If you can only visit one island in New Zealand, Hobbiton is a good reason to choose the North Island. With rolling hills that immediately evoke the Shire, rugged volcanoes, and otherworldly glowworm caves, you will feel as though you stepped straight into Middle-earth. Offering top New Zealand escorted tours with highly experienced tour guides, we cater for 1-30 people. With no date or itinerary restrictions, we can customise your Lord of the Rings guided tour to match exactly what you want.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland.
Auckland is a multi-cultural urban oasis of food, music, arts and culture. World-class shopping and phenomenal dining is never too far from harbours, islands, native bush and black-sand beaches.
Explore Auckland with your guide. Visit top attractions such as the Sky Tower, Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island, or Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium. You could even book a whale watching experience and visit these amazing creatures that live close to Auckland City!
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Travel time Auckland to Coromandel – 2.5 hours
Embark on a scenic tour of the Coromandel Peninsula, taking in views of the lush rainforest and idyllic beaches. If the tide is right, visit Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pools in the sand.
Renowned worldwide as a spectacular holiday destination, with warm white-sand beaches, misty rainforest and wilderness aplenty, the Coromandel is the ideal place to relax and unwind.
Whitianga is the main settlement of Mercury Bay, an attractive township with a deep-water harbour.
Home to the world renowned Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, Mercury Bay is known for its variety of marine experiences both on and under the water. From kayaking and fishing in and around the Mercury Islands to scenic boat trips in the Te Whanganui-O-Hei Marine Reserve, Whitianga and Mercury Bay have it all.
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Today, join the Glass Bottom Boat for a unique boat cruise. Depart from the Whitianga Wharf to explore the breathtaking volcanic coastline, including famous Cathedral Cove. See the stunning Champagne Bay. Plus a range of blow holes and sea caves, including Orua’s Sea Cave, the second largest sea cave in New Zealand! Choose your own level of fun, either sit back and enjoy the amazing marine life through the glass boat. Or take the plunge and snorkel amongst the fish. All equipment supplied and no experience necessary.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you some of the best hidden secrets of the Coromandel.
Hahei is located 35 km or 30 minutes drive South East of Whitianga. Hahei is an attractive beach, fringed with pohutukawa trees and drifts of pink shells at the northern end. The offshore islands provide something of a breakwater, making this sheltered beach ideal for swimming, boating and snorkeling. Hahei also offers a number of cafes making it the perfect spot for lunch.
Travel time Coromandel to Matamata – 2.5 hours
Experience the real Middle-earth™ at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, where you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire™, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your guide will escort you around the set, pointing out famous locations and explaining how the movie magic was made. You will be fully guided around the 12 acre set; past Hobbit Holes™, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn. You will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua – 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic drive through rolling farmland to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand.
Top recommendations for the evening include taking the Skyline Gondola to enjoy a delicious dinner atop the Skyline Complex.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Tour the exciting geothermal attractions with your guide today, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces.
In the evening, enjoy a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you into the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world-renowned haka dance (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Travel time Rotorua to Napier – 3 hours
Journey to the East Coast and discover Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Beautifully-restored Art Deco buildings have made Napier famous as one of the most complete collections of Art Deco buildings in the world. Napier is also set within the country’s oldest wine growing region, Hawkes Bay. Option to visit vineyards and cellar doors with your guide in the afternoon.
A trip to Cape Kidnappers offers great photo scapes, and is home to the world’s largest Gannet colony. More than 6500 breeding pairs of the Australasian gannet (Morus serrator) call Cape Kidnappers home. If you want to get up close, 4WD safaris are available which take you within metres of the magnificent Gannets.
Option to discover an exciting world above & below the water at the National Aquarium. Home to a diverse range of the country’s marine and wildlife. See sharks, stingrays and fish swimming over you in the 1.5 million litre oceanarium or spot the native Tuatara and Kiwi.
Stay 1 night in Napier.
Travel time Napier to Wellington – 4 hours
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks to concerts, live theatre, exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa: the Museum of New Zealand, and more – Wellington has something for everyone.
Tour Wellington’s top attractions with your guide, popular options include Te Papa Tongarewa: The Museum of New Zealand, Weta Workshop, Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Zealandia – an ecosanctuary in the heart of Wellington.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Today, join a full-day Lord of the Rings tour! Follow in the footsteps of Hobbits, Dwarfs, Elves and Men. You will cover a lot of ground on the tour, but there is enough time to explore, recreate scenes for yourself, and work out how the movies were made. The scenery of Wellington mirrors that of Middle-Earth.
Spend the morning exploring city locations, including 40 minutes walking through the Outer Shire. This location includes the famous ‘Get off the road’ scene, the ‘shortcut to mushrooms,’ the Black Rider scenes and many more. Then it’s off to the Weta Studios for an inside look at the Wellington film industry. Your visit to Weta Workshop will include the ‘Window into Workshop’ exhibition, which is a guided tour of the inner working of the Weta Workshop. After the morning’s excitement, it’s time for an Orc-sized lunch. You will head out to Scorch-O-Rama cafe for an LOTR themed menu designed especially for Wellington Rover Tours. This is included in the cost of your tour. After that, spend the afternoon exploring the Great River Anduin, the Gardens of Isengard, and Rivendell. You will also see the location where Helms Deep & Minas Tirith were filmed.
Travel time Wellington to Taupo – 5 hours
Your Middle-earth experience will continue as you enjoy the drive to Taupo, a small town set beside New Zealand’s largest lake.
Along the way, you will come across Tongariro National Park, which boasts an impressive collection of volcanoes. For Lord of the Rings fans your guide can take you to view Gollum’s Pool and show you Mordor!
In the afternoon, you have the option to add on a scenic floatplane flight over Mt Doom and the otherworldly volcanic wonderland of Tongariro National Park.
The Huka Falls is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second. Visit this stunning natural attraction with your guide.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Travel time Taupo to Waitomo Caves – 2 hours
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 Auckland – 3 hours
As your holiday draws to a close, return to Auckland and spend your final evening shopping, touring around with your guide, or celebrating the end of a fantastic holiday with a fine dinner.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Your guide will deliver you to Auckland Airport for your departing flight.