6 Day Middle Earth Discovery (North Island)
6 Day Middle Earth Discovery (North Island)
Discover Middle Earth, on this independent tour of the North Island of New Zealand. Visit LOTR's film locations, Weta Studios, Hobbiton and experience a full day guided tour that takes you into the heart of New Zealand's magnificent natural landscape.
|Tour Type:||Independent Coach Tour|
|From:||Auckland to Wellington|
|Departures:||Jan 2019 - March 2020|
|Price:||From (NZD) $1876 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|5 nights accommodation|
|All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers|
|Waitomo Glowworm Caves|
|Maori Hangi (feast) and Concert|
|Te Puia Geothermal Experience|
|Rainbow Springs Nature Park|
|Agrodome Farm Show|
|Full Day Lord of the Rings Tour (including lunch) in Wellington|
Prices are per person based on twin-share, and are subject to availability. Prices are correct at the time of submission but are subject to change without notice. Valid for travel January 2019 – March 2020. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $500 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Welcome to Auckland! Pass through customs, collect any baggage and be met by one of our friendly representatives, ready to whisk you away to your city accommodation. After checking in and getting yourself settled, turn your roving eye outside and enjoy a free afternoon in the City of Sails. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, with plenty of sights, shopping and street appeal for even the pickiest of travellers.
From Auckland travel south through lush Waikato farmland, past Hamilton, to Waitomo Caves for a boat ride under a galaxy of glow-worms. For over 100 years, Waitomo Glowworm Caves have attracted millions of people from all over the world. The moment you enter this subterranean wonderland, you’ll discover an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos. You’ll experience a boat trip like no other, journeying through the starry expanse of the Glowworm cave while your way is lit by a multitude of tiny glowworm lights.
Continue east to Rotorua, steeped in Maori culture and history. As the evening settles in and the stars brighten the sky, you’ll be treated to a Maori feast, a cultural experience which promises hours of fun, thought and Maori kai (indigenous food). After a formal Maori welcome, relax and enjoy a captivating performance by the local people, including traditional songs as well as the renowned haka. Following a truly delectable dinner, you will be transported by people movers to enjoy the spectacular lighting of the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. Stay for 2 nights in Rotorua. (D) (2 nights)
This morning you will be met at your accommodation for your morning sightseeing tour of the city. Rotorua sits calmly atop some remarkable cracks in the earth’s crust – sometimes giving the impression that the town is on fire. This impression is reinforced by the hot mists of Te Puia, roaring geysers and boiling mudpools heated to unbearable temperatures. These contrast with the calm of the marae grounds and the work of the artisans at the Arts and Crafts Institute. Also see the Kiwi House, displaying these rare, native birds. Other highlights on your tour of Rotorua are the native and exotic vegetation at Rainbow Springs, which are world renowned for their pools of tame trout. The Agrodome Farm display featuring a vital section of New Zealand’s agriculture, sheep shearing and a sheep dog display.
This afternoon you will be taken to Matamata which has attracted Lord of the Rings enthusiasts from all over the world since a local farm became the setting for “the Shire” in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Here you will take a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, including the hobbit holes, and discover the middle-earth movie magic. You will visit Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and other structures created for the films as well as hear how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Upon completion of your tour of the set you will return to The Shire’s Rest and then to Rotorua.
Drive south to Wairakei – wreathed by steam, then to Taupo. Skirt Lake Taupo, and cross the volcanic landscape of the Desert Road past the majestic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaruahoe and Ruapehu. Continue across the fertile plains of the Manawatu and along the rugged Kapiti coastline to Wellington.
Wellington is compact, cultured and full of character. Nestled between the harbour and the hills, the downtown area is ideal for explorations on foot. Enjoy cafés, restaurants, museums and all kinds of shops. Dance, theatre and musical performances are a Wellington specialty. Arrive late afternoon for a 2 night stay. (2 nights)
Your full day tour today will show you the best of Middle Earth. Accompanied by your story-telling Lord of the Rings expert, stops include the Hutt River (Great River Anduin) and Harcourt Park (Gardens of Isengard and where the Orcs felled the trees), as well as Kaitoke Regional Park which was the setting for Rivendell. Situated in a thousand year old New Zealand Native rainforest, you will see why the Elves chose to live here!
You will also be visiting the Weta Cave. In this mini-museum you will come face-to-face with some of the characters, props and displays from your favourite movies. Read the stories of how they were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. An Orc sized lunch with LOTR themed menu is included. (L)
Your visit to Middle Earth regrettably comes to an end today and so with fond memories of mountains and deep forests, geysers and sparkling braided rivers drifting in your memory, we will transfer you to Wellington airport where you will depart on your scheduled flight over our great Misty Mountains for a safe and pleasant journey home. Haere ra, Ka hoki mai ano (Farewell, but return again).
There are 7 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.7 out of 5.
Our least favorite was the unexpected full day bus ride from Rotorua to Wellington. The bus was full of unhygienic backpackers and we didn't realize the bus would make over a dozen stops along the journey. This day was quite disappointing. We would have spent the extra money to go a different way. (Ed. No other way - except for a longer way where you can break it up with an overnight stay :) The hotel in Wellington, the Copthorne, should not be recommended by Relaxing Journeys. The hotel is not premium service nor is the customer service on point. What more, the hotel had no air conditioned rooms for us. Last, but certainly not least, was the optional tour we booked ourselves with SkyDive Auckland. It was the best ending to our vacation in NZ and something everyone must try at least once. Exhilarating and intense! Add this tour to your packages and encourage people to sky dive. Unbelievable! Thank you again, Mani, for arranging our travel throughout NZ and we look forward to returning again in the future.
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Discover Middle Earth, on this independent tour of the North Island of New Zealand. Visit LOTR's film locations, Weta Studios, Hobbiton and experience... Read More
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