Unique & Boutique New Zealand Tour - Journey Through Middle Earth

A 1 day trip to New Zealand
193 reviews

A comprehensive itinerary of New Zealand including both the North & South Islands. Explore Cities, mountains, lakes, glaciers, fjords, bubbling mud pools & geysers, pristine beaches and interact with wildlife in stunning natural surrounds.

General Information

Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

North & South Island New Zealand

Departure Dates 

Daily departures

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1 - Depart Los Angeles or your local airport via Los Angeles for Auckland, New Zealand

Day 2 - Cross the International Dateline

Day 3 - Arrive Auckland
Auckland Arrive Auckland. On arrival you will be transferred by private car to your hotel. Stay: Aachen House

Day 4 - Auckland - Matamata - Rotorua (Breakfast included)
Your rental car will be delivered to your hotel. Depart Auckland and drive south to Matamata in the Waikato Region (approx. 200kms). On arrival in Matamata visit the original Hobbiton village set from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The remnants of the movie set are on picturesque private farmland. Enjoy a guided tour through the ten acre site and learn fascinating details of how the Hobbiton set was created. After your tour continue your journey south to Rotorua (approx. 80kms). On arrival make your way to your hotel.
Stay: The Springs

Day 5 - Rotorua (Breakfast included)
Full day at your leisure for optional sightseeing. You may like to visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve, the native garden setting of the Rainbow Trout Springs and Kiwi House or the entertaining Agrodome Sheep Show
Stay: The Springs

Day 6 - Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (Breakfast included)
Depart Rotorua and drive south via Lake Taupo to the Tongariro National Park (approx. 200kms). On arrival make your way to your hotel. Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s first National Park and a world heritage area.
Stay: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Day 7 - Tongariro National Park (Breakfast included)
Full day at your leisure for optional sightseeing. Visit the area used to portray the battle marking the end of the Second Age of Middle-earth. With blasted volcanic rock, steep bluffs and ash, little imagination is required to envisage Mordor.
Stay: Bayview Chateau Tongariro

Day 8 - Tongariro National Park - Wellington (Breakfast included)
Depart Tongariro National Park and drive further south to Wellington - the capital city of New Zealand (approx. 315kms). On arrival make your way to your hotel.
Stay: Ruby House

Day 9 - Wellington (Breakfast included)
Full day at your leisure for optional sightseeing. You may like to visit Mt Victoria - the summit in the centre of the city that was turned into Outer Shire. Or the Embassy Theatre - location of the Australasian premiere of the Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Or you may like to visit the site of the film sets for Bree and Helm’s Deep (note the sets have been removed).
Stay: Ruby House

Day 10 - Wellington - Picton - Nelson (Breakfast included)
This morning drop off your rental car and take the InterIslander Ferry Terminal across Cook Strait to Picton. Collect another rental car in Picton and drive to Nelson (approx. 110kms). On arrival make your way to your hotel. The afternoon is at your leisure for optional sightseeing. You may like to visit Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith - designers of the One Ring. One of the original rings is on display here.
Stay: Cambria House

Day 11 - Nelson - Collingwood (Breakfast included)
Depart Nelson and drive to Collingwood via Takaka Hill (approx. 131kms). Travel via unspoilt beaches, striking mountain landscapes and dramatic holes in the earth. Climbing to the 972m summit of the Takaka Hill, a number of rocky marble outcrops can be seen, the only place outside of Italy where such formations exist. Take a journey through ghostly trees to the general location of filming. After your journey continue to Collingwood. On arrival make your way to your hotel.
Stay: Collingwood Homestead

Day 12 - Collingwood (Breakfast included)
Full day at your leisure. You may like to explore the nearby Abel Tasman National Park or perhaps journey out to Farewell Spit.
Stay: Collingwood Homestead

Day 13 - Collingwood - Hokitika (Breakfast included)
Depart Collingwood and drive via Motueka and Murchison to Hokitika. You can either drive via Westport (approx. 416kms) or via Reefton (approx. 382kms). If you drive via Westport you may like to stop at the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowhole. Make your way to your accommodation.
Stay: Kapitea Ridge

Day 14 - Hokitika - Fox Glacier (Breakfast included)
Drive down the West Coast to Fox Glacier (approx. 208kms). You have the option to tour to the glaciers today whilst passing through the glacier townships.
Stay: Te Weheka Inn

Day 15 - Fox Glacier - Wanaka (Breakfast included))
Depart Fox Glacier and drive via Haast Pass to Wanaka (approx. 287kms). Looking towards the Alps from the Wanaka waterfront, at the end of the lake you can see the backdrop used when Gandalf flew to Rohan with Gwaihir, after his rescue from Orthanc.
Stay: Wanaka Springs Lodge

Day 16 - Wanaka - Te Anau (Breakfast included)
Depart Wanaka and drive via Queenstown to Te Anau (approx. 273kms). You may like to drive via the Crown Range. Expansive views from up here - to the left are the River Anduin and the Pillars of the Argonath, and high in the hills is the Dimrill Dale. Once at the bottom of the Crown Range travel over the Kawarau River which doubled as the Anduin River. Continue on to Te Anau. Enroute you may like to visit the Mavora Lakes - a special forested area containing two serene lakes. Continue your journey to Fangorn Forest. Arrive Te Anau.
Stay: Fiordland Lodge

Day 17 - Te Anau - Manapouri - Doubtful Sound (Breakfast and Dinner included)
This morning depart Te Anau, make your way to Manapouri (approx. 15kms) and check in for your Doubtful Sound overnight cruise. Cruise across Lake Manapouri. On your journey cast your eyes upwards to the high mountaintops on your right, by Freeman Burn. Situated far up in these alpine peaks are the Norwest Lakes - locations used to show the Fellowship heading south from Rivendell. Disembark at West Arm and travel by coach over Wilmot Pass. At Deep Cove board the overnight cruise vessel for a leisurely exploration of Doubtful Sound. The vessel then anchors overnight in one of Doubtful Sound’s hidden arms.
(Cruise does not operate mid May to 30th September - during this time tour will spend a night in Te Anau with a full day Doubtful Sound Cruise ex Manapouri including a picnic lunch on board.)

Day 18 - Doubtful Sound - Manapouri - Queenstown (Breakfast included)
Time to explore before returning to Deep Cove and disembarking. Return to Manapouri Wharf. Make your way to Queenstown (approx. 185kms).
Stay: Browns Boutique Hotel

Day 19 Queenstown (Breakfast included)
Today enjoy a full day 4WD Safari of the Rings Tour. A 4WD tour into the heart of New Zealand’s high country - the embodiment of the middle earth, of Tolkien’s imagination. 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).
Stay: Browns Boutique Hotel

Day 20 Queenstown (Breakfast included)
This morning enjoy a scenic drive to the hamlet of Glenorchy where you will board the specially designed Dart River Jet. This journey into Middle Earth combines 1.5 hours jetboating amidst the spectacular scenery of the Southern Alps, a gentle walk in the ancient forests and a backroad journey through high country farmland and forests - around Paradise - film location for Lord of the Rings.This afternoon is at your leisure for optional sightseeing. You may like to drive to Arrowtown - home to the Ford of Bruinen. The Ford is only minutes from the centre of the village on the Arrow River.
Stay: Browns Boutique Hotel

Day 21 Queenstown - Mount Cook (Breakfast & Dinner)
This morning time is available for an optional 'Trilogy Trail' helicopter tour. Glenorchy Air were employed by Peter Jackson’s production company to fly cast, crew, costumes and film equipment to and from various places around the southern half of the South Island. By air see the lush locations for the river Anduin, the Ford of Bruinen, Lothlorien, Amon Hen, Isengard, Field of Cormallen, Lawn of Parth Galen, Lake of Nen Hithoel and Amon Lhaw. Included is at least one landing at an isolated location (tour is approx. 2.5 hours in duration). Depart Queenstown and drive to the alpine village of Mount Cook (approx. 263kms).
Stay: The Hermitage

Day 22- Mount Cook - Christchurch (Breakfast included)
Time is available this morning to explore Mount Cook. Mt. Cook, at 3764 metres is New Zealand’s highest peak, and is located in the heart of New Zealand’s most spectacular mountain region, the Southern Alps. One of the most spectacular features of this area is the Tasman Glacier which is 30kms long and more than 3kms across at the widest point. Also well worth seeing is the Hochstetter Ice-Fall. There are a wide variety of walking trips available where mountain and glacier scenery are at their best. Depart Mount Cook and drive over the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch (approx. 331kms).
Stay: The Charlotte Jane

Day 23- Christchurch (Breakfast included)
Your itinerary concludes upon returning your vehicle to the Christchurch rental car airport depot
Depart Christchurch for your return flight to Los Angeles via Auckland



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