If you want to come to New Zealand to fulfil a dream of discovering Middle-earth, this New Zealand Lord of the Rings tour is for you. See the most iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations on this must do New Zealand guided holiday. Your private guide will meet you at the airport and take you on an insider’s tour of Middle-earth! Offering the best flexible New Zealand escorted tours with no date or itinerary restrictions.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in 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 Riverside Farmers Market, the Cardboard Cathedral and the Canterbury Museum.
Stay 2 nights in Christchurch.
Take a journey into Middle-earth with a full day tour from Christchurch to a key Lord of the Rings filming location. Edoras, also known as Mt Sunday, is set within the remote Mt Potts high country station. Learn how the set was built on top of sheer cliffs, see exclusive photos from the film’s construction, and enjoy awe-inspiring 360-degree views from the summit.
In the afternoon, the city’s award-winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens offer a relaxing inner-city escape. These are found near The Arts Centre, one of the most significant collections of heritage buildings in New Zealand. The serene Ōtākaro/Avon River meanders through the beautiful gardens before continuing through the CBD and out to sea.
Travel time Christchurch to Mt Cook Village – 4 hours
Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins today as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner.
Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Your guide will take you to a viewpoint over Tasman Glacier, lying at the base of the spectacular Tasman Valley.
In the evening, visit the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre to view the displays and watch any of a wide offering of films and planetarium shows on New Zealand. Option to add a star gazing experience.
Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.
Travel time Mt Cook Village to Queenstown – 3 hours
Continue south to Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. Along the way, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell. You also have the option to visit several top wineries with your guide on the drive through the Kawarau Gorge.
Explore Queenstown independently in the evening, or add on a lake cruise and high country farm dinner with the TSS Earnslaw, one of the best things to do in Queenstown.
Stay 2 nights in Queenstown.
Explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today on an excursion to the stunning Glenorchy region, nestled at the head of Lake Wakatipu.
From there, join a jet boat safari which continues past Glenorchy up the Dart River, passing 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 location of 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.
Travel time Queenstown to Te Anau – 2.5 hours
Your scenic tour will continue as you make your way past Lake Wakatipu. South of here, journey to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.
Nestled on the edge of a lake, the picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park. Restaurants are plentiful and give visitors the opportunity to sample delicious local fare like venison, lobster and seafood.
In the afternoon, experience a spectacular Lord of the Rings helicopter flight over Fiordland!
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Embark on a fantastic journey along the Milford Highway today to New Zealand’s most iconic fiord – Milford Sound. Travel with a small tour group on this extended day trip to Milford Sound. Along the way, stop for countless scenic photo opportunities and short walks plus a delicious morning tea. At Milford Sound, enjoy a scenic nature cruise that takes you up close to the majesty of the fiord – you might even spot keas, seals, dolphins, or the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin! With specialist nature guides on board, offering a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself!
Travel time Te Anau to Wanaka – 3.5 hours
Return past Lake Wakatipu to Queenstown, where you will stop for lunch before visiting the quaint historic mining settlement of Arrowtown. Time permitting, your guide will show you the filming locations for the Argonath, the Misty Mountains, and the Ford of Bruinen.
Afterwards, enjoy the scenic drive over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Your guide will stop along the way for photos at fantastic viewing points.
Explore the alpine town of Wanaka in the afternoon – your guide could take you to Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, or you could simply relax on the lakefront and do a bit of boutique shopping.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Travel time Wanaka to Franz Josef – 4 hours
After the Milford Highway, the Haast Pass Highway is one of the most scenic alpine routes in New Zealand. Explore the pass with your guide, stopping to view cascading waterfalls, broad alpine meadows, craggy snowcapped mountains, and the turquoise depths of the Blue Pools.
Continuing along the West Coast, your guide will take you to Lake Matheson, where you can take a 20 minute walk (one-way) to the jetty, to admire the reflected views of the Southern Alps on the surface of the lake.
In the evening, you have the option to add on a helicopter flight over Franz Josef Glacier with a snow landing.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Travel time Franz Josef to Greymouth – 2.5 hours
Train travel time Greymouth to Christchurch – 4.5 hours
Leave the rugged West Coast behind today as you board the TranzAlpine Train for a fantastic journey through Arthurs Pass. Travel past the soaring peaks and braided rivers of the Southern Alps, through the gorges of the Waimakariri River, and past the rolling Canterbury Plains.
Your guide will meet you at the train station and bring you to your accommodation. Celebrate your fantastic Lord of the Rings Tour at one of Christchurch’s top restaurants.
Stay 1 night in Christchurch.
Your guide will deliver you to Christchurch Airport for your departing flight.
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