15 Day Hobbiton to the Misty Mountains

15 Day Hobbiton to the Misty Mountains

An amazing self-drive tour of the length of New Zealand for lovers of all things LOTR. This tour showcases the best and most well known location shoots for LOTR fans as well guided tours from the experts and the opportunity to experience New Zealand scenery in all her glory.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

Tour Info

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Queenstown
Departures: May 2018 to March 2019
Price:
From (NZD) $3372 per person
Tour Operator: Relaxing Journeys
Duration: 15 Days
Tour Code: GNLOTRNZ

Inclusions

14 nights accommodation
Rental vehicle of your choice including airport and ferry port collection charges
Half day Bush & Beach Wilderness Experience Tour
Hobbiton Tour
Admission to Te Puia's Geothermal Valley
Maori Mitai Cultural Evening with traditional Feast
Half day Lord of the Rings Tour, Wellington
Whalewatch Cruise in Kaikoura
Full day Lord of the Rings Tour, Christchurch
Dart River Wilderness Safari
Interislander Ferry Crossing
Comprehensive travel compendium, including Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook, maps, vouchers and travel guides

Conditions

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 May 2018 – March 2019. 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.

Book and pay your deposit by 30 November 2018 to receive a 5% discount off your tour price for this month

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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. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 2
Wilderness Experience Tour

This morning is free to relax or explore Auckland city. This afternoon join your half day Wilderness Experience tour. In just 30 minutes you leave behind the bustle of the city and step into the tranquility of the rainforest.

Travel to the Arataki Centre perched high on the ridge of the Waitakere Ranges and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Learn about and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings.

Continue on to the lush rainforest where you can walk the easy bush tracks amongst giant tree ferns and view New Zealand’s famous kauri trees. Unwind by a spectacular cascading waterfall or swim beneath it. Move on to experience the power of the wild and rugged west coast.

Feel the black sand beneath your feet as you stroll along some of the most awe-inspiring beaches the world has to offer (the same beach on which ‘The Piano’ was filmed).

Your choice of accommodation

Day 3
Auckland - Hobbiton - Rotorua

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 4
Rotorua

Free time to explore Rotorua today. You may like to visit the Agrodome or take a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha for spectacular views of Rotorua. 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 5
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.

Overnight stay tonight is 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! 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.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 6
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 7
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.

Visit 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 and 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 Miramar where Peter Jackson and Weta New Zealand have put their 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. 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 8
Wellington - Picton - Kaikoura

Today you will travel across Cook Strait, the stretch of water that separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The journey across Cook Strait has a dramatic beauty all of its own.

Today is another day of spectacular scenery as you drive through vineyards, rolling hillsides and along the Kaikoura Coast. Take some time to stop along the coast where you can see seals and other wildlife before heading on to Kaikoura, the whale watching capital of New Zealand.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 9
Kaikoura - Whalewatch Tour - Christchurch

This morning we have included a whalewatch cruise to see the giant sperm whales, dolphins, fur seals and depending on the season you may also see migrating Humpback whales, Pilot whales, Blue whales and Southern Right whales.

From Kaikoura it’s two hours direct to Christchurch or you may like to take a more scenic inland route via Hanmer Springs to bathe in the mineral pools in their alpine setting. Make your way south to Christchurch – the Garden City, and the largest in the South Island. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 10
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)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 11
Christchurch - Tekapo - Lake Pukaki - Mt Cook

Head south across the Canterbury Plains, through the picturesque town of Geraldine. Be sure you make a photo stop 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/Mt Cook.

Drive by the southern end of the lake, and through Twizel and the grassy plains of Pelennor Fields to Mt Cook village for overnight stay.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 12
Mt Cook - Wanaka

The easy drive to Omarama takes you through picturesque sheep farming country fringed with mountain ranges. You’ll have the chance to detour to the fascinating Paritea cliffs, which are constantly being exposed by the active Osler fault line. You could also pause to cast a line into the Ahuriri River – famous for sizeable rainbow and brown trout.

You’ll know you’re in Omarama when you see the giant merino sheep statue. This area’s unique geography has made it a magnet for gliding enthusiasts. The north-westerly wind blows steadily to form the famous Northwest Arch, a thermal that can take the glider pilots to 10,000 metres. Scenic soaring can be arranged.

Your trip to Wanaka then takes you through the beautiful Lindis Pass – just magic when there’s snow around. Then at Tarras, a small sheep farming settlement on State Highway 8, not far from the southern end of the Lindis Pass. You might like to stop at one of the vineyards that have been established here in recent years (mainly pinot noir and Riesling) before you head inland to reach your destination of the peaceful and picturesque lakeside town Wanaka.

From the waterfront, look towards the Alps at the end of the lake and you’ll see the backdrop used for Gandalf’s flight to Rohan with Gwaihir, after his rescue from Orthanc.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 13
Wanaka - Queenstown

From the beautiful scenic centre of Lake Wanaka we recommend you take the shorter route to Queenstown, 70 km (44 miles) by way of the Crown Range. The highest main road in New Zealand, with great views and gold mining history – it’s a unique trip not to be missed.

The road zigzags up to the Crown Terrace and from there you can look down to Arrowtown in the Arrow Valley, and across at the end of the Remarkables and the road to the Remarkables skifield. More conservative drivers can take the State highway 6 route that runs beside the Clutha River, Lake Dunstan and the Shotover River and takes you through Cromwell and the scenic Kawarau Gorge and onto Queenstown.

This afternoon, join your Dart River Wilderness Safari. The ‘Wilderness Safari’ is a diverse adventure exploring spectacular ‘World Heritage’ wilderness within Mt Aspiring National Park through a combination of exhilarating wilderness jet boating, informative guided ancient forest walk and back-country 4WD safari vehicle.

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. (2 nights)

Your choice of accommodation

Day 14
Queenstown

Today is free for you to choose any activities you’d like (own expense), or you can extend this self drive to give yourself plenty of free time. We’d recommend either a day tour to Milford Sound or a Safari of the Scenes half day Lord of the Rings tour.

The Lord of the Rings Wakatipu Basin Tour takes you 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 we 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. The Safari of the Scenes – Glenorchy also includes locations from Xmen Origins: Wolverine, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

Or if you’d like to visit one of New Zealands most popular iconic destinations then perhaps join an unforgettable journey from Queenstown into Milford Sound as you journey along the edge of Lake Wakatipu to Te Anau by coach. The road to Milford is one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives.

The first part is relatively mild farmland, then you’ll ease into beech forest near the entrance to the Fiordland National Park. The rough hewn Homer Tunnel brings you into Milford Sound, an amazing 22km-long fiord dominated by Mitre Peak. At Milford Sound, board your boat for a spectacular cruise in New Zealand’s most famous waterway, a dramatic 22 kilometre fiord carved by glaciers during the last ice age.

After your cruise you join your coach back to Queenstown.

Your choice of accommodation

Day 15
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.

Return your car 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).

Your choice of accommodation

4.9/5.0

There are 11 reviews of this tour from past clients of Relaxing Journeys, averaging 4.9 out of 5.

Overall Tour Rating
Value For Money
Accommodation
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Relaxing Journeys Experience

Tour Reviews

5
10/10/2016
Fantastic tour, all that we wished for. The locations are all spectacular, the visits to the Lord of the Rings filming sites were brilliant, accommodation very comfortable and the pace of the trip was perfect. If you want to see not just LOTR sites but also the best NZ has to offer, this is a perfect tour!
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4
18/09/2016
We booked the Hobbiton to Misty Mountains trip with Mani and couldn't have asked for better help and service throughout the whole process. My partner is a massive Lord of the Rings fan and the included tours/suggested detours in this package certainly didn't disappoint. From seeing the Weta studios in Wellington to Mt Sunday (Edoras) out of Christchurch, he was really grinning from ear to ear. I myself wasn't the biggest LOTR fan myself before the trip, but everything was so entertaining and engaging I can't wait to watch all the movies again! My only feedback would be that for the city stops (Auckland and Wellington), hotel parking should be booked and payed for as part of the trip, as this would save a bit of stress on these days. Other than that, absolutely awesome trip, perfect pace (make sure to book a few extra nights at the start and/or end), good detailed itinerary for the road and flawless communication and service throughout! Thanks Mani!
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5
09/02/2016
Best vacation ever!! We did the self drive and highly recommend it. Adds so much flexibility to the trip. Driving on the left side was a concern, but if you take it slow to begin with it all falls into place. (Except starting the windshield wipers every time you want to put on the blinker!!) NZ roads are easy to travel on and lots of places to pull off and let other drivers pass. We are LOTR fans so Toni customized a trip where we could see all the sites we wanted in addition to other sites (Milford Sound, Punakakai, Franz Josef). Unfortunately a couple trips on helicopters were cancelled due to weather (we understand there is a 45% cancellation rate in the mountains) but nothing anyone can do about clouds surrounding the mountains. We were reimbursed promptly for the missed trips. Extra days spent in Queenstown were well worth it, so much to do!! However as Christchurch is still being rebuilt I would say 2 days is more than enough. If you are thinking of going to NZ, Relaxing Journeys is the way to go!! BEAUTIFUL Country and BEAUTIFUL people in NZ. We hope to go back soon.
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5
08/02/2016
We (Hubble and wife) took our 14 year old daughter from Canada this Feb 2016. We spent 18 days on the self-drive \"Hobbiton to the Misty Mountains\" tour and it was fantastic. We started in Auckland and ended up in Queenstown. From start to finish, all of the details and arrangements were well explained, planned and organized by Toni, our Tour Consultant. Everything was ready for us at each location as expected with no problems or glitches - smooth as silk. Before we left, we found it was very easy to make a few customized changes to the tour plans for things we wanted to add and modify. The timing and directions in the itinerary were all very accurate so there was no confusion. There were even detailed maps and driving instructions in the rental car, which were appreciated, along with a book of Lord of the Rings filming locations and other materials to help us on our way. Enough about the logistics! The things we did and saw - wow! We were aiming for a Lord of the Rings' themed New Zealand experience and we got that. We saw many of the film locations for the LOTR and Hobbit movies which we were thrilled about. We did however not have much time to see a lot of other things in Auckland and Wellington. No fault of our tour - there is just so much to see! I would advise anyone going to NZ to take at least three weeks. Two weeks will leave you sadly wanting... :( Some of our favourite tours/locations were the half day Rover LOTR Tour in Wellington (we actually extended it to the full day once we realized you got to go to Rivendell) and the 4WD tour to Edoras. We also took in a seal swim in Kaikoura and many awesome adventurous activities in Queenstown, which were fantastic. There were so many other things we loved - the Maori cultural experience at Te Puia, Hobbiton, Lake Wanaka, Dart River Jet Boats, Pakiri Beach Horseback Riding...it goes on. The scenery across NZ is simply breathtaking, the food is fantastic, the people are super friendly and there is no shortage of things to do. Oh and let's not forget the wine! Delicious! Many of the things we saw were only accessible with a scheduled tour. The convenience of having everything so well arranged for us with top notch accommodations and breakfast already included was so worth it. In many places, there were no vacancies and there was heavy occupancy with large tour groups and you would be hard pressed to find places to stay if you tried to make arrangements on your own. One other comment for those considering self-drive: we have done extensive driving in the UK and have experience driving on narrow, twisty roads. Most of our driving days were only about 2 hours which was manageable but the driving can be quite tiring. Some of the roads are very curvy and steep. We loved it as we love driving but something to keep in mind if you don't enjoy driving. Now, we must go back to work and figure out how to put together enough $$ to go again. It is definitely on the list!
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5
15/01/2016
From my first contact with Toni, through all my juggling of the itinerary to fit in the changes I wanted, until the last excursion from Queentown Wonderful. I cannot believe how beautiful NZ (both islands) is and how friendly all the people we met were. Thank you for your part in making our visit to New Zealand a truly unforgettable experience.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
04/12/2015
Perfectly organised trip by Mani who bent over backwards to make sure we were happy. Every detail had been planned so that on our arrival in Auckland all we had to do was enjoy. The voucher system meant no fuss step by step payments and the itinerary had lots of extra little bits of information so that we missed nothing along the way. All accommodation was better than we expected and there were no nasty surprises during the trip only nice ones. We had the perfect holiday with no effort on our behalf. Thank you so much Relaxing Journeys and Mani. I would definitely use you again.
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5
29/10/2015
Wonderful holiday, just the right pace for what we wanted. A great introduction to NZ giving us ideas for future visits. Well organised and easy on us.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
25/03/2015
Everything was excellent. All the accommodation was ok with some venues exceptional. Tour pace was just as we wanted with no long drives. Kruise sat nav was very valuable and added to the experience. We loved every minute. One very minor gripe which can be easily amended was the directions for the Hobbiton tour. Your itinerary stated it was in Matamata whereas it is in Buckland. An easier instruction stating follow the brown Hobbiton signs would have been more helpful. Thanks for making our holiday in New Zealand unforgettable.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
17/12/2014
The tour was everything we wished for, the arrangements made by yourselves worked perfectly. The hotels booked with the exception of one were what we have chosen ourselves, the exception being the Ibis in Wellington. The room we were assigned was dark with little to recommend it to stay on Christmas day. The staff were not as helpful as we would have liked, especially with car parking where they give little (or no) help. The hotel in Twizel was fine, but we might have preferred to stay at Mount Cook, cutting some driving time on such a long tour. These are only our observations, not criticisms of your service.
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Relaxing Journeys Experience
5
02/09/2013
Our Tour Consultant, Toni Harris, was very helpful from the onset! Her experience and expertise made booking and accommodating to our flight dates very easy. Her recommendation for the itinerary was perfect! We couldn't get more vacation leave at one time but if we had, we would have loved to spend more time in each place. However, having said that, the 15 days tour was sufficient for our first time there. For first-timers, getting around was surprisingly very easy. The cars we got were excellent! Unexpectedly, we got upgraded to a the Toyota Highlander during our drive in the North Island which made our start of the journey even more excellent! The GPS provided was useful though it became a bit unresponsive when the weather was too cold but it didn't take long for it to go back to normal. Also, thank you for indicating there that we were on our honeymoon. The hotels were more than happy to upgrade us to a superior/deluxe room. And we loved that some of the hotels have microwaves and stoves! I think that really helped to save us some money and time when it came to lunch and dinner time. The areas where the hotels were located were nearby the towns/airports and most importantly, safe! Lastly, the tours booked provided were so much fun and professional. The tour guides came on time and the ones that we got were experience and friendly. During our trip to Mount Sunday (Edoras) at Christchurch, we experienced strong winds and the tour guide advised that it wasn't safe. We were extremely thankful that he made that decision especially after watching/reading the news the day after on the extreme weather. His experience and decision certainly ensured that we continued to have good memories of NZ and let us continue with your honeymoon safely. Overall, the whole journey to NZ with Relaxing Journeys was EXCELLENT. I am definitely recommending it to my friends/families!
Overall Tour Rating

Value For Money

Accommodation

Tour Pace

Relaxing Journeys Experience

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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15 Day Hobbiton to the Misty Mountains
Self Drive Tours
Tour Code: GNLOTRNZ
From (NZD) $3372 per person
Save (NZD) $338 per person
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Rating:
11 reviews (4.9/5)

An amazing self-drive tour of the length of New Zealand for lovers of all things LOTR. This tour showcases the best and most well known location shoot... Read More

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15 Day Hobbiton to the Misty Mountains
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