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 & the opportunity to visit the Weta Workshop in Wellington.

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Wellington
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $1796 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Pace: Comfortable
Duration: 10 Days
Tour Code: GNLOTRNI

Inclusions

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
Comprehensive travel compendium, including Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, maps, vouchers and travel guides

Book your self drive tour this month and receive an Earlybird Discount of 10%. Make full payment by 31 July 2018 to qualify or receive a discount of 7.5% if you pay by 30 September 2018.

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Day by Day Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Auckland

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 auckland’s shopping, nightlife and unrivalled cuisine. Discover why Auckland is one of the best places in the world to live – and visit.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Auckland - Bay of Islands

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Hole in the Rock Cruise

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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 4
Bay of Islands - Hokianga - Takapuna

You head West & South today via Highways 10 & 12 as you leave Paihia & head to the West Coast village of Opononi, famous for it’s association with ‘OPO’ a friendly bottlenose dolphin during the Summer of 1955 & 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 if all the feedback from previous travellers is to be believed. 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 5
Takapuna - Hobbiton - Rotorua

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
Rotorua

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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 7
Rotorua - Lake Taupo - Ohakune

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!

Your choice of accommodation

Day 8
Ohakune - Wellington

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 choice of accommodation

Day 9
Wellington

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 & Weta NZ Have put thie film studios & 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 & 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 & 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
Depart Wellington

Make your way to Wellington airport today and return your rental car in time for your onward flight.

Your choice of accommodation

4.6/5.0

There are 16 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.6 out of 5.

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Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

4
12/02/2017
All of the sights were amazing, however I would have liked more time at some places. There were a couple of days with very long distances and we had to miss some sights to make the arrival times. I extended the Lord of the Rings tour one the last day to a full day tour - much better! We had 8 days of rain and the GPS got us lost a couple of times, but it was in all a very good trip.
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5
31/12/2016
After reading many positive reviews on Relaxing Journeys, we booked a self drive tour from Auckland to Wellington for our honeymoon. Our coordinator was Mani who had been very reliable and prompt in giving suggestions and responses to our queries. We had requested for slightly customized itinerary based on where we would like to visit and Mani had greatly helped in sharing recommendations to meet our requests. Throughout our entire 10-day trip, there was no issue with our travel vouchers. Accommodations, tickets to visit places of interest, everything were perfectly arranged. We loved all the details provided by Relaxing Journeys on what to expect in our itinerary and options for detour in our road trip. Overall it was an excellent service. For us, this is definitely an easy rating of 10 out of 10.
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4
24/12/2016
The Kruse unit provided nice historical, local and regional information as we drove. I was surprised there was no option for \"Attractions\" such as Hobbiton, Te Puia, etc. The Hobbiton address you gave us on Buckland Rd gave us a list of many choices, none of which was Matamata, so we had to stop for information (our ticket stub says Hinuera). Other than these minor issues, we had a great time. Pickup/dropoff was smooth, all vouchers were handled easily, accommodations were great. We had a wonderful time! And thank you again for arranging our Christmas dinner at Copthorne Paihia.
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5
18/12/2016
We really enjoyed our experience in New Zealand. Everything went very smoothly and was amazing! We were able to do things at our own pace but still able to experience everything that was planned.
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5
14/12/2016
This was my first trip to New Zealand and it was amazing. Toni was brilliant in booking everything beforehand and was always quick to provide assistance when I needed it, even while on the trip. All the tours were great. I especially enjoyed the LOTR-themed tours. I stopped by a number of the suggested places, including Whangarei Falls, Aratiatia Rapids and Huka Falls. I also enjoyed all of the drives. The scenery is simply amazing. The Kruse commentary system was also informative and interesting, however this should be used in conjunction with a map (which was provided) as it took me on unsealed roads a couple of times. I definitely plan to go back to do the South Island some time in the future.
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4
28/11/2015
Suggest you include parking at Auckland Heritage hotel in costs as you just pick up a car and drive in. overall good though a bit too much to fit in particularly to and from Bay of Islands. Loved the accommodation in Auckland City, Rotorua, Bay of Islands and the Chateau, but not so much on the North shore in Auckland. Getting very tired and had to ask to change rooms in Wellington due to road noise.
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5
20/10/2015
A great holiday indeed. Tour Consultant Mani did a great job at all the custom planning and booking for us. The 2 sea tours chosen for us were fantastic. All the accommodation were great, especially Holiday Inn at Rotorua. Good food and a great view of the geyser from the balcony. Materials given in the tour package were very informative and helpful too. The Kruse GPS was a great commentary piece. But the navigation and food recommendation is not very accurate and out of date. Luckily, we brought our Garmin GPS along. Great experience with Relaxing Journeys. Thanks Mani. We will be back.
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5
05/05/2015
The tour gave us an insight into New Zealand in the short time we had available. We experienced a wide variety of special places, each with a different character, and each memorable in its own way. The accommodation offered variety and was always good, as were the breakfasts. The tour was expertly organised and the places recommended to see along the way were well chosen, although some were hard to find. The map book and information package were a great help and we recommend the Kruse Travel Guide and GPS for its local commentary. We had wonderful holiday and thank Toni and the crew at Relaxing Journeys for making it so easy for us.
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5
05/01/2015
For our first trip overseas this was the best way to do it. The combination of time to our selves and some specific places we needed to be at certain times, gave us a chance to explore and the security of not straying to far. Mani (Tour Consultant) was brilliant, no question was too silly and he made the whole experience easy. Everything was where Mani said it would be - all paperwork was done and we had no worries. The only small complaint that I would have was that a couple of the city accommodations had no parking - gave up and payed $40 for valet at one place. Also if you are traveling with kids and can afford an upgrade to accommodate a bit more space in rooms for them and you, do it! 10 days with a 6 foot 4\" teenage son and husband can make some rooms quite compact. The LOTR tours were brilliant, the country is magnificent. I would recommend this tour to any LOTR fan, or anyone interested in beautiful country with some fun things to do.
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4
27/12/2014
The tour, hotels and directions were all easy to locate and most enjoyable. Perhaps the motel accommodation in Rotorua, especially in contrast with some of the others, was not up to scratch, but the tours and sights in that region were well worth while. One of the scenic highlights was the Mangaweka Gorge, but there is no directional sign on the road to indicate the turn-off. Some more precise directions in your itinerary would assist future travellers. I would also like some more geological information about the volcanic activity - for example that the gorge is cut into volcanic ash, and that many of the hills have monitors to measure changes in elevation. I was fascinated by the electric rail running through the North Island. Train travel offers relaxing views of the 'real' countryside, with opportunities for stops in towns along the way. I wonder if Relaxing Journeys might investigate its potential in partnership with the railways. Thanks again Leanne for making our holiday so easy and relaxing.
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5
02/12/2014
The Hobbit tours were both good. Accommodations were mostly good. The pace and drive time were appropriate. Don't like to drive too long each day.
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5
14/10/2014
We had an excellent time, everything Relaxing Journeys suggested was great...our ideas fell a little! The Scenic hotel, really, really great, helpful and always welcoming, the restaurant was good too. Our side trip of the half day Auckland was a bit of a dud, the driver had trouble with his coach and he was a bit of a pain, but the ex Premier/Prime Ministers memorial was great....then our next idea of the dinner cruise was cancelled by the people. We phoned Relaxing and they are going to refund us along with our other side trip to Waitomo, so glad we didn't push ourselves to go there? The Bay of Islands was lovely, weather great, cold, but no problems, Hotel Kingsgate, again, lovely welcoming people and the room was super. Travelled back to Auckland, weather very wet, but we still managed to find things to do - the Oil Refinery, which I thought would be b.o.r.i.n.g, was actually very interesting and a welcome diversion. Loved the Wood Carvery Gallery, if only we could have taken one of the huge pieces home. Again, it was a lovely hotel The Spencer, all the breakfasts so far were great.

We then had our big day, and again, thank goodness we didn't go to Waitomo. Hobbiton was amazing, we managed to get on an earlier tour at 1pm, I, who was only going as it was George's 70th Birthday present, could have set up camp there - just loved the whole tour and the cider at the end in the Green Dragon Inn was a welcome surprise. Rotorua, is as always, great, we spent the morning at Hell's Gate, 3.5hrs, no one was there, it was just amazing, then we wandered until it was time for Te Puia, that rounded off the Rotorua experience, we really enjoyed the total day.

The concert was fun and then the Hangi was delicious, just wish we had more room. We then travelled on to Taupo, this was a bit of a dead day, knew we had to travel far and only spent a couple of hours in Taupo. Wasn't that keen on the trip up to Ohakune, bit boring and then Ohakune was dead, a lot of the shops were closed, but could recommend the Sweet Pea Cafe, all home cooked delicious food, really, really good. The Powderhorn Chateau, I wouldn't stay at again, it was vast, but without soul, as it was a little out of the town, there was nothing to do in the evening as they closed the restaurant at 8.30, we gobbled and went, as they were having a function upstairs in the guests common room, so we stayed in our room and I re arranged the case contents! Breakfast was the meanest, just one item and one drink....nup, not my favourite place.

The GPS the next day took us on the 'road from hell' into some Valley starting with a T...... it went on unsealed roads for over 100k until we arrived shaken to the bone on a sealed road Route 1 and had double shot coffees at the Sugar Plum Cafe, another gem worth mentioning. The trip then down to Wellington was great, stopped off everywhere and loved it. Rydges in Wellington was amazing as was their breakfast buffet, this was the best and they varied it each day. We also thoroughly enjoyed the Rover Tours, Lord of the Rings tour - our guide was the best. Would I recommend Relaxing Journeys, definitely, would I recommend Toni, definitely, all in all we had a lovely 70th Birthday Trip and thank you for all your cheerful help.
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4
26/07/2014
Absolutely brilliant holiday. I would recommend Relaxing Journeys to anyone. Toni was extremely helpful through every step along the way and no question was too small. You should add on Koura Lodge in Rotorua to your regular stay. That place is a vision with amazing staff.
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5
25/06/2014
Other than falling in love with New Zealand, our trip was made so much better by all the information on where to go and what to do while on our self drive tour, given to us by Relaxing Journeys. The hotels you chose for us, were just the best, wonderful service, great rooms and facilities. We saw so much, yet it was really relaxing, we just toured around and found out of the way little places, that you suggested we visit, and they were just wonderful. the glow worm caves, were spectacular, also going to see the Hole in the Rock, I was just stunned by the beauty of it, and dolphins, played all around our boat, it was the best day. Thank you again so much, for your help, and the wonderful holiday you organised for us. I will be back to do the South Island next!
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4
18/02/2012
Our experience with the tour guides was really good, could not have expected any higher standard very pleased. The accommodation was a bit to be desired at times, Powderhorn Chateau was fantastic could have stopped there longer if there were more to do there. At Bay of Island accommodation was very disappointing I (Pam) had to sleep in a single bed as the Q/size bed was like sleeping on the floor, the single was a little better but not much. Breakfast were hit & miss quite often cold or mushy, again Powderhorn great & Bay of Islands were also good.
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5
17/02/2012
Our holiday was awesome! New Zeland is beautiful and our plans were laid out so well we got to see the gorgeous sights the North Island had to offer without complication. Clean and comfortable accommodation; reliable rental car; exciting, interesting and fun Tours; maps; suggested detours; brochures and fun facts were all provided in our package, we just had to arrive and drive at our leisure. Toni did such an amazing job organising everything. She was patient and helpful through out the entire booking process, and we shuffled things around a lot trying to fit family and sightseeing in. She even answered some extra questions we had on the day we flew out, promptly before my phone signal disappeared. Sadly we could only spare time to visit the North Island but I have great plans to see the South as soon as possible and would absolutly book with 'Relaxing Journeys' again. Thank you Toni, you're brilliant!
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Optionals

New Zealand has a great deal of things to see and do, why not add one of our optional sightseeing activities to your trip. Prices are per adult (we'll adjust your quote for any children).

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10 Day Hobbiton, Mordor & Mt Doom
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNLOTRNI
From (NZD) $1796 per person
Save (NZD) $179 per person
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Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Rating:
16 reviews (4.6/5)

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

Itinerary Map

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10 Day Hobbiton, Mordor & Mt Doom
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