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Thrifty Tours

Middle Earth Discovered

We have taken 8 days and compiled a tour that takes you to the very best Lord of the Rings locations that New Zealand has to offer. We will even show you Hobbiton, and the Weta Workshop where many of the films creations were made. Embark on a journey of Middle Earth in the north island before flying quickly down to Queenstown to see some of the dramatic mountain backdrops that you'll see in the movies.

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Quick Itinerary Details

New Zealand Independent Tour

This suggested tour costs from NZD$4,310 per person (twin share, low season)

Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch

8 days/7 nights

Hotel 3 star

 Customisable? YES

 Viewed 125 times in the last 7 days

This tour also includes
- 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 full itinerary
Detailed Itinerary
Middle Earth Discovered - Day 1
Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour via Hobbiton Movie Set

Departing from Auckland city, this is a wonderful way to get to Rotorua and include a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films. Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. Journey through the heritage town of Cambridge where tree-lined streets add to the English-style atmosphere. On arrival at Shire's Rest you embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour where you will see 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge, the party tree and visit the Green Dragon Inn (where a complimentary beer, cider or ginger ale is included). At this stunning location you can take a photo at the door of Bilbo's house, Bag End, looking out over the whole of Hobbiton to the hills in the distance. At the end of your Hobbiton movie set tour you will travel on 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.

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

Well-known as New Zealand's ‘adventure capital’, Queenstown is home to a range of adventures, from the world's first and most famous bungy jumps to jet boat thrills, white-water rafting, and skydiving. However, Queenstown offers far more than a fast-paced, action-packed holiday. Settled on the shores of beautiful 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. Take a stroll through the beautiful lakefront parks and gardens, browse through market stalls on weekends, dine in wonderful al-fresco restaurants, or ride on the 100-year-old historic Steamship - TSS Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station. Take the Queenstown Gondola up to Bob's Peak and soak up the panoramic views of the magnificent lake and mountain ranges. And after all of that, if you do want the adrenaline rush, Queenstown is known for taking your pick from the Shotover Jet, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge, or Heli-ski.

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

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

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Middle Earth Discovered - 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

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Middle Earth Discovered - Day 8
Queenstown to Christchurch Transport via Mt Cook & Lake Tekapo with Cheeky Kiwi

This small group, fully-guided day trip combines all of the key highlights in the area with magnificent views of the famous Lake Tekapo, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and Tasman Glacier. The ultimate way to get from Queenstown to Christchurch. 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.

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Mar 10, 2024
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