Journey Through Middle-earth

from £4257
excluding flights *
20 nights Year round

Overview

This is an epic 21-day journey showcasing the diverse locations used in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. From the quaint rural setting of Hobbiton to the volcanic ash of Mordor, this itinerary encapsulates all the visual splendour of the films revealing the diverse New Zealand landscapes that made the project possible. There are several guided location tours included as well as an overnight cruise on spectacular Doubtful Sound.

Highlights

  • Experience the 'Hobbiton' movie set
  • Ohinemutu Village guided walk and Maori Experience in Rotorua
  • Visit 'Mordor' in Tongariro National Park
  • Overnight cruise on stunning Doubtful Sound
  • 4WD Safari of the Scenes tour

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • 9 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Car rental throughout
  • Interislander Ferry
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Hobbiton guided tour
  • Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour
  • Introducing Te Papa Tour
  • Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Safari of the Scenes Tour
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection

Full description

Explore some of many of the country's most familiar sights as well as some out of the way places. Journey through the rolling hills of the Waikato and Hobbiton to the volcanic heart of the North Island, which provided the dramatic setting of Mordor.

Discover the tranquil sounds and stunning beaches at the top of the South Island before witnessing the truly dramatic mountains and fiords of the Southern Alps and Fiordland National Park.

Contact our New Zealand specialists now
worldwide team lauren shorney bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Offers

Airfares start from around £825 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom, including car hire. Prices for other combinations of passengers and rooms available on request. Other vehicle types also available.

Departure Duration Car Category Twin Price (pp)
01 Nov 2019 - 31 Mar 2020 20 nights Toyota Corolla Hatch (or similar) £4,257

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom (in boutique hotels)
  • 9 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Car rental throughout (Toyota Corolla Hatch or similar)
  • Interislander Ferry (Premium Plus Cabin)
  • Airport transfer on arrival
  • Hobbiton guided tour
  • Ohinemutu Village Guided Tour
  • Introducing Te Papa Tour
  • Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass
  • Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  • Safari of the Scenes Tour
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee
  • Full financial protection »

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

The itinerary shown is an example of this self-drive holiday. We have many other hotels and route recommendations which can be tailored to your requirements. Please discuss with our Travel Specialists who can put together a bespoke itinerary for you.

Day 1: Arrive Auckland

You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel in the city for an overnight stay.
Overnight: Heritage Hotel Auckland.

Day 2: Auckland - Matamata - Rotorua

Collect your rental car and travel south today to the geo-thermal heartland of Rotorua. En route stop at Matamata, home to Hobbiton and enjoy a guided tour through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Hobbit holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and other structures can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Specially brewed beverages are available at The Green Dragon Inn as you complete your tour. On arrival in Rotorua enjoy a personal guided tour of Ohinemutu Village including the iconic St Faith's Church. Your guide will share the legends and history of the village which will give you an insight into Maori culture.
Overnight: The Springs. Breakfast included.

Day 3: Rotorua – Tongariro National Park (151kms)

Enjoy your drive today, via wonderful Lake Taupo, Australasia's largest freshwater lake, and continue onto the town of Ohakune, just south of Tongariro National Park. Famous for its trio of volcanoes this is New Zealand's oldest national park and has dual World Heritage status.
Overnight: Powderhorn Chateau (2 nights).

Day 4: Tongariro National Park

Full day at leisure for optional sightseeing. Visit the area used to portray Mordor, the battle marking the end of the Second Age of Middle Earth. With blasted volcanic rock, steep bluffs and ash, little imagination is required.

Day 5: Tongariro National Park - Wellington

Drive the Desert Road south to New Zealand's vibrant capital city, Wellington. If you have time en route stop at Pukaha Mt Bruce Wildlife Centre, home to 3 extraordinary white kiwi. As you near Wellington you will experience the wide diversity of vegetation visible on the Tararua and Rimutaka Ranges. The neighbouring Wairarapa region is famous for its wine and numerous vineyards.
Overnight: QT Wellington (2 nights).

Day 6: Wellington

Enjoy a 60-minute Introducing Te Papa tour at the iconic Te Papa Museum. The name broadly translates to 'the place of treasures of this land', this tour includes notes and observations on many of the treasures housed here.

Day 7: Wellington - Picton - Nelson - Motueka

Today travel in the Premium Plus cabin on the Interislander ferry across the magnificent Cook Strait to Picton. On arrival make your way to the charming township of Motueka, gateway to Abel Tasman National Park.
Overnight: The Resurgence (3 nights). Dinner and breakfast included.*

Days 8: Motueka

Enjoy a day in the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park with your Abel Tasman Cruise & Walk Open Day Pass. Take the time to relax as you discover golden sand beaches, lush native forest and panoramic coastal vistas.

Day 9: Motueka

Spend today at leisure, you may like to spend another day exploring the bays and coves of Abel Tamsan National Park. Why not try a spot of kayaking with opportunity to see seals, birdlife, dolphins and possibly visiting Orca. Alternatively head to Kahurangi National Park for further walking adventures, or enjoy the local art, wineries and cycle trails in nearby Nelson.

Day 10: Motueka - Hokitika

From the tranquil golden sand beaches head out west to this rugged wild region, and its astonishing variety of landscapes, rich history and abundant wildlife. Stop at Punakaiki to view the fantastic blow holes and rock formations.
Overnight: Rimu Lodge. Breakfast included.

Day 11: Hokitika - Fox Glacier

Make your way to Glacier Country today and to the world's most accessible temperate-zone glaciers, nestled in valleys lined with rainforest.
Overnight: Distinction Fox Glacier Hotel. Breakfast included.

Day 12: Fox Glacier - Lake Wanaka

Continue south along the West Coast over Haast Pass to Lake Wanaka. This beautiful lakeside town has an abundance of outdoor activities in a stunning natural setting. It is a slightly quieter alternative to Queenstown and is in close proximity to Mt Aspiring National Park. The ideal location for keen hikers and those wanting to explore pristine landscapes.
Overnight: Wanaka Springs Lodge. Breakfast included.

Day 13: Lake Wanaka - Te Anau

Enjoy mountain views and fertile farm country on the drive to Te Anau. Situated beside a tranquil lake, this town is the gateway to Fiordland National Park, and an ideal base for exploration.
Overnight: Blue Ridge Boutique Bed & Breakfast. Breakfast included.

Day 14: Te Anau – Manapouri - Doubtful Sound

Today your journey begins as you travel by coach to Lake Manapouri, before cruising across the crystal waters of this sparkling lake. Continue on by coach over the majestic Wilmot Pass and through dense emerald rainforest. At Deep Cove, travellers board the Fiordland Navigator for a leisurely journey across Doubtful Sound. The vessel has spacious deck areas offering stunning views of waterfalls, abundant wildlife, rainforest and mountains and in late afternoon it anchors in a secluded spot where a 3-course buffet evening meal is served.
Overnight: Twin Share Ensuite Cabin, on board the Fiordland Navigator. Dinner and breakfast included.

Day 15: Doubtful Sound - Manapouri - Queenstown

This morning enjoy breakfast and leisurely cruising on the Sound before returning to Te Anau. Upon arrival into Manapouri make your way to Queenstown, a stunning alpine resort town, which lies at the heart of the spectacular Southern Lakes region.
Overnight: Hotel St Moritz (3 nights).

Days 16-17: Queenstown

Take a full day 4x4 Safari of the Rings Tour into the heart of New Zealand's high country - the embodiment of Tolkien's Middle Earth and the base of filming for many of the scenes in the films. Enjoy a spectacular look at the diversity of the scenery in this area. Based around several of the specific sites where filming took place (Road to Mordor, Ford of Bruinen, Amon Hen summit and more). You may also like to join a guided nature walk around Lake Wakatipu observing natural flora and fauna as well as iconic views (optional, at extra cost) or simply relax and admire the views in this spectacular region.

Day 18: Queenstown – Mount Cook

Head north today through magnificent rural landscapes en route to Mount Cook National Park which lies at the heart of the Southern Alps. The scenery here is literally breathtaking as you take in mesmerising blue glacial lakes and tussock-clad hills as well as clear skies, perfect for stargazing, before arriving at Aoraki/Mount Cook.
Overnight: The Hermitage Hotel

Day 19: Mount Cook

Enjoy today at your leisure; perhaps enjoy a glacier lake cruise, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre, take a scenic flight over Aoraki, or simply soak up the visual extravaganza of this stunning alpine setting.

Day 20: Mount Cook - Christchurch

Drive via scenic Lake Tekapo and the town of Geraldine across the Canterbury Plains to the city of Christchurch.
Overnight: The George Hotel

Day 21: Depart Christchurch

Drop off your rental vehicle at the airport depot today and depart.

Heritage Auckland

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Located a few minutes from the city centre this Green Globe accredited hotel has 467 luxurious rooms, suites and studios.

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The George

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Located in the heart of Christchurch, overlooking picturesque Hagley Park and the Avon River, The George is just a step away from key attractions including the arts market, restaurants and Botanical Gardens.

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The Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook

New Zealand

Grade: Standard

Type: Hotel

Superbly situated in Mt Cook National Park, the Hermitage offers 164 guestrooms with fabulous mountain views from the impressive foyer and lounge.

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The Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge, Nelson

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Luxury Lodge

A superb boutique property, set in 50 acres of native bush, the Resurgence Luxury Eco Lodge offers only 4 lodge rooms and 2 self-contained cottage suites.

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The Springs, Rotorua

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Built in 1998 and modelled in the style of a 1930's home, this boutique property in Rotorua offers 4 rooms within easy access of the city's attractions.

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Wanaka Springs Lodge

New Zealand

Grade: Superior

Type: Luxury Lodge

This boutique lodge offers generous New Zealand hospitality with 8 rooms set amongst a magnificent landscaped garden.

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Rimu Lodge, Hokitika

West Coast

Grade: Superior

Type: Luxury Lodge

Rimu Lodge's four rooms have been architecturally designed to maximise the breathtakingly beautiful views of the Hokitika River and alpine peaks.

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Distinction Fox Glacier Te Weheka

West Coast

Grade: Superior

Type: Hotel

Found within walking distance of the world-famous Fox Glacier, the Distinction Fox Glacier Te Weheka is a comfortable establishment set amidst the rugged mountains of Westland National Park.

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Excursions

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