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Thrifty ToursMiddle Earth Discovered

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 glowworm caves, active geysers, dramatic mountains and deep fiords.

 New Zealand independent tour
 Starts in Auckland, finishes in Christchurch
 8 days/ 7 nights
 Motels
  Customisable? YES Enquire Enquire
 Viewed 12 times in the last 7 days

Included in this tour package

Tour map
Hobbiton, New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand

At a glance - Middle Earth Discovered

Day 1: Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua with Rotorua experience. This evening visit Mitai Maori Village. Accommodation: Bella Vista Rotorua

Day 2: Some free time in Rotorua before heading off to Hobbiton Village. Accommodation: Bella Vista 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 focussed tour. Accommodation: Hotel Ibis Wellington

Day 5: Today you fly to Queenstown. Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 6: Full day tour into Milford Sound including cruise. Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 7: Take a 4WD LOTR safari than free time in Queenstown. Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 8: Today return to Christchurch via Mt Cook National Park and Lake Tekapo.

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Middle Earth Discovered - Detailed Itinerary  

Day 1: Auckland to Waitomo Caves to Rotorua with Rotorua experience. This evening visit Mitai Maori Village

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 1

Auckland to Rotorua including Waitomo and Rotorua Experience with GreatSights

This full day tour has it all! From the magical glowworms and world-famous limestone formations of Waitomo to the rich cultural heritage and geothermal bounty of Rotorua. Includes a visit to the glowworm caves, a Māori cultural performance, a visit to the Agrodome and bubbling mud pools and geysers.

Mitai Maori Village

An evening at Mitai will give you an awe-inspiring introduction to the indigenous Maori culture. Marvel at the beautiful bush setting and see warriors in traditional dress who paddle an ancient warrior canoe (waka) down the Wai-o-whiro stream while trout and eels swim beneath the surface. Enjoy a traditionally cooked hangi meal and round your evening off with a spectacular cultural performance that tells the story of the Maori people, their past, carvings, and ta Moko -Tattoo art. Be captivated by the displays of weaponry and combat and be amazed by the spine tingling Haka finale. Truly an experience to remember.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Rotorua

Bella Vista Rotorua offers Qualmark 4 star motel accommodation just 10 minutes walk from the city centre and close to the lake front. Modern well equipped units provide a comfortable stay.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Bella Vista Rotorua

Day 2: Some free time in Rotorua before heading off to Hobbiton Village

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 2

Explore Rotorua

Peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers, Rotorua sits within one of the worlds most active volcanic regions. But geothermal landmarks aside, this city of sulphur has a rich indigenous history. Home to several prominent Maori tribes, a visit to the Mitai Maori Village should be high on your agenda, as should an excursion to the Polynesian Spa for an invigorating soak in its natural mineral hot springs.
Live on the edge when you hop aboard a helicopter bound for White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano. Spike your adrenaline at Agroventures on stomach-dropping attractions such as static skydiving, or a giant swing reaching 130 km per hour. Go up the Gondola for soaring lake views, and ride the luge at night for an extra thrill.
Fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit should drive to nearby Matamata and experience the actual movie set ‘Hobbiton’. Make the most of your time in Rotorua with an excursion through the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the area’s most colourful volcanic attractions.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour from Rotorua

Discover the real Middle-earth when you take this two hour guided tour of Hobbiton. Beginning with a drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm, you'll experience stunning views over the Kaimai Ranges. You'll then be escorted through the 12 acre movie set learning memorable anecdotes about the shooting of the films. You'll see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and The Party Tree, as well as learning how this piece of Waikato farmland was turned into the Shire.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Rotorua

Bella Vista Rotorua offers Qualmark 4 star motel accommodation just 10 minutes walk from the city centre and close to the lake front. Modern well equipped units provide a comfortable stay.

Bella Vista Rotorua

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

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

Hotel Ibis Wellington

Day 4: A full day Lord of The Rings focussed tour

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 4

Lord of the Rings Full Day Tour with Wellington Rover

One of the most comprehensive Lord of the Rings tours available, the Wellington Rover full day tour encompasses the best filming locations in the Wellington Region for a truly unforgettable experience. The morning is spent exploring the city locations of Mount Victoria for spectacular views of the harbour and the Greenbelt with a short walk through the Outer Shire. You will then drive the southern suburbs, including Seatoun, Miramar and the South Coast to take in the Bree and Dunharrow locations and a stop at the incredible Weta Studios to see the amazing behind the scenes magic. Later In Kaitoke Regional Park you will enjoy a picnic lunch under the elvish trees of the Rivendell filming location.

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

Hotel Ibis Wellington

Day 5: Today you fly to Queenstown

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 5

Private transfer Wellington hotel to Airport

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

Private Transfer Queenstown Airport to Accommodation

On arrival into Queenstown domestic airport you will be met from your flight and a transfer will deliver you to your accommodation.

Explore Queenstown and surrounds

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. Venture further afield into the Fiordland National Park or head over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Drive through Lord Of The Rings country - or for the really fanatic, jump aboard one of many dedicated LOTR tours. And after all of that - if you do really want the adrenaline rush Queenstown is known for, take your pick from the Shotover Jet, Nevis Bungy, Canyon Swing, Zipline, Luge or Heli-ski.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Bella Vista Motel Queenstown is just a 3 minute flat walk to Queenstown centre offering mountain views and great facilities for visitors to the alpine resort town.

Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 6: Full day tour into Milford Sound including cruise

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 6

Milford Sound Day Tour from Queenstown with GreatSights (Includes Buffet Lunch)

Take an unforgettable journey into the heart of Milford Sound, New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. You'll experience the world-famous fiord in all its natural glory - surrounded by dense rainforest, glacier-carved valleys and beautiful waterfalls. Leaving Queenstown, travel in comfort through rugged mountain terrain past Te Anau, a quiet town on the shores of the largest lake in the South Island. Journey through the Southern Alps and along the picturesque Eglinton Valley, a place of ancient alpine forest and gushing waterfalls and one of only a few road-accessible glacier valleys in New Zealand. Take advantage of the photo opportunities on offer along the Milford Road, like the stunning Mirror Lakes. Travel through the Homer Tunnel, a 1.2km passageway drilled into solid rock, then experience The Chasm, a short but impressive walk over footbridges spanning a series of powerful, swirling waterfalls and rapids. At Milford Sound, board your 1 3/4 hour Southern Discoveries Scenic Cruise and set off to explore the region that Rudyard Kipling called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Travel the length of the fiord and out to the Tasman Sea, gliding past glacier-scarred rock walls and waterfalls that tumble through valleys and crash into the sea far below. Lush native forest clings to steep cliffs, while seals, penguins and dolphins are regular visitors to the icy waters. At the pinnacle of the sound, Mitre Peak rises dramatically from the depths to a height of 1,692 metres above sea level. Along the way your captain will provide lively and informative commentary. Your cruise will take place on a modern, purpose-built catamaran with large viewing windows, outdoor decks, panoramic views and warm indoor seating. After your cruise, return to Queenstown by coach.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Bella Vista Motel Queenstown is just a 3 minute flat walk to Queenstown centre offering mountain views and great facilities for visitors to the alpine resort town.

Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 7: Take a 4WD LOTR safari than free time in Queenstown

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 7

Safari of the Scenes Wakatipu Basin Tour

For those keen on the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings films, come with us 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 Wakatipu 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.

Enjoy a second day in Queenstown

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. Explore a little further afield - nearby historic gold mining township 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 arriving into 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 or for the ultimate wilderness adventure choose the 3 day all-inclusive fully guided option.  To really appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds this area, a scenic flight or hot air balloon ride will take your breath away.  For a slightly more grounded experience, the Skyline Gondola offers fantastic views of Queenstown and the Remarkables.

Your Accommodation: Bella Vista Queenstown

Bella Vista Motel Queenstown is just a 3 minute flat walk to Queenstown centre offering mountain views and great facilities for visitors to the alpine resort town.

Bella Vista Queenstown

Day 8: Today return to Christchurch via Mt Cook National Park and Lake Tekapo

Middle Earth Discovered - Day 8

Queenstown to Christchurch via Mount Cook with GreatSights

Travel to the foothills of New Zealand's highest mountain, Aoraki / Mount Cook, on a full-day sightseeing tour from Queenstown to Christchurch. Setting off from Queenstown, travel through ruggedly beautiful landscape and over the Lindis Pass into the Mackenzie Country. Enter the amazing Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park, home to New Zealand's highest mountain, where there is time to stop for lunch and a chance to enjoy the amazing alpine scenery. In the afternoon, travel past Lake Pukaki to Lake Tekapo, where you can view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd against the backdrop of this vivid blue glacier-fed lake. Then continue through the diverse farmland of the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch, the Garden City, where your tour concludes.

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