Business district in Auckland, New Zealand

15 Year Anniversary of New Zealand as Middle-earth Tour

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

New Zealand

Places Visited

Auckland, Rotorua, Tongariro National Park, Hobbiton...

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Suggested Duration

15 Days

Bask in the fantastical world of Hobbits, wizards, and orcs on your 15-day New Zealand as Middle-Earth tour. You will step into the home of Frodo Baggins at Hobbiton and view the models of Helm’s Deep. Magic and reality will converge as you discover the drama of Mordor’s steaming landscape at Waimangu Volcanic Valley and witness the ashen grounds of Mount Doom set beneath the peak of Mount Ngauruhoe.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Traverse the walkways, hobbit holes, pubs, and serene hills of Hobbiton for an exclusive behind-the scenes access to the movie set
  • Relish a private, after-hours tour of the design studio to learn how the awe-inspiring costumes, weaponry and figures were crafted from an insider
  • Immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes of Middle-earth as you explore recognizable film locations during an off-road adventure tour on a 4WD
  • Wander alongside steaming mud pools and erupting geysers reminiscent of a Middle-earth landscape at Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu Volcanic Valley
  • Delight in the speed and excitement of a jet boat ride past towering mountains, waterfalls, and film locations on the glacier-fed Arrow River
  • View the Fox and Franz Josef glaciers from above during an optional scenic helicopter ride, conjuring images of Caradhras Mountain
  • Visit the silversmith shop that crafted the original ring for the film
  • Bask in the same cozy hotel where the cast and crew stayed while filming

Detailed Description

Join Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn in the Fellowship during this 15-day New Zealand tour, filled with adventure, immersing you in Tolkien’s Middle-earth encapsulated in the majesty of New Zealand’s natural scenery. Celebrate the 15th anniversary of the epic release of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, with each day, focused on one of the personalities of characters crafted by the author. Experience adventure like a Wizard; focus on refreshing the body and mind by connecting to nature like an Elf; enjoy the thrills of discovery like a Hobbit; relish the spoils of riches like a Dwarf. Embrace fantastical detail and unfettered exploration and let the One Ring bind you to this unforgettable mixture of New Zealand luxury and Middle-earth diversity.

Your journey to the Middle-earth begins with your arrival at Auckland Airport. A private transfer meets you at baggage claim and escorts you the luxurious grounds of Hotel DeBrett. After settling into the comforts of your room, you venture out on a guided tour of Auckland to view the 48 volcanic peaks, colonial homes, harbors, and Auckland Bridge. On day two you collect your rental car and leave Auckland for the bubbling thrills of Rotorua. En route you stop in the farm country of Matamata to visit Hobbiton, the life-size Shire built for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and preserved as a working village. Tour the grounds, enter the homes, visit the Green Dragon Inn before traversing the larger grounds with a guide for an exclusive behind-the scenes access to the movie set. Upon reaching Rotorua, you check into the charming hotel, The Springs.

On day three the realm of Mordor comes to life in the form of the geothermal activity at Wai-O-Tapu and the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Wander along mud pools and crater lakes, steaming cliffs and mineral terraces. You have the option of stepping out of Middle-earth for the night to experience the Maori culture at Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. Travel along the gorgeous collection of rivers and lakes on day four before reaching the ash-strewn grounds of Mount Ngauruhoe, the figure of Mount Doom, located in Tongariro National Park. Wander along the trails or partake in an optional Sunset Guided Walk, offering views of Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro, or the Soda Springs. In the evening you melt into the comforts of Chateau Tongariro Hotel, where the cast and crew stayed while filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On day five you traverse the Waitarere Forest finding traces of Middle-earth's Osgiliath Wood and Trollshaw Forest. Visit the outer reaches of The Shire at Otaki Gorge and Queen Elizabeth Park, the site of Pelennor Fields in Return of the King. You can even visit the entryway arch to Rivendell located in the hills outside of Wellington. Once inside the New Zealand capital city, you can relax at Booklovers Bed and Breakfast. Day six takes you on a guided half-day tour through the stunning landscape in and around Wellington to discover the Gardens of Isengard and River Anduin, along with the depths of Helm’s Deep. In the afternoon the wonders of Middle-earth abound during your tour of celebrated Weta Workshop, where you will enjoy a private, after-hours tour of the design studio to learn how the awe-inspiring costumes, weaponry and figures were crafted from an insider.

On day seven you return the rental car and take the ferry across the Cook Strait to Picton. Collect your rental car and enjoy the comfortable journey to Nelson to visit Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, crafters of the One Ring. Embrace the combination of charm and luxury at Kershaw House. Day eight is at your leisure to discover the splendors of Nelson at your preferred pace. You have the option of visiting the World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum for an insight into the riches of the region, or you can shoot into the sky on a helicopter tour bound for the remote filming locations highlighting South of Rivendell. Travel along the stunning west coast scenery on day nine to see the Punakaiki rock formations. You have the option of venturing into the Nile River Caves to view the stunning glowworms before reaching Hokitika. Once along the relaxing streets of the town, you find the luxurious comforts of the Rimu Lodge.

On day ten you continue south to see the remarkable figures of the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers, reminding you of the dramatic landscape of Middle-earth as portrayed by Peter Jackson. You reach Misty Peaks hotel and delight in the mixture of extravagance and coziness. Take advantage of the opportunity to view the famous Fox and Franz Josef glaciers on a breathtaking helicopter flight on day eleven, witnessing the curvature of the valleys and mountains. Continue along the scenic roads passing rivers and lakes to reach the town of Wanaka where you settle into Wanaka Springs Lodge. On day twelve you step out on a half-day jet boat adventure, passing mountains, waterfalls, and forests connected to the journey once made by Fellowship of the Ring. After returning to Wanaka, you have time to visit the mysterious maze-like universe of Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzle World.

Your journey takes you south to Queenstown on day thirteen, stopping on the gorgeous grounds of Mt. Difficulty Bannockburn Estate Vineyard for a wine tour and tasting. Pass over Kawarau Gorge and enjoy the optional Lord of the Rings Scenic flight for an aerial view of Lothlorien and Gandalf’s route to Isengard. Relax at Browns Boutique Hotel with a view of Lake Wakatipu. On day 14 you have a four-wheel drive excursion to the secluded reaches of Middle-earth outside of Queenstown. Visit breathtaking viewpoints and riverbanks that once stood for Isengard and the Forest of Lothlorien before returning to Queenstown. On day fifteen you return to a rental car and the Queenstown airport before boarding your flight to Auckland to begin the journey home.

Note: Zicasso and "15 Year Anniversary of New Zealand as Middle-earth Tour" are not affiliated with, or sponsored or endorsed by, Middle-earth Enterprises, The Saul Zaentz Company, New Line Cinema, WingNut Films, Warner Bros.

Starting Price

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

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