In Search of Middle Earth Self-Drive

18 Days / 17 Nights
From NZ$5,480 per person Per Person. Double or Twin Share.
Per Person. Double or Twin Share.

Journey beneath southern skies and discover a land reminiscent of JRR Tolkien's fantasy world of lush lowlands, barren wastelands, deep hidden valleys and remote mystical mountains.  Experience New Zealand's wide variety of landscapes from green rolling farmlands, enchanting woods and rivers, dramatic gorges and soaring mountains, all within easy reach of one another.

Day 1:  Arrive Auckland
On arrival at Auckland Airport private transfer to your hotel
Accommodation:  Hotel DeBrett

Day 2:  Auckland - Matamata - Rotorua (227 km)
This morning make your way to the rental car city depot where you will collect your rental car for your exclusive use.
Depart Auckland and journey through lush farming country to the rolling, grassy hills of Matamata.  Experience the real Midle Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire that featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Your tour takes you through the ten acre site with a guide recounting fascinating details of how the set was created.  After your tour, continue on to the bubbling belly of the North Island, geothermal tempestuous Rotorua.
Accommodation:  The Springs x 2 nights 

Day 3:  At Rotorua
Today is a free day to experience the many sights and activities on offer.

Day 4:  Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (151 km)
Travel from a peaceful wonderland of rivers and lakes to desolate, tortured landscape of volcanic ash where Mt Ngauruhoe is instantly recognisable as Mt Doom and Mt Ruapehu, the embodiment of Morder.
Accommodation:  Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Day 5:  National Park to Wellington  (333 km)
Travel via Waitarere Forest, Kapiti Coast, and picture yourself in Osgiliath Wood and Trollshaw Forest.   Enjoy the transformation of scenery through Otaki Gorge, reminiscent of othe outer reaches of The Shire.  You may choose to visit Queen Elizabeth Park, where some of the scenes of the battle of the Pelennor Fields were filmed, before arriving in Wellington, the base of Peter Jackson's film studios and the Weta Workshop.
Accommodation:  Booklovers B&B x 2 nights

Day 6:  At Wellington
Today enjoy a wonderful half day film locations experience with your own expert guide in a small group to the filming locations for Rivendell, the Anduin River, Amon Hen, the Gardens of Isengard and Helms Deep, amongst others.

Day 7:  Wellington - Picton - Nelson (130 km)
This morning drop off your rental car and take the Interislander ferry journey across Cook Strait to the pretty town of Picton. Collect another rental car in Picton and drive to Richmond, Nelson.  Nelson is home to Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, designers of the One Ring and where one of the original rings is on display.
Accommodation:  Kershaw House x 2 nights

Day 8:  At Nelson
Spend today at leisure exploring delightful Nelson.

Day 9:  Nelson - Hokitika (340 km)
The road south is breathtaking with white capped breakers and rugged rocks on one side, bush-clad mountains on the other.  Travel via Punakaiki, famous for its pancake rock formations which date back about 30 million years.
Accommodation:  Rimu Lodge

Day 10:  Hokitika - Fox Glacier (157 km)
Continue down the West Coast, home to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.  
Accommodation:  Misty Peaks

Day 11:  Fox Glacier - Wanaka (262 km)
Enjoy waterfalls and beautifully scenic rivers and lakes as you head towards the lakeside town of Wanaka.
Accommodation:  Wanaka Springs Lodge x 2 nights

Day 12:  At Wanaka
Today's half day wilderness jet boat adventure is set amongst spectacular scenery.  Travel past towering mountains, waterfalls and Lord of the Rings film locations on the pristine, glacier fed river.

Day 13:  Wanaka - Queenstown (113 km)
Journey south over the Clutha and Cardrona Rivers and via Lake Dunstan to Cromwell.  Continue through the Kawarau Gorge before arriving at New Zealand's "adventure capital"
Accommodation:  Browns Boutique Hotel x 2 nights

Day 14:  At Queenstown
Today enjoy a half day off road adfenture with exciting Lord of the Rings film locations.  The 4WD tour takes you into the heart of the high country - the embodiment of the Middle Earth of Tolkien's imagination.

Day 15:  Queenstown to Lake Tekapo (256 km)
Another scenic journey to the settlement of Lake Tekapo set on the shores of a brilliant opaque turquoise lake.
Accommodation:  Lake Tekapo Lodge

Day 16:  Lake Tekapo - Christchurch (227 km)
Time is available this morning to explore Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest peak.   One of the most spectacular features of this area is the Tasman Glacier which is 30 kms long.  Depart Mt Cook and drive over the farms, fields and braided rivers of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Accommodation:  The Classic Villa x 2 nights

Day 17:  At Christchurch
Todays tour takes you to remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station where is peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras.  Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breathtaking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air. See the Misty Mountains and handle movie replicas.

Day 18:  Depart Christchurch
Return your rental car to Christchurch airport depot and depart to regale stories of your LOTR adventures in Aotearoa NZ.

  • Rental car with NIL Excess, Airport/Ferry Collection Fees & GPS
  • 17 nights unique/boutique accommodation with breakfast included
  • Hobbiton Movie Set tour
  • Middle Earth filming locations tour, Wellington
  • Interisland Ferry Crossing
  • Jet Boat & Walk, Wanaka
  • Safari of the Scenes, Queenstown
  • Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour, Christchurch
  • Te Puia - New Zealand Maoei Arts & Crafts Institute
  • Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park
  • Agrodome Sheep Show
  • Mt Olympus Helicopter Tour, Nelson
  • Glowworm Cave Tour, Charleston
  • Puzzling World, Wanaka
  • LOTR Trilogy Trail, Queenstown

Description & Highlights

Journey beneath southern skies and discover a land reminiscent of JRR Tolkien's fantasy world of lush lowlands, barren wastelands, deep hidden valleys and remote mystical mountains.  Experience New Zealand's wide variety of landscapes from green rolling farmlands, enchanting woods and rivers, dramatic gorges and soaring mountains, all within easy reach of one another.

Itinerary

Day 1:  Arrive Auckland
On arrival at Auckland Airport private transfer to your hotel
Accommodation:  Hotel DeBrett

Day 2:  Auckland - Matamata - Rotorua (227 km)
This morning make your way to the rental car city depot where you will collect your rental car for your exclusive use.
Depart Auckland and journey through lush farming country to the rolling, grassy hills of Matamata.  Experience the real Midle Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the bucolic setting for The Shire that featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Your tour takes you through the ten acre site with a guide recounting fascinating details of how the set was created.  After your tour, continue on to the bubbling belly of the North Island, geothermal tempestuous Rotorua.
Accommodation:  The Springs x 2 nights 

Day 3:  At Rotorua
Today is a free day to experience the many sights and activities on offer.

Day 4:  Rotorua - Tongariro National Park (151 km)
Travel from a peaceful wonderland of rivers and lakes to desolate, tortured landscape of volcanic ash where Mt Ngauruhoe is instantly recognisable as Mt Doom and Mt Ruapehu, the embodiment of Morder.
Accommodation:  Chateau Tongariro Hotel

Day 5:  National Park to Wellington  (333 km)
Travel via Waitarere Forest, Kapiti Coast, and picture yourself in Osgiliath Wood and Trollshaw Forest.   Enjoy the transformation of scenery through Otaki Gorge, reminiscent of othe outer reaches of The Shire.  You may choose to visit Queen Elizabeth Park, where some of the scenes of the battle of the Pelennor Fields were filmed, before arriving in Wellington, the base of Peter Jackson's film studios and the Weta Workshop.
Accommodation:  Booklovers B&B x 2 nights

Day 6:  At Wellington
Today enjoy a wonderful half day film locations experience with your own expert guide in a small group to the filming locations for Rivendell, the Anduin River, Amon Hen, the Gardens of Isengard and Helms Deep, amongst others.

Day 7:  Wellington - Picton - Nelson (130 km)
This morning drop off your rental car and take the Interislander ferry journey across Cook Strait to the pretty town of Picton. Collect another rental car in Picton and drive to Richmond, Nelson.  Nelson is home to Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith, designers of the One Ring and where one of the original rings is on display.
Accommodation:  Kershaw House x 2 nights

Day 8:  At Nelson
Spend today at leisure exploring delightful Nelson.

Day 9:  Nelson - Hokitika (340 km)
The road south is breathtaking with white capped breakers and rugged rocks on one side, bush-clad mountains on the other.  Travel via Punakaiki, famous for its pancake rock formations which date back about 30 million years.
Accommodation:  Rimu Lodge

Day 10:  Hokitika - Fox Glacier (157 km)
Continue down the West Coast, home to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers.  
Accommodation:  Misty Peaks

Day 11:  Fox Glacier - Wanaka (262 km)
Enjoy waterfalls and beautifully scenic rivers and lakes as you head towards the lakeside town of Wanaka.
Accommodation:  Wanaka Springs Lodge x 2 nights

Day 12:  At Wanaka
Today's half day wilderness jet boat adventure is set amongst spectacular scenery.  Travel past towering mountains, waterfalls and Lord of the Rings film locations on the pristine, glacier fed river.

Day 13:  Wanaka - Queenstown (113 km)
Journey south over the Clutha and Cardrona Rivers and via Lake Dunstan to Cromwell.  Continue through the Kawarau Gorge before arriving at New Zealand's "adventure capital"
Accommodation:  Browns Boutique Hotel x 2 nights

Day 14:  At Queenstown
Today enjoy a half day off road adfenture with exciting Lord of the Rings film locations.  The 4WD tour takes you into the heart of the high country - the embodiment of the Middle Earth of Tolkien's imagination.

Day 15:  Queenstown to Lake Tekapo (256 km)
Another scenic journey to the settlement of Lake Tekapo set on the shores of a brilliant opaque turquoise lake.
Accommodation:  Lake Tekapo Lodge

Day 16:  Lake Tekapo - Christchurch (227 km)
Time is available this morning to explore Mt Cook, New Zealand's highest peak.   One of the most spectacular features of this area is the Tasman Glacier which is 30 kms long.  Depart Mt Cook and drive over the farms, fields and braided rivers of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.
Accommodation:  The Classic Villa x 2 nights

Day 17:  At Christchurch
Todays tour takes you to remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station where is peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras.  Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoilt beauty of this breathtaking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air. See the Misty Mountains and handle movie replicas.

Day 18:  Depart Christchurch
Return your rental car to Christchurch airport depot and depart to regale stories of your LOTR adventures in Aotearoa NZ.

Included In Package

  • Rental car with NIL Excess, Airport/Ferry Collection Fees & GPS
  • 17 nights unique/boutique accommodation with breakfast included
  • Hobbiton Movie Set tour
  • Middle Earth filming locations tour, Wellington
  • Interisland Ferry Crossing
  • Jet Boat & Walk, Wanaka
  • Safari of the Scenes, Queenstown
  • Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour, Christchurch

Optional Extras

  • Te Puia - New Zealand Maoei Arts & Crafts Institute
  • Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park
  • Agrodome Sheep Show
  • Mt Olympus Helicopter Tour, Nelson
  • Glowworm Cave Tour, Charleston
  • Puzzling World, Wanaka
  • LOTR Trilogy Trail, Queenstown

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