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If you have just 10 days to visit, this New Zealand Lord of the Rings tour hits the film location highlights. Travel from Auckland to Queenstown and visit these LOTR filming locations along the way:
In addition to film destinations, this New Zealand Lord of the Rings tour package includes many top New Zealand experiences.
Our self-drive packages include activities, accommodation, and transportation for convenient and stress-free travel.
Read on for the full details of this 10 Day Lord of the Rings & Hobbit Holiday Package.
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Collect your rental car from the airport and make your way to your accommodation.
Relax in Auckland today. Your options include visiting the Sky Tower, the Auckland Zoo, or Sea Life Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium; venturing to one of Auckland’s stunning beaches or West Auckland wineries, or doing a spot of shopping.
Stay 1 night in Auckland City.
Driving time Auckland to Matamata 161 km / 100 miles, 2 hours
Make your way to Matamata to discover the real Middle-Earth on the most picturesque private farmland near Matamata to visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from The Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in LORT trilogy. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. You can relax and soak up the unique atmosphere with a great cup of coffee or meal in The Shire’s Rest Café.
Driving time Matamata to Rotorua 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
Stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand. If staying in a Hobbit Hole, Hobbit Hole House or Hobbit Hotel is on your bucket list, we can arrange this for you. We often get asked whether you can rent a Hobbit Hole in New Zealand! There are two properties in New Zealand that offer this experience, Underhill offer hobbit-style accommodation hand crafted with rustic native timbers and ironwork and caters for couples. Huge timber doors open wide to overlook a picturesque pond and farmland beyond. Woodlyn Park offers a Hobbit Motel offering two motels beamed beneath a hill where sheep and donkey wander for grazing. From the exterior, these units look like a perfect Hobbit Hotel. In total, each motel can sleep up to 6 people making it ideal for families. Ask us to include your very own stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand!
Stay 1 night in Rotorua. Option to incorporate a stay in a Hobbit Hole.
Driving time Rotorua to Taupo 82 km / 51 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty and filled with attractions such as the Huka Falls, relaxing boat cruises, and bungy jumping. T
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Driving time Taupo to Wellington 372 km / 231 miles, 5.5 hours
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. From shopping and picturesque walks to concerts, live theatre, exhibitions, festivals, Te Papa Tongarewa: the Museum of New Zealand, and more – Wellington has something for everyone.
Stay 2 nights in Wellington.
Today, join a Full Day Lord of the Rings Tour! Follow in the footsteps of Hobbits, Dwarfs, Elves and Men. You will cover a lot of ground on the tour, but there is enough time to explore, recreate scenes for yourself, and work out how the movies were made. The scenery of Wellington mirrors that of Middle-Earth.
You will be collected from your Wellington accommodation at 9.30 am and head for the hills. After admiring the view from the top of Mt Victoria you head into the “Outer Shire” for your first stop the Hobbit’s hideaway.
Then it’s onto the Weta Cave in Miramar where you tour the museum, before viewing a short documentary showing the film making exploits of Peter Jackson and his remarkable team. This is followed up with a fascinating ‘Window into the Workshop’ exhibition, showing film props and weaponry with the artists themselves describing how the artefacts were created. You will have lunch locally at a seaside cafe, (price included) then head north into the Hutt Valley following the River Anduin and taking in the sights of Helms Deep, before stopping at the Gardens of Isengard for afternoon tea.
The final destination is Rivendell and the Legolas tree before returning to ‘Wellywood’.
Sailing time Wellington to Picton 70 km / 43 miles, 3 hours
Driving time Picton to Kaikoura 156 km / 97 miles, 2.5 hours
Enjoy the coastal drive along the East Coast to Kaikoura, a stunning coastal township offering a backdrop of majestic mountains. As an important fishing port, Kaikoura is a mecca for seafood lovers. Local specialities include blue cod, paua (abalone) and of course crayfish (lobster).
Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.
Driving time Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs 130 km / 81 miles, 2 hours
Travel on to Hanmer Springs, a year-round holiday destination offering a variety of outdoor activities and of course the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa. Visitors have been travelling to bathe in the rejuvenating mineral pools for over 120 years! Relax in open-air thermal pools and de-stress with spa therapies.
Stay 1 night in Hanmer Springs.
Driving time Hanmer Springs to Lake Tekapo 353 km / 222 miles, 4.5 hours
Travel south across the Canterbury Plains and inland towards the Southern Alps to reach Lake Tekapo, an amazing turquoise lake. Lake Tekapo presents many world class vacation attractions, from the famous Church of the Good Shepherd to scenic flights exploring New Zealand’s highest mountains and largest glaciers, including Mount Cook, Tasman Glacier, and Franz Josef and Fox Glacier.
Stay 1 night in Lake Tekapo.
Driving time Lake Tekapo to Queenstown 256 km / 159 miles, 3.5 hours
Venture past Lake Pukaki, a picturesque turquoise glacial lake, before you travel through the dramatic Lindis Pass which links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago. Queenstown awaits you, New Zealand’s adventure capital and top vacation destination. Arrive in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital and scenic resort town.
Stay 2 nights in Queenstown.
Today, explore the Lord of the Rings film locations around Queenstown on a spectacular half-day 4WD adventure! This scenic safari offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley. Beyond Glenorchy, travel up the Dart Valley to the filming location for Isengard, set amongst snow-capped mountains beside the turquoise waters of the Dart River. This setting offers views of Mt Earnslaw and its hanging glacier, used in the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy. Explore the Paradise Forest, the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. On your return trip to Queenstown, stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.
Drop your rental car off at Queenstown Airport and depart Queenstown.
We offer numerous resources to help plan your Lord of the Rings self-drive holiday. As you begin researching, you may wish to read the following:
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser to begin planning your Middle Earth holiday today.