Middle Earth And Beyond
Auckland to Christchurch
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New Zealand tour itinerary name and information
Thrifty Tours

Middle Earth And Beyond

Embark on a journey of Middle Earth and New Zealand. Visit official sites used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies,  whilst visiting some of New Zealand's most stunning attractions including active geysers, Queenstown and the Southern Alps, dramatic Fiordland, Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, along with Maori cultural experiences in Rotorua.

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Quick Itinerary Details

Independent tour (bus & coach)

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,075 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

8 days/7 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 142 times in the last 7 days

Tour Inclusions

- Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot - Private Transfer
- Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel (IST)
- Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)
- Private Transfer Queenstown Domestic Airport to Accommodation (LSQ)
7 breakfasts, 1 special dinner
Tour at a glance

Day 1: Auckland to Hobbiton to Rotorua
Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Day 2: Soar high above the forest before a cultural evening at Tamaki Maori Village
Accommodation: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Day 3: Rotorua to Wellington, the coolest little capital in the world
Accommodation: Hotel Ibis Wellington

Day 4: A full day Lord of The Rings on a small group tour
Accommodation: Hotel Ibis Wellington

Day 5: Today you fly to Queenstown, New Zealand's 'Adventure Capital'
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 6: Full day tour into Milford Sound including cruise
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 7: Take a 4WD LOTR safari then free time in Queenstown
Accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

Day 8: Today return to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo

Tour full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 1
Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour from Auckland to Rotorua with Gray Line

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: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua boasts a location that is second-to-none, right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. Adjacent to the world-famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 2
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: Sudima Lake Rotorua

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua boasts a location that is second-to-none, right on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua. Adjacent to the world-famous Polynesian Spa complex and just a short stroll to all the attractions in Rotorua.
Meals included: Breakfast, Speciality Dinner
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 3
Rotorua Accommodation to Rotorua Intercity Depot

You will be collected from your accommodation and transferred to Rotorua Intercity Coach Depot.

Rotorua to Wellington by InterCity Coach

Your coach journey from Rotorua to Wellington takes you via the township of Taupō and New Zealand's largest lake. The lake itself is actually a gigantic volcanic caldera formed during one of the worlds largest ever eruptions. Skirting Tongariro National Park, one of New Zealand's three world heritage sites and clouds permitting you can see the 2,500 metre peak of the still volcanically active Mt. Ruapehu. You might recognise the symmetrical shape of Mt. Ngauruhoe as this was used as the scenery of Mt. Doom in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Heading south you pass through the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the Kapiti Coast, with its coastal seaside towns of Paraparaumu, Paekakariki and Plimmerton. The Kapiti Coast leads into Wellington, New Zealand's capital. Wellington sits on a wonderful deep natural harbour and is surrounded by bush clad hills. The city centre itself is quite compact (only around 1 square kilometre), so exploring on foot is relatively easy. From your city centre accommodation you can easily stroll the cafes and restaurants around Courtenay Place and explore New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa, which is also close by.

Private transfer Wellington train station to hotel

You will be met on arrival into Wellington train station and transferred to your hotel.

Your accommodation: Hotel Ibis Wellington

Hotel Ibis Wellington is ideally located in Featherston Street in the heart of Wellington City and easy walking distance to Wellington's famous cafe lifestyle.
Meals included: Breakfast
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 4
Lord Of The Rings Full Day Tour including Lunch with Capital Personalised Tours

With some of the best Lord of the Rings tours Wellington has to offer, you will not be disappointed on this tour. You'll visit local filming locations, view a short documentary showing the filmmaking exploits of Peter Jackson and his remarkable team and be guided through the sights and sounds of the Weta Workshop in Miramar. This is followed by a fascinating 'Window into the workshop' exhibition, showing film props and weaponry, with the artists themselves describing how the artefacts were created. After a local lunch, head north into the Hutt Valley following the 'River Anduin' and take in the sights of 'Helms Deep', before stopping at the 'Gardens of Isengard'. Your final destination is 'Rivendell and the Legolas tree' before returning to Wellywood.

Your accommodation: Hotel Ibis Wellington

Hotel Ibis Wellington is ideally located in Featherston Street in the heart of Wellington City and easy walking distance to Wellington's famous cafe lifestyle.
Meals included: Breakfast
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 5
Private transfer Wellington Hotel to Airport (IST)

You will be collected from your Wellington hotel and transferred to the airport.

Air New Zealand flight Wellington to Queenstown
Private Transfer Queenstown Domestic Airport to Your Accommodation

On arrival you will be met by a private driver and delivered to your Queenstown accommodation.

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: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.
Meals included: Breakfast
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 6
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: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.
Meals included: Breakfast
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 7
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.

Queenstown Gardens

The Queenstown Gardens are just a few minutes walk from central Queenstown and offer a beautiful and tranquil setting away from the hustle and bustle. The landscaped gardens include plenty of places to sit down and admire the beauty of the gardens. Pristine lawns, a large water feature, a wide variety of trees and plants, a rose garden and a couple of significant memorials all combine to provide that perfect escape from downtown Queenstown.
The gardens are a popular place to take a picnic, relax with friends and family and enjoy the views of Lake Wakatipu. The most visible tree is the Douglas Fir which provides a protective cover around the gardens and seclusion from the lively downtown area of Queenstown.
The gardens are also a popular place for enthusiasts of disc golf where 18 holes are laid out for you to complete a round of 'golf' with your disc. Metal baskets act as the holes with 'pars' offered for each hole and tees adding to the experience. Frisbees can easily be purchased from most outdoor shops in the town centre.

Walking tracks in and around Queenstown

Queenstown is well known for its adventure sports and activities but it also a great network of walking tracks and trails to suit all abilities and time frames. The department of conservation office located on Shotover Street can offer local advice on the conditions of walking tracks.
Some of the more popular walks are listed below.
Queenstown Hill - around 3 hours return (4 kilometres). Gravel path and then trail. A 500 metre climb through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapu-nui (mountain of intense sacredness). The climb is well rewarded with 360 degree views of Remarkables Mountain Range, the Kawarau River, Cecil Peak, and of course Lake Wakatipu. The track starts on Belfast Terrace which is just 1 km from the city centre.
Ben Lomond - around 2 hours (4 1/2 kms return). Take the Skyline Gondola ride to the terminal and the track is signposted from here. This is quite a steep climb and not recommended for children. Also take note of weather forecasts as the summit sits at 1748 metres. The effort is rewarded with spectacular views and on clear days you can see Mt Earnslaw and Mt Aspiring.
Bobs Cove - 20 minutes of easy lakeshore walks. Bobs Cove is 14 kilometres from Queenstown along the Glenorchy Road. Take the drive along the road and Bobs Cove is signposted.

Your accommodation: Copthorne Hotel and Resort Queenstown Lakefront

The Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Queenstown Lakefront is conveniently located within walking distance to the centre of Queenstown and just a few minutes stroll from the picturesque Lake Wakatipu.
Meals included: Breakfast
Middle Earth And Beyond - Day 8
Queenstown to Christchurch via Mt Cook with Gray Line

Depart Queenstown in the morning passing the fruit growing area of Cromwell towards the dramatic Lindis Pass that links Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. The pass crosses a saddle between the valleys of the Lindis and Ahuriri Rivers at an altitude of 971 metres above sea level. You will continue towards Omarama, which is a favorite place of glider pilots and sometimes known as 'place of light'. You will continue towards Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park in the Southern Alps. Mt Cook is New Zealand's tallest mountain. You will have a free time to explore Mount Cook Village or you can take a sightseeing flight (at your own expense) enabling you experience some of the most dramatic alpine and glacier scenery. After then, you will continue towards beautiful Lake Tekapo, where you can see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd as it stands in solitude next to the vibrant blue waters. After visiting Tekapo, you will travel through the lush farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch.

 

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