included activity). Heading south and stopping at the mind-blowingly powerful Huka Falls en route, you will reach Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake, where you may wish to stop for lunch and hopefully view Mount Doom across the lake! Arriving in Tongariro National Park, you are surrounded not only by active volcanoes and the beautiful Mangawhero Falls and Tawhai Falls (Gollum’s pool) but several other 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, you will be taken on a scenic flight, giving you the best views of these secluded filming locations. This evening you will enjoy a three course meal at the picturesque Chateau Tongariro.
Today you will drive to River Valley Lodge, where you will be taken on a full day rafting trip down the Rangitikei River which will see you drifting through dramatic landscapes which portrayed the stunning “River Anduin.” in the Lord of the Rings. You will return to Tongariro National Park this afternoon.
Today you will return to Auckland via the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Waitomo is New Zealand’s most extensive underground caving network. Here you will take a 1 hour guided walking/silent boat ride tour through the spectacular Caves and see the impressive glow-worms that light up the cave roof. Your drive then takes you through to Auckland City where you can indulge in a delicious dinner or try out one of many rooftop bars near the harbour.
Today you will be transferred to your onward travel and on to your next adventure. We trust that you have had ‘The Road Trip’ of a lifetime!