If you’re short on time, this is the New Zealand Lord of the Rings Tour you can’t miss. See the most iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations of both islands 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 Lord of the Rings 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.
Travel time Auckland to Waitomo Caves – 2.5 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 Taupo – 2 hours
Enjoy the scenic 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.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
In the morning, 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.
Travel time Taupo to Rotorua – 1 hour
Your geothermal experience will continue as you enjoy the short drive to Rotorua. Tour the exciting geothermal attractions with your guide, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces.
In the afternoon, you have the option to visit Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve to soak in a relaxing sulphur spa, or enjoy a Maori cultural experience and Hangi dinner.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Travel time Rotorua to Matamata – 1 hour (each way)
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.
Enjoy a complimentary Southfarthing drink at the iconic Green Dragon Inn, with the option to purchase a small lunch as well.
Return to Rotorua in the afternoon and relax or visit the nearby settlement of Hamurana with your guide.
Today, take a domestic flight from Rotorua to Queenstown (price of flight not included in holiday package).
When you arrive in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand, your guide will take you to your accommodation to relax and unwind.
Tour Queenstown with your guide in the afternoon, with the option to visit a winery or two in the Gibbston Valley of Vines, or ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Explore the Lord of the Rings filming locations around Queenstown today on a Safari of the Scenes 4WD tour. Visit the Pillars of the Kings and the Ford of Bruinen; cross the Arrow River multiple times; and even try your hand at panning for gold!
In the afternoon, you have the option to add on an unforgettable helicopter ride to see a number of remote filming locations tucked in spectacular mountain valleys and ridges throughout the region, or to enjoy a steamship cruise and high country farm dinner with the TSS Earnslaw.
Bring your fantastic holiday to a close today with an unforgettable 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 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 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.
Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.