• The Ultimate
    Middle Earth Journey

The Ultimate Middle Earth Journey

This is the ultimate Middle Earth journey for any Lord of the Rings enthusiast!

Not only is this itinerary packed with Lord of the Rings film locations from the Trilogy and The Hobbit movies, but you’ll also get to experience loads of fun just getting there, including four wheel drive, jetboat, plane and helicopter!

Highlights: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour, Rotorua Canopy Tours, Maori Hangi & Cultural Show, Volcanic Explorer with Lord of the Rings Tour, Wellington Filming Locations, Cape Palliser Coastal Explorer Tour, Interislander Ferry, Chetwood Forest Tour, Edoras Tour, One Ring  Tour, Misty Mountains Heli Hike, River Journeys Jetboat Ride, Two Ring Scenic Plane Flight and Full Day Lord of the Rings 4WD Tour.

Day By Day

1

Arrive Auckland

Following your airport transfer, the remainder of the day is yours to explore.

Auckland city centre offers world-class shopping, restaurants, bars and galleries which are encircled by wine regions, stunning beaches, pristine rainforest and the magnificent Hauraki Gulf.

Accommodation:
Auckland City Hotel, Deluxe Room with Full Breakfast*

Erected in 1912, the building has been extended and transformed into a captivating boutique Hotel. Retaining its iconic facade with its ideal combination of inventive design and traditional efficiency, Auckland City Hotel has retained the character and charm of its past enhanced with a relaxing contemporary decor.

 *If you are arriving early from an International Flight, please see our team about pre-registering your room for guaranteed access on your arrival. (at additional cost)

2

Auckland to Matamata, Rotorua

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: – Auckland/Matamata: 2 hours, 160km’s (99 miles)
And Matamata/Rotorua: 1 hour, 67km’s (42 miles)

Collect your Intermediate Sedan rental vehicle (Holden Cruze or similar) with all-inclusive insurance.

Passengers: 5  Bags: 2 x Large
Key Features: Automatic Transmission, 4 Door Sedan, Air Conditioning and Dual Airbags.

If you would like to upgrade your vehicle type to a larger vehicle or SUV/4WD (at additional cost), please see our team.

Today you’ll enjoy one of the ultimate Lord of the Rings film locations. Drive to Matamata this morning, where the town’s main attraction comes from the film industry after the Alexander brothers farm became the Shire in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

Experience the real Middle Earth with a two hour tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, you will be guided around the set, past Hobbit Holes, the Mill and into the famous Green Dragon Inn for a complimentary and exclusive Hobbit ‘Southfarthing’ beverage and perhaps time for lunch (at own expense).

Continue to Rotorua, a volcanic wonderland and a place that is rich in Maori culture and history.

Accommodation:
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, Superior Room with Full Breakfast

Set on the shores of Lake Rotorua, adjacent to the Polynesian Spa complex, Government Gardens and only a five-minute stroll to the city centre. Offering 248 well appointed rooms, many with superb views of Lake Rotorua and a 3.5 star Qualmark Hotel grading.

3

Rotorua

High amongst ancient trees this three hour Canopy Tour combines a fun journey with pristine natural beauty. Experience an unprecedented view of native forest from as high as 22 metres, you will be safely secured in harnesses to travel the 1.2 km course through a network of ziplines, tree to tree swing bridges, treetop platforms and walking trails.

This evening, experience a challenge by Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Following the formal elements of this Maori ceremony, relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world-renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance.   You will have a chance to participate before sitting down to enjoy traditional and indigenous hangi dinner (earth oven cooked meal).   Following dessert, return into the park and enjoy inspired delicacies and a hot drink beside the Pohutu geyser.

Accommodation:
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua, Superior Room with Full Breakfast

4

Rotorua to Taupo, Tongariro

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: 2.5 hours, 184 km’s (114 miles)

This afternoon, take in the Volcanic Explorer Tour with Lord of the Rings Highlights. This half day option allows you to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Tongariro National Park.   Start on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing track and head up to Soda Springs before returning to the start.  During your tour, take in Lake Rotopounamu, Taranaki Falls, Silica Rapids, Soda Springs, Pukeonake, Whakapapanui River, Tawhai falls, Meads Wall (time permitting). Learn about the recent and past eruptions, geology, flora and fauna discovery and the Lord of the Rings filming sites included and not included in the trilogy.

Accommodation:
Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Standard Room with Full Breakfast

The Chateau Tongariro sits majestically at the base of Mt Ruapehu and right on the doorstep of New Zealand’s volcanic plateau playground. The hotel presents 106 hotel rooms, an excellent variety of restaurants and bars, a gym, sauna and hot plunge pool, a cinema and the highest golf course in New Zealand.

5

Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: 3.5 hours, 288 km’s (179 miles)

Continue south through to Wellington today.   Called the world’s ‘coolest little capital’ Wellington is known for its vibrant arts scene, world class café and restaurant culture. An easily walk to the downtown area and attractive waterfront, Wellington enjoys more cafes, bars and restaurants than New York City. A creative, cosmopolitan city, Wellington combines the sophistication of a capital with the warmth and personality of a village.

Accommodation:
James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Terrace Room with Full Breakfast

Located in the heart of Wellington, minutes from the Cable Car, Parliament, and Lambton Quay’s shopping district and nearby to Te Papa & Westpac Stadium.  The hotel is known for its friendly, professional service and well-appointed accommodation for holiday travellers.  Two renowned restaurants & bars, conference facilities, a day spa & fitness room, an exclusive club lounge and complimentary Wi-Fi to complete the guest experience. 

6

Wellington

Visit the Wellington Lord of the Ring film locations used for the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin, Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith, and where the hobbits raced to the ferry and hid from the Nazgul. Also the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin, and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Explore Rivendell and the riverside spot where Aragorn was washed ashore.

You will also visit Miramar, the production studios and home to many of the stars while they were filming. Your tour will also include the world famous Weta Cave and Windows into Workshop exhibition, a unique ‘behind the scenes’ look of Weta Studios.

Accommodation:
James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Terrace Room with Full Breakfast

7

Wellington

This morning take the train to Featherston and meet your Cape Palliser Explorer Tour.   Experience the southern coast of Palliser Bay with guides who have spent their life here. Today you will walk the 1.5 hour loop track at the Putangirua Pinnacles, a film site where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli ride to meet the Army of the Dead.

Other highlights include Cape Palliser Lighthouse, Ngawi Village and the Seal Colony.   Morning Tea and Lunch is included today. Return to Wellington by Train.

**Please note the train cost is not included **

Accommodation:
James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel, Terrace Room with Full Breakfast

8

Wellington to Picton, Nelson

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: 2 hours, 133 km’s (83 miles)

Board your Interislander Ferry and cruise across the Cook Strait into the Marlborough Sounds and Picton.   From Picton, travel through Blenheim to Nelson.

The Christ Church Cathedral looks over the city streets where you will find boutique shops, art galleries and alfresco dining. Along Wakefield Quay, Nelson’s picturesque waterfront, you will find several restaurants with views across the harbour to the mountains.

Accommodation:
Rutherford Hotel, Premium Room with Full Breakfast

The hotel boasts a prime spot only minutes walk from Nelson’s landmark cathedral and main shopping district (including just a block away from Jens Hansen Goldsmiths, creators of the ring in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy). Explore the great indoors and soak up the comforts of the hotel:  enjoy a leisurely lap in the pool, relax in the steamy sauna, or workout in the gymnasium. 

 

 

9

Nelson

Join today’s guide for your Chetwood Forest (Hobbit’s Holiday) Tour.   Travel through ever changing and diverse landscapes of Upper Moutere, Riwaka to Marble Mountain.

At Marble mountain, enjoy magnificent views from Hawkes lookout, looking down the Riwaka Valley, across Tasman Bay towards Nelson and the Marlborough Sounds. Gain an understanding of the plumbing of the mountain and its unique and ancient geology which created the fascinating rock shapes that inspired the film makers of The Hobbit trilogy. Exploration of the mountain would not be complete without a visit into middle earth via the Ngarua Caves which exit into clusters of strange rock formations. Continue to where the Hobbits, lead by Aragorn, fled from Bree and the Black Riders into Chetwood Forest and pause to enjoy a Hobbit feast and washed down with middle earth refreshments. A nearby beech forest walk will enliven the afternoon and have your imagination working overtime until you reach Harwoods Hole – the deepest known vertical shaft in New Zealand!

Accommodation:
Rutherford Hotel, Premium Room with Full Breakfast

10

Nelson

Today is at leisure, we suggest visiting the quaint coastal village of Mapua which is a delightful place to while away a day. With a collection of waterfront restaurants, galleries, boutique shops, a brewery and an icecream parlour you will be well catered for.   Watch the local children jumping off the wharf into the ocean, try your hand at fishing or take the ferry across to Rabbit Island.

You can also hire bikes from here to go for a ride on the Great Taste Trail – take in the sea views and visit wineries and art galleries along the way. The Ruby Coast road takes you through Tasman and Kina where you can discover more beaches, a golf course, picturesque picnic spots, cafes, galleries and wineries.

Accommodation:
Rutherford Hotel, Premium Room with Full Breakfast

11

Nelson to Christchurch

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: 5.5 hours, 415 km’s (258 miles)

Following the 2010-2011 earthquakes, Christchurch has re-emerged as a vibrant and ever-changing city.

Accommodation:
Chateau on the Park, Guest Room with Full Breakfast

Set amongst five acres of tranquil surroundings and amongst gorgeous gardens the Chateau on the Park hotel offers a welcome retreat for both leisure and corporate guests. The hotel is well located just minutes away from Westfield Riccarton Mall, the CBS Arena, Addington Business District, Hagley Park and the Christchurch Railway Station.

12

Christchurch

Join your Edoras, Lord of the Rings Tour and journey to the filming location of Mount Sunday, remotely located at Mt Potts high country station. See how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan and home to Meduseld, the hall of King Theoden in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Take in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breath-taking area with sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh mountain air.

Accommodation:
Chateau on the Park, Guest Room with Full Breakfast

13

Christchurch to Twizel, Wanaka

Today’s Drive Time & Distance: 5.5 hours, 428 km’s (266 miles)

Travel south through the Mackenzie Country to Twizel for your visit to Pelennor Fields.   This two hour classic tour will have you learning more about movie making, finding locations in and around Twizel, setting up stunts, visual effects, and finding extras for large armies!  You will also have the chance to use official Lord of the Rings replica swords and wear a limited edition Gondorian helmet.

Continue to Wanaka.

Accommodation:
Edgewater Hotel, Hotel Room with Full Breakfast

Wanaka’s only lake edge accommodation, the Edgewater hotel is truly a home away from home.   Enjoy spacious renovated rooms with views of the Lake and Southern Alps.

14

Wanaka

Experience an exclusive Misty Mountain Heli Hike tour over “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” country. The helicopter follows the eagles flight with a landing on glaciated Fog Peak, to admire Mt Aspiring (Tititea) at 3033m, and its surrounding glacier cloaked panorama of the breathtaking Southern Alps and take in three Trilogy film sites from here.   Soak in the view between the Treble Cone’s Towers, then walk the very footsteps that the legendary dwarves, wizard, and our little heroic ring carrier traversed in their quest over the top of the Misty Mountains, as seen in the Hobbit movie.

On our quest, descend two hours of guided hike from 2000m, traversing the ridge line, revealing huge rock pillars, canyons, cliffs and glaciers draining into rivers, joining the beautiful jewel blue lake far below. The lake town of Wanaka is to the east.  This downhill walk has amazing diversity, revealing unexpected wonders – Home of the fearless New Zealand falcon, and the curious kea, a unique, inquisitive mountain parrot.

Please note, a good level of fitness and confidence is required for this hike with steep terrain.

15

Wanaka to Queenstown

This morning, take in an exciting wilderness jet boating adventure in the spectacular World Heritage Mount Aspiring National Park. Travel past towering mountains, hanging glaciers, waterfalls and Lord of The Rings locations on the pristine waters of the Matukituki River.  Deep in the mountains, leave the jet boat and walk (50 minutes) through ancient beach forests to see waterfalls.

In the afternoon, drive the short distance to Queenstown, the backdrop for several Lord of the Rings movie sites.

Accommodation: 
Heartland Hotel Queenstown, Standard Room with Full Breakfast

Your Swiss-style chalet in the hills. Perched above the town centre, the Hotel has a distinctive A-frame architecture which helps to create a traditional alpine atmosphere. Situated on Stanley Street, the Hotel is the ideal place to stay if you want to be close to all the action of Queenstown’s main centre, yet be elevated enough to take advantage of the spectacular views over lake Wakatipu to the mountains.

16

Queenstown

Today you will experience a two hour scenic flight (including 30min landing) over the most popular Lord of the Rings filming locations. By air, see the locations for the river Anduin, Ford of Bruinen, the Rohan camp at Dunharrow and Nen Hithoel, where Frodo saved Sam from drowning.

Included is a landing by the locations of Lothlorien, the battle of Amon Hen, where Boromir is struck down, Fangorn Forest and Saruman’s Tower at Isengard.

Accommodation: 
Heartland Hotel Queenstown, Standard Room with Full Breakfast

17

Queenstown

Board your four wheel drive for an exciting off road adventure and discover Lord of the Rings film locations. This morning, take in the Wakatipu Basin tour taking 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, view Deer Park Heights used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes.

In the afternoon, head to Glenorchy stopping at breath-taking viewpoints along the way. Beyond Glenorchy, you will follow the Dart River to the filming location for Isengard which also offers on spectacular views of Mt Earnslaw.  Discover the location for the Forest of Lothlorien as you travel though to Paradise. At 12 Mile Delta, explore the location of the Ithilien Camp before returning to Queenstown.

Accommodation: 

Heartland Hotel Queenstown, Standard Room with Full Breakfast

18

Farewell Middle Earth

Your Lord of the Rings film locations tour concludes today with the return of your rental vehicle.

Connect with your onwards flight (flight not included).

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Contact Details

Phone Us
+64 3 3555 990
+64 21 461 971

Our Physical Address
18B Onslow Street, St Albans
Christchurch 8014
New Zealand

Our Postal Address
PO Box 36437, Merivale
Christchurch 8146
New Zealand

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Tour Inclusions

Lord of the Rings film locations

Terms & Conditions

Booking Terms & Conditions:

Currency

All pricing is in New Zealand Dollars and includes 15% GST (Goods & Services Tax).

Pricing

Pricing is subject to availability and confirmation of the stated itinerary at time of booking.  If we are unable to confirm the stated hotels and services, we will endeavour to confirm substitutes at similar rates, however additional costs may apply.

Rental Car Terms & Conditions:

Inclusions: unlimited kilometres, airport/ferry collection fee, full insurance (subject to reduced excess), front windscreen cover, personal accident insurance, guaranteed replacement vehicle in case of accident.

Exclusions: insurance excess reduction of $345.00 including GST (note, standard insurance excess is $3,450.00 including GST), bond, petrol costs, one way fee ($57.50), optional extras, (all additional expenses to be paid direct)

Payment Policy

We do require a non-refundable deposit of NZD$250.00 per person before we go ahead with securing any reservations.

In addition, some of our suppliers may require further deposits to cover their strict cancellation policies, in this case we would advise you at the time of quoting and confirming your itinerary.

The balance of your booking would be required 45 days prior to your travel date.   If you book inside 45 days, full payment would be required at time of booking.

Payment can be made by electronic wire transfer and should include the additional NZD $25.00 bank fee.   We also accept Visa and Mastercard at an additional fee of 3.1%.

Bank Account Details

Bank Name & Address: Westpac Bank, Mid City Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand

Account Name: Inspired New Zealand Travel

BSB Number: 03-0296

Account Number: 0011146-000

Swift/Routing Code: WPACNZ2W 

Amendments

We are happy to amend your itinerary and dates, however please keep in mind that some of the original services may not be available for your new dates, which may incur additional costs for substituted services.   Amendment fees may apply with multiple changes.

Cancellation Fees

Once Confirmed               Non-refundable Deposit of NZD $250.00 per person

Inside 45 – 21 Days          A Cancellation fee of 30% of your total booking value will apply, along with any cancellation fees applied by our accommodation, sightseeing and other providers.

Inside 20 – 8 days             A Cancellation fee of 50% of your total booking value will apply, along with any cancellation fees applied by our accommodation, sightseeing and other providers.

Inside 7 Days                      Full Cancellations, 100% charge

We will however do our very best to recover and minimise these cancellation fees but recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to cover yourself.

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