Lord of the Rings New Zealand
Auckland to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Lord of the Rings New Zealand

Journeying across both the North and South Islands, this tour is perfect for the Lord of the Rings fan who wants to immerse themselves in the landscapes and scenic views that were a pivotal inspiration in the making of the films. In the North Island, pay a visit to Middle Earth at Hobbiton, as well as a Canopy Forest Tour and a Maori Cultural Experience in Rotorua. Then, fly south for more Lord of the Rings Tours across multiple locations, and experience the stunning natural beauty of such places as Aoraki Mt Cook, Queenstown, Milford Sound, the West Coast Glaciers, as well as the Southern Alps as you travel across them on the world famous TranzAlpine Scenic Train.

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**Please Note: Some elements of this tour may only run on certain days of the week. Speak to one of our travel specialists today to find a departure date that works for you.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$5,850 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

13 days/12 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 248 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Private transfer Christchurch International Airport to your accommodation
- Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Airport with Ready2Roll
- Shared Transfer from the Railway Station to a City Hotel
- Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport
- Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland accommodation
12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Welcome to Auckland
Accommodation: Heritage Hotel Auckland

Day 2: Auckland to Hobbiton to Rotorua
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 3: Soar through the redwood canopy before a Maori experience and dinner this evening
Accommodation: Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Day 4: Today fly Rotorua to Christchurch
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

Day 5: Lord of the Rings Edoras tour - a full day adventure
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

Day 6: Christchurch to Mt Cook National Park. This afternoon embark on a glacier lake adventure
Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

Day 7: Mt. Cook National Park to Queenstown
Accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Day 8: A full day to relax in the resort of Queenstown
Accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Day 9: Full day tour to Milford Sound including a nature cruise
Accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Day 10: Nomad Safari of the Scenes morning tour, free time to explore this afternoon
Accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Day 11: Queenstown to Glacier Country
Accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

Day 12: Fox Glacier to Greymouth, then take the Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch
Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

Day 13: Depart Christchurch today

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 1
Private Transfer Auckland Airport to Auckland Accommodation

You will be met at the Auckland airport by the driver and transferred to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand's self-proclaimed "City of Sails" is the country's largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests, and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure. Explore the central museums and galleries on foot, or get out onto the water to experience the best views of the city.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Wētā Workshop Unleashed

Explore worlds of horror, sci-fi and fantasy in the making. An exciting, realistic, and authentic experience, with three fully developed and original ...

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Explore worlds of horror, sci-fi and fantasy in the making. An exciting, realistic, and authentic experience, with three fully developed and original film concepts: A nail-biting horror Fauna, a fantasy epic Age of the Ever-Clan, and the mind-bending sci-fi Origins.
A 90-minute guided experience through fully themed environments, including immersive horror, fantasy, and sci-fi story worlds. Be immersed by a specially-created unique sweeping cinematic soundtrack, animatronic creatures, physical and digital interactives, hyper-realistic sculpted giants and characters, a horror house experience, and much more.

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Your accommodation: Heritage Hotel Auckland

The Heritage Auckland Hotel commands an elevated position in the centre of the city. With two distinctive accommodation wings - The Hotel reflects the traditional style of the building's famous past, while The Tower is a contemporary design.
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 2
Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour from Auckland to Rotorua with Gray Line / GreatSights

Take a journey into the heart of the Central North Island, and visit famous Hobbiton Movie Set. Setting off from Auckland, travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions. Take a guided tour of the famous Hobbiton Movie Set, located inside a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep and beef farm near Matamata. Here, the village of Hobbiton was carefully created in amazing detail as a film location for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. During your guided tour of this amazing location you’ll see sights like Hobbit holes, the Mill and the Green Dragon Inn, and learn how farmland was transformed into a living, breathing piece of Middle-earth. After exploring Hobbiton, tuck into a delicious lunch in the Party Marquee and then travel to Rotorua.

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: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 3
Original Ziplining Experience with Rotorua Canopy Tours

Embark on a three hour adventure through native New Zealand forest. Journey through the beautiful forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, Ziplines and swing bridges. See breathtaking views of the woodland valleys and hills as you fly through tight openings in the trees. In between the thrill of the ziplines and suspended tree bridges, your guides will share their passion and knowledge for the forest and the conservation challenges to preserve it. 

Te Pā Tū Evening Maori Cultural Experience

New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, presenting Te Pā Tū. Feast on song, drama, tradition, and divine seasonal kai (cuisine) within the forest Pā (village) blanketed by towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheatre. Te Pā Tū shares Māori history, traditions, and cultural aspirations across 4-hours of celebration and feasting. These events change with each season of the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar.

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: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 4
Private Transfer - Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Airport with Ready2Roll

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Airport.

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

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

Explore Christchurch City

Following the 2011 earthquake that razed its centre and much of the outlying suburbs, Christchurch is well into a billion-dollar makeover. In the middle of the Canterbury Plains, bordering the pacific ocean, New Zealand’s newest city is an ideal gateway to exploring the middle of the South.
Go punting on the Avon River, take a historic tram ride, catch the gondola to the rim of an extinct volcano or do all three! See the world's only Cardboard Cathedral and for nature enthusiasts - wander the renowned Christchurch Botanic Gardens, or head to Oxford Terrace in the city to find a great spot to eat or drink.
Drive an hour in any direction to ski, mountain bike, wine taste, whale-watch, bungy jump or play golf. Take the winding Port Hills road to the French settlement of Akaroa and tour the vines in Waipara for an authentic New Zealand wine-tasting experience.  

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

The Scenic Hotel Cotswold is just a few minutes walk to boutique shopping at Merivale and Hagley Park. The distinctive architecture of the Scenic Hotel Cotswold reflects Christchurch's image as the most English of cities outside of England.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 5
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: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

The Scenic Hotel Cotswold is just a few minutes walk to boutique shopping at Merivale and Hagley Park. The distinctive architecture of the Scenic Hotel Cotswold reflects Christchurch's image as the most English of cities outside of England.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 6
Christchurch to Mount Cook Day Tour with Gray Line / GreatSights

Depart Christchurch in the morning and travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. Leaving Tekapo, continue into the Southern Alps towards Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's tallest mountain. Compelling commentary from the driver on the region's culture and history will keep you entertained. Arrive at Mount Cook and feel free to explore the village and its surroundings at your own leisure.

Glacier Explorers Mt. Cook

Experience 500 year old icebergs up-close on the Mt Cook terminal lake. The Glacier Explorers tour is the only one of its kind in New Zealand and one of only three in the world! Very few glaciers terminate into lakes and even fewer of them are accessible. See towering ice cliffs and floating icebergs from the safety of a specially designed boat. These boats provide a safe way to view unseen and inaccessible areas of New Zealand's largest glacier The Tasman.

Your accommodation: Hermitage Hotel Room Mount Cook View

The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 7
Mt Cook to Queenstown Day Tour with Gray Line / GreatSights

Leaving Mt Cook, you will head south through the tawny tussock of the Mackenzie Country. You will stop for an afternoon tea break in Omarama (at your own expense) before crossing Lindis Pass. You will head towards Cromwell region, which is famous for its fruit orchards. You will continue through the Kawarau Gorge and its famous goldmines and arrive in Queenstown in the evening.

Your accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Ramada Hotel & Suites offers well-appointed apartment-style rooms located in the heart of Queenstown. Experience tranquillity all year round, overlooking the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 8
Enjoy a Free Day in Queenstown and surrounds

With such an abundance of activities on offer, one day in Queenstown is never enough!  Today, you’ll have some spare time for those things you didn’t get to do yesterday.  For more thrills, you can choose from jet boating, luging, bungy jumping, or a canyon swing. If golf is your game, the exceptional Millbrook Golf Course is the place for you. If you prefer wine, head down the Gibbston wine trail to sample some of the region’s best Pinot, or explore a little further afield - the nearby historic gold mining township of Arrowtown is a popular destination and features many original buildings and features. At the head of Lake Wakatipu sits Glenorchy. The scenic drive here is worth the trip alone; however, upon arriving in this peaceful township, you could easily rest the day away. Nearby is the start of the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great walks. You can enjoy a section of this track as a day walk. Alternatively, head over the Crown Range to the beautiful lake town of Wanaka, famous for its iconic tree in the lake. To appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds this area, a scenic flight or skydive will take your breath away. 

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY - Lord of the Rings and Glacier Explorer Flight with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

On this Lord of the Rings Glacier Explorers flight you'll fly through the land where many parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed along wit...

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On this Lord of the Rings Glacier Explorers flight you'll fly through the land where many parts of the Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed along with the chance to fly with our most experienced pilot, Alfie Speight, who was the principle filming pilot for the series.
Fly along the Shotover River to the scene where Arwen turns to face the Nazgul at the Ford of Bruinen. Fly over the mountain range from the opening scene of The Two Towers on the way to landing on a glacier alongside the Misty Mountains and get a sense of what it might be like to cross The Redhorn Pass. Head across to Glenorchy via the Dart Valley and Mount Earnslaw to see the natural features you may better recognise as Isengard, Amon Hen and Lothlorien. Experience a second landing amongst one of these scenes to truly feel immersed in Middle-earth.
Duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

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Your accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Ramada Hotel & Suites offers well-appointed apartment-style rooms located in the heart of Queenstown. Experience tranquillity all year round, overlooking the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 9
Milford Sound Cruise and coach tour from Queenstown

Return luxury coach transport from Queenstown to Milford Sound, with a 1 hour 40 minute Cruise along the full length of the fiord. On boarding a Real Journeys luxury glass-roofed coach in Queenstown or Te Anau, you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and through the rolling countryside to Te Anau. The coach driver provides an informative commentary. After a morning tea break in Te Anau, where you have the option of purchasing refreshments, the coach continues along the spectacular Milford Road. There is time for photo stops and short walks along the way. On reaching Milford Sound, you board the modern, spacious vessel for a leisurely cruise in the fiord. The cruise provides excellent viewing opportunities and plenty of time is available to enjoy waterfalls, rainforest, mountains and the wildlife. During the cruise your friendly crew provide commentaries in several languages and point out the sights such as Mitre Peak and the Pembroke Glacier.

Your accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Ramada Hotel & Suites offers well-appointed apartment-style rooms located in the heart of Queenstown. Experience tranquillity all year round, overlooking the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 10
Safari of the Scenes Glenorchy Tour

For those keen on Lord Of The Rings this is the tour for you. Go on a scenic adventure through some of the iconic locations used in the filming. Although none of the sets are left behind, the landscapes will be instantly recognisable. Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the small town of Glenorchy and enjoy the spectacular views of the Remarkables Range as you drive. From Glenorchy you'll head into the beech forests of Paradise, located on the outskirts of Mount Aspiring National Park - before heading up the dart valley and back. Film locations you'll see include Isengard, Lothlorien, Ithilien Camp and the Seat of Seeing.

Explore 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 Valley 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.’ Check out nearby historic Arrowtown and enhance your experience with a four wheel drive trip to Macetown.
Take a leisurely lakeside stroll or ride the gondola for breathtaking views. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. If you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.
Finally, if you're lucky enough to visit in winter (July-September) there are four ski resorts close by. You can head up to Coronet Peak and the Remarkables close to Queenstown, or head to Wanaka for Cardrona and Treble Cone.

Your accommodation: Ramada Hotel & Suites Queenstown Central

Ramada Hotel & Suites offers well-appointed apartment-style rooms located in the heart of Queenstown. Experience tranquillity all year round, overlooking the shores of Lake Wakatipu and within walking distance of Queenstown’s central shopping and entertainment area.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 11
Queenstown to Fox Glacier with Gray Line / GreatSights

See the majestic Southern Alps, picturesque lakes and rivers and the wild beauty of the West Coast on this journey from Queenstown to Fox Glacier. Along the way your driver guide will provide commentary on this unique region. Pass man-made Lake Dunstan outside Cromwell, beautiful Lake Wanaka and its neighbouring Lake Hawea. Entering Mount Aspiring National Park, follow the historic route used by Māori as they travelled across the Southern Alps in search of pounamu (greenstone). Journey through the Haast Pass, the southernmost pass between the South Island's two coasts, enjoying views of native beech forest, waterfalls and glacier-fed rivers. Arriving on the West Coast, you enter an awe-inspiring landscape of vast rainforests, crystal clear waterfalls and rugged mountain tops. Here you will discover an isolated and tranquil part of New Zealand. Your journey concludes as you reach the small village of Fox Glacier.

Your accommodation: Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier

The Heartland Hotel Fox Glacier is nestled at the base of the majestic Southern Alps, in the Westland World Heritage Park. Originally built in 1928 it has been refurbished to retain its charming atmosphere.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 12
Fox Glacier to Greymouth Train Station with Gray Line / GreatSights

This morning travel north through the small townships of Whataroa and Harihari. Pass through the township of Ross, which in the late 1800s was the centre of one of New Zealand's richest alluvial goldfields. In 1903 the largest gold nugget ever found in New Zealand was discovered at Jones Creek, not far from the town centre. It weighed 2807 grams. The New Zealand Government later purchased the nugget and presented it as a coronation gift to King George V. On arrival into Hokitika there is a short break in your journey. This allows time to purchase lunch, explore the town centre and relax. Hokitika is the administrative and commercial centre for this part of Westland. The major primary industry is timber milling. Dairy and sheep farming, commercial fishing, white baiting and eel processing being the other major industries. Your coach concludes at the Greymouth Train Station.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Greymouth to Christchurch

Considered one of the world's great train journeys, the TranzAlpine Scenic Train takes you from Greymouth to Christchurch. You'll travel across the South Island from the west to the east coast through Arthur's Pass National Park. From the comfort of your carriage see lush beech forest, deep river valleys and the spectacular peaks of the Southern Alps. Descend to the windswept Canterbury Plains before arriving in the city of Christchurch.

Shared Transfer from the Railway Station to a City Hotel with Christchurch Touring

On arrival at the Christchurch railway station, you will be met by a driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Your accommodation: Scenic Hotel Cotswold

The Scenic Hotel Cotswold is just a few minutes walk to boutique shopping at Merivale and Hagley Park. The distinctive architecture of the Scenic Hotel Cotswold reflects Christchurch's image as the most English of cities outside of England.
Meals included: Breakfast
Lord of the Rings New Zealand - Day 13
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Airport

A private transfer will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to Christchurch Airport in time for your departing flight.

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Starts Status Double (2 people sharing) Single occupancy You save  
Apr 20, 2024
(Saturday)
NZD$5,850 NZD$8,330 Enquire Book
Apr 21, 2024
(Sunday)
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Apr 22, 2024
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