12 Day Middle Earth Discovery

12 Day Middle Earth Discovery

Discover Middle Earth, on this independent tour of New Zealand from Auckland to Queenstown. Visit LOTR's film locations, Weta Studios, Hobbiton and experience 3 full day guided tours that take you into the heart of NZ's magnificent natural landscape.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Coach & Fly Tour
From: Auckland to Queenstown
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019
From (NZD) $4204 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Lively
Duration: 12 Days
Tour Code: RJ300i


11 nights accommodation
All Coach, Ferry & Rail Transport & Transfers
Optional Breakfasts
Daily Departures
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Maori Hangi (feast) and Concert
Te Puia Geothermal Experience
Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Agrodome Farm Show
Hobbiton Tour
Internal flight from Wellington to Christchurch
3 x Full Day Lord of the Rings Tours in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown
Lord of the Rings Tour, Twizel
Dart River Wilderness Safari

* Note: Prices shown are per person (based on two people travelling). Prices are valid for travel until September 2018

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

Haere Mai – Welcome to Auckland. On completion of formalities, you will be met and transferred to your accommodation. The afternoon is yours to relax or to explore the ‘City of Sails’. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most vibrant city, offering an exciting array of cosmopolitan experiences. Family attractions abound and the city has plenty of adrenaline for adventure lovers. Indulge in Auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine. Discover why Auckland is one of the best places in the world to live – and visit.

Day 2
Auckland - Waitomo Caves - Rotorua

With an early morning departure from Auckland you will be travelling southbound towards the Waitomo Caves via the city of Hamilton which sits on the banks of the Waikato River. Enjoy a guided tour of the caves with a silent boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – a subterranean cavern lit up by the lights of thousands of tiny glowworms. Arrival at your Rotorua accommodation will be in the early afternoon. Tonight you will attend a hangi (feast) and concert, an authentic and intimate Maori experience. (D) (2 nights)

Day 3
Rotorua & Hobbtion

This morning you will be met at your accommodation for your morning sightseeing tour of this 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 features 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 middle-earth movie magic.

The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed and you will see 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 Shires Rest and then to Rotorua.

Day 4
Rotorua - Wellington

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. Arrive late afternoon for a 2 night stay. (2 nights)

Day 5

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! Visit Weta Cave. In the 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)

Day 6
Wellington - Christchurch

This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport to board your domestic flight (included in your tour cost) which will take you across the Cook Strait and down the East Coast of the South Island to Christchurch. On arrival in Christchurch you’ll be transferred to your accommodation. (2 nights)

Day 7
Tour to Edoras

Join your Lord of the Rings tour today and journey to the remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station, home of Mt Sunday, and see how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people. Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breathtaking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air. This amazing day includes 4WD access onto Mt Sunday/Edora itself and a delicious champagne picnic lunch. (L)

Day 8
Christchurch - Tekapo - Twizel

Head south across the Canterbury Plains this morning, through the picturesque town of Geraldine. Lunch stop is at Lake Tekapo, a beautiful turquoise coloured lake. Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shores of the lake. This is one of the most photographed churches in the world made of stone and sand from around the lake. You are now in Mackenzie Country and the scenery is fantastic as you drive past Lake Pukaki which has its source in the Tasman and Hooker Glaciers close to Aoraki/Mount Cook. As you drive by the southern end of the lake, on your way to Twizel and the grassy plains of Pelennor Fields, you will get good views of the mountain, 70 kilometres to the north. Arrive Twizel, the film location of Gondor, for an overnight stay.

Day 9
Twizel - Queenstown

The LOTR film crew were in Twizel for several weeks filming many scenes from the ‘Return of the King’ and Twizel had the largest cast and crew on location with 1500 people involved. The film location is on private land and is not accessible to the public. Your tour this morning takes in all of the major scenes filmed in and around Twizel. Learn how the battle scene was created, experience the speed of the charge into battle as we drive down the LOTR constructed film road, understand the basics of some of the film making techniques used and discover what it took to turn hundreds of extras into orcs!

Join your coach this afternoon and travel over the Lindis Pass and through Cromwell to the southern lakes district and the alpine playground of Queenstown. (3 nights)

Day 10
Queenstown - Wilderness Safari

Today, join your Dart River Wilderness Safari. Journey from Queenstown along one of the world’s Top 10 scenic drives to Glenorchy at the head of the lake. From here journey deep into the World Heritage area of Mt Aspiring National Park. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and mysterious hidden valleys shrouded in native Beech forest, your specialist guides will bring to life the variety of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife within this unique area, as well the captivating stories of the original Maori and early pioneers. Experience a unique combination of breath taking scenery and exciting jet boating on braided, glacier fed rivers. Pass by scenes used in the Lord of the Rings movies to illustrate Middle Earth.

Day 11
Queenstown Middle Earth Experience

A full day Middle Earth guided 4WD experience awaits you today. Head off in the morning to The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the trilogy including the Misty Mountains. Travelling part way up this beautiful mountain range you get a bird’s eye view onto Deer Park Heights, which was used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes. Travelling from The Remarkables head to the Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath, or Pillars of the Kings before heading to Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring at Gladden Fields was filmed. After time for lunch (at own expense) join the Glenorchy tour and follow the Dart River to the spectacular filming location for Isengard. This location offers stunning views of Mt Earnslaw. Heading to Paradise to discover the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown you will stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.

Day 12
Depart Queenstown

Your visit to Middle Earth regrettably comes to an end today and so with fond memories of mountains and fiords, glaciers and sparkling braided rivers drifting in your memory, we will transfer you to nearby Queenstown 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).

Enquire about our 12 Day Middle Earth Discovery

12 Day Middle Earth Discovery
Coach & Fly Tour
Tour Code: RJ300i
From (NZD) $4204 per person
Enquire Now
Departures: Feb 2018 to May 2019

Discover Middle Earth, on this independent tour of New Zealand from Auckland to Queenstown. Visit LOTR's film locations, Weta Studios, Hobbiton and ex... Read More

Itinerary Map

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Middle Earth Discovery | 12 Day New Zealand Independent Coach Tour Tour
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