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 Waitomo to discover New Zealand’s largest underground caving network and undertake a one hour tour to discover glow-worms in their natural environment. Afterwards you will 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 Taiwhai 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. This evening you will be staying in the quaint farming town of Taihape, before making your way south to New Zealand’s capital city tomorrow morning.
Today you head south to Wellington. Wellington is New Zealand’s capital city and the home of post-production for Lord of The Rings, as well as a plethora of filming locations. Today you have the option of having a coffee or lunch 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.
Today you will be taken on a full day Lord of the Rings tour with Rover Rings Tours to see many filming locations in the greater Wellington area! Sites today include Dunharrow, the Outer Shire, parts of the Hutt River used to also portray The River Anduin, the Gardens of Isengard and the glorious Rivendell! You will also see where Helms Deep and Minas Tirith were filmed. Today’s tour also includes a 45 minute tour through the Weta Cave at Weta Workshop where post production for LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies was completed.
Today you will be transferred to your onward travel arrangements. We trust that you have had a memorable road trip with us!