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 1-35 people. No date or itinerary restrictions, your Lord of the Rings guided tour can be fully customised.
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 a 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 have a whale watching New Zealand 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, on your way to Whitianga.
Stay 2 nights in Whitianga, Coromandel.
Discover the excitement and adventure of the Hahei Explorer boat tour to Cathedral Cove – the most photographed beach in New Zealand. Penguins, seals and dolphins are a big favourite when they take time out of their busy schedules to visit the boat. Explore places only accessible by boat, including coastal islands in the marine reserve and spectacular sea caves. When the tide is right, you will be taken inside an amazing blowhole 80 feet high – a truly magical place.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you some of the best hidden secrets of the Coromandel, including lush forest walks and secluded golden-sand beaches.
Travel time Coromandel to Matamata – 2.5 hours
Experience the real Middle-earth™ at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, 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 then escort you around the set, showing the intricate detailing, pointing out the most 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, where 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.
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
Head to the East Coast today to discover Napier, the Art Deco capital of New Zealand. Visit vineyards and cellar doors with your guide in the afternoon, stopping to sample the award-winning Hawkes Bay wines.
Stay 1 night in Napier.
Travel time Napier to Wellington – 4 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.
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.
The morning is spent exploring the city locations; you will spend 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. The afternoon is spent 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.
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, you have the option to add on a scenic floatplane flight over Mt Doom and the otherworldly volcanic wonderland of Tongariro National Park.
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.