Lord of the Rings Film Sites
The film sites for the Lord of the Rings trilogy take you off main tourist routes to places of outstanding natural beauty. Most of the guides were involved during the filming, either as advisors to the film crew, transport suppliers, or are locals with a passion for the films and sharing these sites with other enthusiasts. Enjoy guided tours to visit Hobbiton, Mordor Helms Deep, Rivendell, WETA Workshop, stunning Edoras, Dimrill Dale, the River Anduin, Ford Of Bruinen and Fangorn Forest. A must do for Lord of the Rings enthusiasts..
- Meet and Greet on arrival in New Zealand
- New Zealand Airport Transfers
- English/Foreign speaking guide depending on arrangements
- Quality hotel accommodation, twin/double rooms, (single rooms available with single supplement) all with private facilities
- Cooked Breakfasts (B) and Dinners (D) where indicated on the itinerary or to be included by arrangement.
- Tour admissions as per itinerary. (eg scenic boat cruises, cultural events). Please see itinerary for specifics.
- Touring in a modern air conditioned vehicle, type depending on arrangements
- Complimentary Travel Kit including travel vouchers, support documentation and a New Zealand Map.
Self Drive Rental Vehicle - Private Car & Driver/Guide (or a combination)
Day 1 - ARRIVE IN AUCKLAND; NEW ZEALAND
Morning arrival at Auckland International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation by private car and driver. The balance of the day is free to relax and explore New Zealand's largest city independently.
Day 2 - AUCKLAND / HOBBITON / ROTORUA SIGHTS (235 KMS)
This morning travel south from Auckland and over the Bombay Hills, and through the lush green farmlands of the Waikato Valley to the small country town of Matamata. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of the Hobbiton site. Located on a picturesque sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges, the Hobbiton movie set has now been returned to its natural state, however hobbit holes and some structures from the film set are still present. Your tour guide will escort you around the site, recounting fascinating details on how Hobbiton was created. Afterwards travel across the bush clad Mamaku Ranges to Rotorua for a guided tour of Te Puia - the Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to see the geysers and other interesting thermal activity and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where young Maori are being taught traditional carving and weaving skills.
In the evening attend of Hangi dinner and concert of Maori song and dance including the famous Haka on a local Marae (Maori Village).
Day 3 - ROTORUA / TAUPO / TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK (208 KMS)
Today travel south through forests and farmlands to Wairakei. View the spectacular Huka Falls on the Waikato River and then continue to nearby Taupo, which is a popular resort town on the shores of Lake Taupo. Drive around New Zealand's largest lake and world renowned trout fishery and into Tongariro National Park. There are three main peaks in Tongariro National Park - Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngaruahoe, all of which are volcanic. Meet your guide for a half day tour of LOTR sites used in the film to depict Mordor, Gorgorach Plains and Emyn Muil. Stay at the Powderhorn Chateau, which is situated at the base of the mountain road leading to the Turoa Ski field on Mt Ruapehu. This hotel was home for Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings cast for six weeks in 2000, and when they returned in May 2002 to shoot the new scene for the Ithilien Camp, featured in The Two Towers .
Day 4 - TONGARIRO NATIONAL PARK / WELLINGTON (295 KMS)
Travel south across the Desert Road and through Waiouru and Taihape. Descend through the Mangaweka Hills, which offer stunning views of the Rangitikei River (where some of the scenes for the River Anduin were filmed), and continue across the sheep and cattle farmlands of the Manawatu region and down the Kapiti Coast into Wellington.
Afternoon small group tour to Lord of the Rings filming sites in the Wellington and Hutt Valley areas includes the outskirts of the Shire, the River Anduin, Helms Deep and Minas Tirith. Also go to where the hobbits raced to the ferry, to Rivendell and beside the Fords of Isen.
Day 5 - WELLINGTON / CHRISTCHURCH (BY AIR)
This morning visit Weta Cave at Miramar. WETA Workshop here was responsible for the design, fabrication and on set operation of Miniatures, Armour, Weapons, Props, Prosthetics, Creatures, Costumes, Special Make Up and Suit effects for the Lord of the Rings films. You will also see costumes and special effects they did for the Chronicles of Nania and King Kong among other films.
In the afternoon fly to Christchurch.
Day 6 - DAY TOUR TO EDORAS
Today take a small group tour south across the sheep and cropping Canterbury Plains to Fairlie and inland through Mt Somers to Mt Potts high country station. Scenically this is a most spectacular location, which was used to create Edoras the capital city of the Rohan people and Meduseld, King Theoden's hall. Includes picnic lunch with champagne. Return to Christchurch in the early evening.
Day 7 - CHRISTCHURCH / QUEENSTOWN (BY AIR)
Morning flight to Queenstown. On arrival take a Middle Earth helicopter flight designed by the principal filming pilot for the Lord of the Rings films. Your flight will take you towards the steep ridges of the Misty Mountains. Climbing ever higher, the first stop is the Dimrill Dale, lying between two great arms of the mountains. This valley marks the western door of the great Gates of Khazad-dum (Moria) and the source of the River Silverlode. Then continue across Lake Wakatipu and fly over Amon Hen, scene of the Breaking of the Fellowship. Excellent views can be obtained of the forest where Lurtz fought his final battle against Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas and Gimli. Heading now towards the River Bruinen you will see the Ford, scene of the desperate encounter between Arwen and the Black Riders. Heading back to Queenstown, see glimpses of the River Anduin (location of the Gates of Argonath) before landing back at Queenstown Airport. This 40-minute flight includes one landing.
On the road again travel out to Arrowtown to view the Ford of Bruinen at the Arrow River. Cross the Kawarau River Bridge and travel up this road for views of the River Anduin and the Pillars of the Kings.
On return to Queenstown take a tour of Deer Park Heights, an 800 metre conical hill with a number of walks revealing many locations, all with panoramic views.
Day 8 - AT QUEENSTOWN
Today travel around Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy. This little village nestles at the northern end of Lake Wakatipu with the jagged peaks of the snow-capped Misty Mountains acting as a spectacular backdrop. Enjoy a full day trip deep into Mt Aspiring National Park into areas not accessible by the public. The scenery is spectacular with high mountains all around, and lush native rainforest. The isolation is splendid. You will see Paradise Ducks and other native birds, and trout may be seen in the rivers. This area provided the locations for Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen.
Day 9 - QUEENSTOWN / THE MAVORA LAKES / TE ANAU (234 KMS)
Depart Queenstown early today and travel along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through Kingston and Mossburn. At the turnoff to the Mavora Lakes, meet your guide who was closely involved with the filming in this area. It is a 45-minute drive on an unpaved road off the main highway to reach the Mavora Lakes, site of the Fangorn Forest and Nen Hithoel. Enroute stop to view the locations for the filming of the heap of burning Orc bodies and the edge of the Fangorn Forest scenes. Also today visit the North and South Lakes, which were the location for boating scenes and the final scenes from the Fellowship of the Ring, along with the Orc/Hobbit chase shots.
Day 10 - FIORDLAND NATIONAL PARK
Free day for optional excursions to Milford Sound or to Doubtful Sound- perhaps an overnight on a boat on one of the fiords (not available over the winter months).
Day 11 - TE ANAU / QUEENSTOWN (170 KMS) AND DEPART NEW ZEALAND
Today travel back to Queenstown Airport and check in for your departure flight.