If you came to New Zealand to fulfil a dream of discovering Middle-Earth in real life, this is the Lord of the Rings tour for you. See the most iconic filming locations on this must do New Zealand guided holiday. Your private guide will meet your group at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of Middle-Earth!

Offering New Zealand’s top escorted tour operators and highly experienced tour guides, we cater for groups of 1-20 people. No date or itinerary restrictions, your Lord of the Rings guided tour can be fully customised.

14 Day Lord of the Rings Guided Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Auckland

Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Home to 1/4 of New Zealand’s population and bordered by two stunning harbours, Auckland is thriving, diverse city surrounded by natural wonders.

Explore Auckland with your guide, visiting top attractions such as the Sky Tower, Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, or Piha Beach.

Stay 1 night in Auckland.

Day 2 Hobbiton

Travel time Auckland to Matamata – 2 hours

Experience the magic of Middle-Earth as you tour the Hobbiton Movie Set, where the charming village from The Lord of the Rings has been brought to life.

Following your tour, enjoy a Southfarthing ale or cider at the iconic Green Dragon Inn, with the option to purchase a light lunch as well.

Travel time Matamata to Hamilton – 1 hour 

After your Middle-Earth adventure, continue to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city. You have the option to visit the chocolate and candy factory with your guide, or simply to relax and explore the city.

Stay 1 night in Hamilton.

Day 3 Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour

Travel time Hamilton to Waitomo Caves – 1 hour 

Venture off the beaten track as your guide takes you on a scenic drive to the Waitomo Caves. The land is wilder around here, with limestone outcroppings emerging from farmland and densely forested hills rising all around, but the wildest landscape of all lies underground.

Witness the marvels of these vast caverns as you explore two fantastic caves – the Ruakuri Cave, home to a dizzying array of cave formations, and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you will be dazzled by a galaxy of glowworms overhead.

Travel time Waitomo Caves to Rotorua – 2 hours 

Enjoy the scenic drive through rolling farmland to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand.

Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.

Day 4 Geothermal Wonders + Gourmet Buffet Dinner

Tour the exciting geothermal attractions with your guide today, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces.

In the evening, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Rotorua’s most spectacular location – the top of the Skyline Gondola!

Day 5 Mount Doom Scenic Flight

Travel time Rotorua to Taupo – 1 hour 

Your geothermal experience will continue as you enjoy the short drive to Taupo, a small town set beside New Zealand’s largest lake. With the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park looming in the distance, and the lake itself formed from an ancient volcanic crater, you will get a close-up look at the immense forces that shaped New Zealand. Visit Huka Falls with your guide and relax on the lakefront.

In the afternoon, lift high above Lake Taupo to soar around the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park, flying over Mt Doom as you explore the craters and colourful volcanic lakes on a scenic floatplane flight.

Stay 1 night in Taupo.

Day 6 Wellington

Travel time Taupo to Wellington – 4.5 hours 

Continue south to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Your guide will help you become acquainted with this charming city – you could visit the Te Papa Museum, ride the Wellington Cable Car, or take in the views from the top of Mt Victoria.

Stay 2 nights in Wellington.

Day 7 Wellington Lord of the Rings Tour

Visit filming locations around Wellington, make a stop at Weta Studios for a guided tour, and enjoy a Lord of the Rings-themed lunch today on a fantastic full-day Lord of the Rings tour of Wellington.

Day 8 Interislander Ferry + Marlborough Wine Region Tour

Sailing time Wellington to Picton – 3 hours 

Travel time Picton to Kaikoura – 2 hours 

Begin your day with a cruise across the windswept Cook Strait.

Upon reaching the South Island, your guide will take you on a scenic drive through the Marlborough wine region, with the option to stop at a winery (or two!) along the way for samples of the award-winning wines.

Spend the evening in Kaikoura, a stunning coastal town with a backdrop of majestic mountains. Be sure to sample the superb local seafood at dinner!

Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.

Day 9 Christchurch

Travel time Kaikoura to Christchurch – 2.5 hours 

Your fantastic guided holiday will continue to Christchurch, New Zealand’s “Garden City.” With a thriving restaurant scene, a string of beautiful parks, and a historic town centre, Christchurch is an excellent holiday destination.

Explore Christchurch with your guide, visiting the botanic gardens, the Christchurch Cathedral, the RE:Start Container Mall, and the Canterbury Museum.

Stay 1 night in Christchurch.

Day 10 Edoras + Mackenzie Country

Travel time Christchurch to Lake Tekapo via Edoras – 5 hours 

Along the way to Lake Tekapo, your guide will take you on a fantastic scenic tour to Mount Sunday, the filming location for Edoras, set amongst rugged mountains.

Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner.

While you rest and explore the quaint lakeside town of Lake Tekapo, paying a visit to the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd, you have the option to add on a flight-seeing tour of the Southern Alps or a nighttime observatory tour at Mt John.

Stay 1 night at Lake Tekapo.

Day 11 Queenstown – The Adventure Capital of New Zealand!

Travel time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown – 3 hours 

As you continue the spectacular drive south, you have the option to make a side trip to Mt Cook Village – ask your guide for more details. You could also make a short trip to the filming location for Pelennor Fields, at Ben Ohau.

Once you pass over the dramatic Lindis Pass and through the Kawarau Gorge, you will reach Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Explore the town independently in the evening, or add on a lake cruise and high country farm dinner with the TSS Earnslaw to make the most of your holiday.

Stay 4 nights in Queenstown.

Day 12 Dart River Jet Boat Safari + Isengard

Start your time in Queenstown on a high with a fantastic wilderness jet boat safari.

Your guide will drive you to the stunning township of Glenorchy, nestled at the head of Lake Wakatipu, stopping for views along the way. The jet boat safari continues past Glenorchy and up the Dart River, which passes into the Paradise Valley (easily recognisable as Isengard). Stop for a nature walk through the forest used as Lothlorien, and marvel at the snow-capped mountain peaks and stunning turquoise river.

Afterwards, relax and explore Glenorchy with your guide. You have the option to enjoy a forest walk, visit further filming locations (including the Ithilien Camp, the Battle of Amon Hen, and the setting for Beorn’s house from The Hobbit), or take a scenic drive to Kinloch Lodge for a coffee or lunch overlooking the wild reaches of Lake Wakatipu.

Day 13 Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise

Journey into the heart of New Zealand today on a scenic coach tour to Manapouri. Cruise across Lake Manapouri and drive over Burkes Pass to Doubtful Sound, where you will enjoy an unforgettable wilderness cruise on this awe-inspiring, remote fiord.

Day 14 Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tour

Visit the historic mining settlement of Arrowtown and explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today on a relaxing scenic drive. Several locations you’ll see are the Argonath (the Pillars of the Kings), the Misty Mountains, the Ford of Bruinen, and Deer Park Heights (where the Battle of the Wargs and the Refugees of Rohan were filmed).

In the evening, raise a glass to a fantastic holiday!

Day 15 Depart Queenstown

Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.

Highlights Include: 

  • Visiting all of the top Lord of the Rings destinations, including:
    • Hobbiton
    • Mt Doom
    • Weta Workshop
    • Rivendell
    • Edoras
    • Pelennor Fields
    • Lothlorien
    • Isengard
    • The Pillars of the Kings
  • Experiencing the magic of Middle-Earth as you explore the exquisitely rendered Hobbiton movie set.

Hobbiton movie set tour New Zealand

  • Immersing yourself in the Shire as you enjoy a hobbit-themed drink at the Green Dragon Inn following your movie set tour!

Green Dragon, Hobbiton movie set tour New Zealand

  • Witnessing a fantastic galaxy of glowworms at Waitomo Caves.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves guided tour New Zealand

  • Exploring the beautiful Ruakuri Cave, filled with delicate formations and echoing waterfalls.

Ruakuri Cave family guided tour, Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

  • Exploring the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua – see geysers, bubbling mud pools, turquoise sulphur springs, and colourful sinter terraces.

Rotorua New Zealand

  • Dining in style atop the Skyline Gondola, with views of Rotorua spread out below.

Skyline Gondola Rotorua

  • Visiting the magnificent Huka Falls.

Huka Falls Taupo

  • Soaring high above the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park, past craters and emerald lakes and lava flows, and spotting Mt Doom along the way!

  • Visiting Weta Workshop and a number of iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations around Wellington.

Lord of the Rings tour Wellington

  • Cruising the stunning Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry.

Interislander Ferry New Zealand

  • Taking a scenic drive through the rolling Marlborough wine region – maybe even stop to taste a few of the award-winning wines along the way!

Marlborough Winery

  • Sampling the famous crayfish, blue cod, and paua in Kaikoura, a spectacular seaside town ringed by mountains.

Kaikoura New Zealand

  • Visiting the remote, spectacular valley where you will find Mount Sunday, the filming location for Edoras.

Edoras Tour New Zealand

  • Driving through the Mackenzie Basin, with countless photo opportunities along the way – see the craggy, snow-capped Mt Cook (New Zealand’s highest mountain), drive past two stunning turquoise lakes, and witness the grandeur of the Southern Alps.

Aoraki/Mount Cook, Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand guided holidays

  • Staying in Queenstown, the vibrant adventure capital of New Zealand.

Queenstown New Zealand

  • Discovering the rugged surrounds of Queenstown with your guide – visit the filming locations of the Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), the site of Isildur’s fall, the Ford of Bruinen, and more!
  • Venturing into paradise on the Dart River Jet Wilderness Safari, and marvelling at the incredible filming locations of Isengard and Lothlorien.

Dart River wilderness jet safari, Queenstown, New Zealand

  • Journeying through the heart of New Zealand and experiencing the grandeur of Doubtful Sound, New Zealand’s most awe-inspiring fiord, on an unforgettable wilderness cruise.

Doubtful Sound New Zealand

Your privately guided tour includes:

  • All transportation within New Zealand – you will be collected at the arrivals hall of the Auckland Airport, and dropped off at the departures hall of the Queenstown Airport
  • Excellent 4-star accommodation
  • Private tour guide
  • Sightseeing and Photo Stops En Route
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Ruakuri Cave Combo Tour
  • Skyline Gondola and Buffet Dinner Rotorua
  • Mt Ruapehu Vista Scenic Floatplane Flight
  • Wellington Lord of the Rings Tour
  • Interislander Wellington to Picton Ferry
  • Dart River Jet Wilderness Safari
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise ex Queenstown by Scenic Coach

** Your privately guided tour does NOT include flights, food (except where included in activities) or travel insurance.

 

Pricing

As guide prices are split between travellers, the pricing will vary depending on the number of travellers on your tour.

1 Traveller:    NZD$24,199

2 Travellers:  NZD$13,249 per adult | NZD$12,249 per child

3 Travellers:  NZD$10,149 per adult | NZD$9149 per child

4 Travellers:  NZD$8599 per adult | NZD$7599 per child

5 Travellers:  NZD$7649 per adult | NZD$6649 per child

6 Travellers:  NZD$7049 per adult | NZD$5999 per child

7 Travellers:  NZD$6599 per adult | NZD$5599 per child

8 Travellers:  NZD$6299 per adult | NZD$5249 per child

9 Travellers:  NZD$6249 per adult | NZD$5249 per child

10 Travellers: NZD$5999 per adult | NZD$4999 per child

11 + Travellers:  Please enquire for your custom quote