Land of the Rings
Auckland to Queenstown
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Land of the Rings

A tour appealing to those Frodo and Gandalf fans, with visits to official sites used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,235 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Queenstown

9 days/8 nights

Hotel 4 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 493 times in the last 7 days

Tour at a glance

Day 1: Travel to Waitomo Caves and Te Puia before arriving in Rotorua
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 2: This morning explore Hobbiton, then fly to Christchurch
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 3: Today explore the Canterbury countryside brought to life in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

Day 4: Traverse Mackenzie Country into the Southern Lakes via Mt. Cook National Park
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 5: A full day Trails of Middle Earth Tour
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 6: Free time to explore Queenstown and a Safari of the Scenes 4WD tour
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 7: Travel to Te Anau and then explore 'River Anduin' by Jet boat
Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

Day 8: Head into Milford Sound today, take a cruise and then return to Queenstown
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Day 9: Final day - depart Queenstown today

Tour full itinerary

Detailed itinerary: 9 day tour starting in Auckland

Day 1 - Travel to Waitomo Caves and Te Puia before arriving in Rotorua
Land of the Rings - Day 1
Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Small Group Tour

On this tour, you will be picked up from the hotel in a comfortable mini-bus and driven through the stunning Waikato countryside on a fully guided journey to Waitomo Caves and Te Puia Geothermal Park.
During the journey to Waitomo, you will encounter New Zealand's longest river, beautiful mountains, and see several different farm animals along the way. Once in Waitomo, you will explore the ancient and amazing caves, with their many different cave formations including Stalactites, Stalagmites, and Lime Columns, before descending even further underground for your glowworm experience. Board your glowworm boat for a cruise on the grotto river with thousands of glowworms glittering above your head. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must-see for any traveller. Arriving at your second feature destination, Te Puia, you will receive a fully guided tour to best experience the geothermal and cultural wonders including Pōhutu Geyser, Māori Architecture, The National Māori Arts School, geothermal craters, geothermal events, and even the chance to view a Kiwi bird in the Kiwi viewing house.
Continue your adventure with another fully guided journey south to Rotorua, with many more attractions to see along the way, including hydro dams, rivers, and lots more animals. Once in Rotorua, you will be guided past many of its famous and historical sites, including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs, and Polynesian Spa.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Millennium Hotel is Rotorua's largest 4-star deluxe hotel. Perfectly situated in the heart of the city overlooking Lake Rotorua. Five levels of accommodation offer guests a wide variety of scenic views.

Meals included: Lunch

Day 2 - This morning explore Hobbiton, then fly to Christchurch
Land of the Rings - Day 2
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Intercity Depot.
Please note that this is a shared transfer, there may be 2-3 extra stops along the way.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Rotorua with GreatSights

Setting out from Rotorua, your Hobbiton Movie Set tour starts with a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to Matamata, a small town in the Waikato region known for its thoroughbred industry and dairy farming. Along the way, your local driver guide will provide informative commentary and share stories about the region and its history.
Just outside of Matamata is the private working farm that was transformed into The Shire for the award-winning The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. The home of Tolkien's beloved hobbits Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin has been preserved since filming wrapped, and now draws visitors from around the world.

Take a two-hour guided tour of the movie set and learn how this picturesque farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. Your guide will show you Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Party Tree, the Mill and many other structures from the movies. After your Hobbiton movie set tour, you will hop back on the GreatSights coach and retrace your steps back to Rotorua.

Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Airport

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Airport.
Please note that this is a shared transfer, there may be 2-3 extra stops along the way.

Air New Zealand flight Rotorua to Christchurch
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 3 - Today explore the Canterbury countryside brought to life in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Land of the Rings - Day 3
Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour

Journey to the remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this spectacular mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Marvel at its rugged unspoiled beauty and breathe in the clear mountain air, while you indulge in a gourmet sparkling wine picnic.

Your accommodation: Distinction Hotel Christchurch

This luxury hotel is centrally located in the revitalised Cathedral Square in the heart of the city, a short stroll from the Avon River, Botanical Gardens, Christchurch Casino, Cashel Mall and new Christchurch Convention Centre.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Traverse Mackenzie Country into the Southern Lakes via Mt. Cook National Park
Land of the Rings - Day 4
Christchurch to Queenstown Small Group Tour via Aoraki/Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with the famous Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Tasman Glacier. The ultimate way to get from Christchurch to Queenstown. Led by famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing your journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibuses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 5 - A full day Trails of Middle Earth Tour
Land of the Rings - Day 5
One Day in Middle Earth Full Day Tour

This full day guided tour will take you deep into Lord of the Rings country to explore the sights and scenes at a number of key filming locations. Along the way you'll enjoy some of the finest scenery in the world and have fun acting out your favourite scenes from the movies. Your guide will share their passion for the Lord of the Rings as well as the spectacular landscape you pass through. You'll also get to examine a range of fascinating weapons and costumes from the movies.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6 - Free time to explore Queenstown and a Safari of the Scenes 4WD tour
Land of the Rings - Day 6
Safari of the Scenes Queenstown Tour

For those keen on the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings films, join Nomad Safaris for an unexpectedly delightful journey. In safari-equipped 4WD vehicles, you will be taken on a true off-road adventure. Experienced guides will take you on a breathtaking excursion through diverse scenery around the Whakatipu Basin. See historic Arrowtown and go over the Arrow River, as well as experiencing the truly remarkable views of the lake and mountain surround from the Skippers Canyon Saddle. Although no sets remain intact, the landscapes are instantly recognisable. Some of the sites you will visit during this tour include the Misty Mountains, Pillars of Kings and the Ford of Bruinen.

Free day in Queenstown

Although celebrated as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’ Queenstown offers far more than a fast paced action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath a soaring panorama of the Remarkables Mountain Range, this alpine town is surrounded by a plethora of historic, gastronomic, and scenic wonders.
Head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot or catch a ride on the 100 year old Steamship - the TSS Earnslaw -  to Walter Peak Station for dinner and a farm tour.
Browse the waterfront cafes and have lunch at Michelin star chef Josh Emett's ‘Rata' or simply take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 7 - Travel to Te Anau and then explore 'River Anduin' by Jet boat
Land of the Rings - Day 7
Private transfer from Queenstown to Te Anau

Following the shores of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables mountain range towers over you as you approach the township of Kingston. You'll venture into Southland before crossing the rolling tussock-lands of Mossburn (deer capital of New Zealand) and shortly arriving at Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Pure Wilderness Jet Boat

Jet boat down the Waiau river, across Lake Manapouri, to the ancient forest of the Fiordland National Park. Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the majestic trout-filled Waiau River, to the serene Lake Manapouri. Step foot into the Fiordland National Park and go for a short walk while learning about the ancient beech forest and ferns. Your jet boat ride includes a number of stops at the exact locations of the filming the "Fellowship of the Ring" on the Waiau or Anduin River, where the driver will tell you the inside story of the filming the Lord of the Rings on this river. The trip will also include some thrilling 360 degree turns and spins as well as interesting interpretation about the flora and fauna and the local European and Maori history.

Your accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas

The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8 - Head into Milford Sound today, take a cruise and then return to Queenstown
Land of the Rings - Day 8
Premium Milford Sound Small Group Tour, Cruise & Picnic Lunch

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines the amazing return journey to Milford Sound with a boutique Milford Sound Cruise aboard Cruise Milford. Led by famously passionate tour guides, notorious for bringing the journey to life by sharing their stories and rich background knowledge and run in modern, comfortable minibusses packed with extras ensuring your comfort and safety.

Your accommodation: Millennium Hotel Queenstown

Right in the heart of the action, the Millennium Hotel is just minutes from Queenstown's central shopping and entertainment district. Outdoor activities such as bungy jumping, white water rafting and jet boating are just some of the easily accessible activities nearby in New Zealand's adventure capital.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9 - Final day - depart Queenstown today
Land of the Rings - Day 9
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