10 Day Hobbiton, Mordor & Mt Doom
10 Day Hobbiton, Mordor & Mt Doom
A self-drive tour of New Zealand's North Island for lovers of all things LOTR. This tour showcases the best and most well known location shoots for LOTR fans in the North Island including Hobbiton and the opportunity to visit the Weta Workshop in Wellington.
|Tour Type:||Self Drive Tours|
|From:||Auckland to Wellington|
|Departures:||Jan 2020 - March 2021|
|Price:||From (NZD) $1500 per person|
|Tour Operator:||Relaxing Journeys|
|9 nights accommodation|
|Rental vehicle of your choice|
|Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett cruise, in the Bay of Islands|
|Hobbiton Movie Set Tour|
|Admission to Te Puia's Geothermal Valley|
|Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional Feast|
|Half day Lord of the Rings Tour, 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 2020 – March 2021. Blackout periods may apply. A non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required at time of booking.
Click here for our full terms and conditions.
Day by Day Tour Itinerary
Haere Mai – Welcome to Auckland. On completion of formalities, pick up your rental car and travel onto 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 a\Auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine.
Today it’s goodbye to Auckland city as you head north. Perhaps stop off at Waiwera Hot Pools – spend some time here. Truly relax in the heated pools and private spas. From Waiwera it’s a mere stone’s throw to Puhoi village.
Highlights in Puhoi are the museum, historic pub and renowned boutique cheesery. This quirky township has a Bohemian village feel where locals and travellers alike spend time. Back in the car and heading north again, you’ll next make your way through Warkworth.
If you’re a wine lover don’t miss Ransom Wines or another of the many local vineyards. If you’ve got a designated driver, consider a wine trail in Matakana, a positively charming vineyard area popular for its markets held every Saturday from 8am-1pm.
Head onwards to Whangarei, Northland’s largest city. Always abuzz with activity, Whangarei’s Town Basin is full of quayside cafés. A hub for talented artisans, Whangarei’s galleries and studios are worth having a wander through.
From here it’s on the road towards Russell, up SH1 to Kawakawa, a place famous for its toilets. The last works of renowned Austrian-born artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Kawakawa’s toilets are truly a sight to see. From Kawakawa it’s a short drive to Paihia, the heart of one of New Zealand’s premier holiday destinations, the Bay of Islands. (2 nights)
We’ve included a cruise to the famous Hole in the Rock & Cape Brett for you this morning. Board the luxury catamaran which will whisk you on a comfortable journey out through game fishing waters to the Cape Brett Lighthouse. Next is Motukokako Island and the famous “Hole in the Rock” where we make a passage through the Hole and on to the Grand Cathedral Cave.
On the return journey the cruise takes its time and meanders through the inner islands. View sandy beaches, beautiful bays and marine wildlife as your skipper gives an informative commentary. Included is an island stopover on beautiful Urupukapuka Island.
As your catamaran docks at the Historic Otehei Bay, enjoy the white sandy beach, picturesque views and its rich archaeological landscape. On the way back you might like to stop off at Russell (New Zealand’s first capital) which was also known as the “Hell Hole of the Pacific” It’s now a quaint seaside village where you can take some time to wander around. The afternoon is at leisure to further explore the region.
You head West and South today via Highways 10 and 12 as you leave Paihia, heading to the West Coast village of Opononi, famous for it’s association with ‘OPO’ a friendly bottlenose dolphin during the Summer of 1955 as well as 56.
Amazing views are ahead at Omapere, just down the road, where you can walk to the lookout point just off the main road. This scenic spot is a perfect place for photo opportunities. From here it’s south through the Waipoua Forest where you can visit the God of the Forest, Tane Mahuta. Standing 51.5 metres high, this giant kauri can hush a crowd with its majestic proportions.
A little further south, you’ll find the pristine white sands and crystal waters of the Kai Iwi Lakes, a great place for trout fishing, water skiing and swimming. Carry on to Matakohe, site of the internationally acclaimed Kauri Museum, not to be missed.
From Matakohe you head South to Takapuna, Auckland’s exciting North Shore city right on the beach. Time for Alfresco Dining in one of the many exciting little restaurants nearby before retiring for the night, recharging for tomorrow’s big day.
Head south across the Harbour Bridge this morning. An easy drive south of Auckland will take you to the verdant Waikato, home to Hobbiton. Matamata 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.
From Matamata, head for the town of Tirau, a village known for its antique shops and animal-shaped corrugated iron buildings before making your way to Rotorua. Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, so volcanic activity is part of the city’s past and present. Explore the geothermal areas and discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people. Rotorua is entertaining in any weather, at any time of the year. (2 nights)
Free time to explore Rotorua this today. You may like to visit the Agrodome or take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of Rotorua. Later this afternoon visit Te Puia geothermal area to view the boiling mudpools and cascading Pohutu geyser that make Rotorua famous as New Zealand’s thermal city.
This evening you will be picked up and taken to the Mitai Village for a unique and unforgettable cultural experience. Be enthralled by the natural bush setting, see warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream and see glow worms in their natural habitat.
See your traditionally cooked hangi meal being lifted from the ground. During the cultural performance, you’ll learn about our past, carvings and ta moko (tattoo art). (D)
The road to Taupo will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography. You’ll also drive through large tracts of plantation pine forest. Take a side road to a geothermal park, where you’ll discover geysers, silica terraces and craters of boiling mud. Towards the end of your journey you’ll encounter the Wairakei Geothermal Power Station. Other diversions include Huka Falls and a world-acclaimed golf course.
You’ll follow the eastern edge of Lake Taupo to reach Turangi. The drive is very scenic and there are many picnic opportunities along the way. Where streams run into the lake, you’ll often see trout fisherman trying their luck. The Tongariro National Park encircles the volcanoes of Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe which featured as Mt Doom. If you arrive early afternoon, take the opportunity to travel through the Tongariro National Park to The Chateau Tongariro hotel. Fifteen minutes up the slope from here, you can visit Iwikau Village, a key part of Mordor’
Alternatively, you might like to see the mountain at ‘First light’ and visit the scenes of Ithilien and Mordor before driving on to Wellington tomorrow. Overnight stay tonight is at the Powderhorn Chateau at Ohakune. Ohakune was used as a base for a number of weeks of filming. The hotel is the perfect base to visit Ithilien and Mordor with the added advantage that you might even stay in the same room as one of the stars!
Travel south today through Waiouru, where the National Army Museum is worth a visit. A detour off the main road at Ohotu will take you to the location of rivers used to film The River Anduin. Further south on the Kapiti Coast, you can visit Waitarere Forest, which was the location for Trollshaw Forest and Osgiliath Wood. Onto Wellington – to any enthusiast of The Lord of the Rings films, it’s Production Central – home to Peter Jackson, and the Weta Workshop. (2 nights)
Your half day tour today will show you the best of Middle Earth. There are two main parts to this tour. The first is exploring the film locations used around Wellington City. We start by heading down Courtenay Place, the nightlife centre of Wellington. This is where we find the Embassy Movie theatre where they had the world premier of LOTR: Return of the King and more recently The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Then it’s up to Mt Victoria and after a quick stop at the lookout for fabulous views of the City & Harbor we drive down to the ‘Green Belt’. Here we leave the vehicle and walk through the forest to stand where the actors stood while filming. We visit many different scenes here including “Shortcut to Mushrooms”, ” Get off the Road”, “Race to the Ferry”, “Dunharrow Plateau” and more.
For the second part of the tour, it’s off to ‘Wellywood’ the heart of the Wellington Film industry. We drive out to the suburb of Mirimar where Peter Jackson and Weta New Zealand have put the film studios and post production facilities. We stop at the Weta Cave and visit the brand new ‘Windows into Workshop’ exhibition.
This is a guided tour of the physical prop-making and make-up side of the Weta Studios. Then we see a short film about the Digital side of the productions. After time to allow you to see the mini-museum and souvenir shop. The afternoon is free to further explore the city – a visit to Te Papa The Museum of New Zealand is also highly recommended.
Make your way to Wellington airport today and return your rental car in time for your onward flight.
There are 17 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.
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A self-drive tour of New Zealand's North Island for lovers of all things LOTR. This tour showcases the best and most well known location shoots for LO... Read More
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