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Explore New Zealand with a private guided New Zealand LOTR tour personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised New Zealand LOTR tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-20 people.
Our private guided New Zealand LOTR tour packages are flexible. In addition, all tours are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
This New Zealand LOTR tour includes numerous filming locations, from Hobbiton and Weta Workshop to Edoras and Isengard.
Read on for the full details of this 21 Day Private Guided New Zealand LOTR Tour.
Your fantastic guided holiday begins in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. Home to 1/4 of New Zealand’s population and bordered by two stunning harbours, Auckland’s diverse landscapes provide countless opportunities to get immersed in nature. In the west, lush native rainforest plunges down the hills to meet the sea on dramatic black sand beaches. Meanwhile, the east’s sheltered golden sand beaches are fringed with red-flowering pohutukawa trees. To the north the rolling hills of wine country meet stunning coastlines. And in the south, you’ll find picturesque country gardens, unspoilt forest and tranquil bays.
Explore Auckland with your guide, visiting top attractions such as the Sky Tower, Mt Eden’s volcanic crater, Waiheke Island, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, or Piha Beach.
Stay 1 night in Auckland.
Travel time Auckland to Bay of Islands – 3 hours
Leave the city behind as your tour continues north to the Bay of Islands. This is a stunning stretch of coastline with secluded beaches, forested hills, and fantastic marine wildlife.
Stay 2 nights in Paihia.
You choose what you would like to do today.
You might like to venture off-road to Cape Reinga via 90 Mile Beach! This full-day tour takes you to one of the northernmost points of New Zealand, where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean collide. You also get to visit Gumdiggers park where ancient Kauri forest was buried thousands of years ago; experience a 4WD tour along 90 Mile Beach, the chance to climb the giant sand dunes and toboggan back down. To finish your day, visit the world-famous Mangonui Fish shop and grab the freshest fish and chips as the sea washes gently beneath your feet.
Travel time Bay of Islands to Hamilton – 5.5 hours
Your tour will pass through the City of Sails once more as you continue south to Hamilton, New Zealand’s largest inland city.
With a young, smart and innovative population, Hamilton’s warm and welcoming spirit, rich history and contrasting splendours ensure visitors are spoilt for choice for places to relax and enjoy. From magnificent parks and gardens to a thriving cultural precinct, the city offers a vibrant combination of fine dining and nightlife options as well as an eclectic mix of leisure, lifestyle and activity choices.
In the afternoon, visit the chocolate and candy factory with your guide and relax in the city.
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 offers 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 Hamilton or stay in a Hobbit Hole New Zealand.
Travel time Hamilton to Waitomo Caves – 1 hour
Venture off the beaten track as your guide takes you on a scenic drive to the Waitomo Caves. The land is wilder around here, with limestone outcroppings emerging from farmland and densely forested hills rising all around, but the wildest landscape of all lies underground.
Witness the marvels of these vast caverns as you explore two fantastic caves – the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, where you will be dazzled by a galaxy of glowworms overhead and the Ruakuri Cave, home to a dizzying array of cave formations.
Travel time Waitomo Caves to Rotorua – 2 hours
Enjoy the scenic drive through rolling farmland to Rotorua, the geothermal capital of New Zealand.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Travel time Rotorua to Matamata – 1 hour
Make your way to Matamata to discover the real Middle-Earth on the most picturesque private farmland. Near Matamata, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings films in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in the films. 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 a light meal in The Shire’s Rest Café.
In the afternoon, tour the exciting geothermal attractions in Rotorua with your guide, visiting sulphur springs, mud pools, geysers, and sinter terraces. You have the option to add on dinner at the top of the Skyline Gondola or a Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi dinner.
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo – 1 hour
Your geothermal experience will continue as you enjoy the short drive to Taupo, a small town set beside New Zealand’s largest lake. With the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park looming in the distance, and the lake itself formed from an ancient volcanic crater, you will get a close-up look at the immense forces that shaped New Zealand. Visit Huka Falls with your guide and relax on the lakefront.
In the afternoon, lift high above Lake Taupo to soar around the volcanic peaks of Tongariro National Park, flying over Mt Doom as you explore the craters and colourful volcanic lakes on a scenic floatplane flight.
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Travel time Taupo to Wellington – 4.5 hours
Continue south to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city. Your guide will help you become acquainted with this charming city – you could visit the Te Papa Museum, ride the Wellington Cable Car, or take in the views from the top of Mt Victoria. You may also like to visit Zealandia, located a 10-minute drive from downtown Wellington. Hidden in a suburban valley, this project aims to return a 225 hectare section of bush to its pre-human state. Take a walk and hear the songs of the flourishing native bird population.
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 morning is spent exploring the city locations; you will spend 40 minutes walking through the Outer Shire. This location includes the famous ‘Get off the road’ scene, the ‘shortcut to mushrooms,’ the Black Rider scenes and many more. Then it’s off to the Weta Studios for an inside look at the Wellington film industry. Your visit to Weta will include the ‘Window into Workshop’ exhibition, which is a guided tour of the inner working of the Weta Studios. After the morning’s excitement, it’s time for an Orc-sized lunch. You will head out to Scorch-O-Rama café for an LOTR themed menu designed especially for Wellington Rover Tours. This is included in the cost of your tour. The afternoon is spent exploring the Great River Anduin, the Gardens of Isengard, and Rivendell. You will also see the location where Helms Deep and Minas Tirith were filmed.
In the evening enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants that Wellington has to offer.
Sailing time Wellington to Picton – 3
Begin your day with a cruise across the windswept Cook Strait.
Upon reaching the South Island, your guide will take you on a scenic drive through the Marlborough wine region. Along the way, you have the option to stop at a winery (or two!) for samples of the award-winning wines.
Spend the evening in Kaikoura, a stunning coastal town with a backdrop of majestic mountains. Be sure to sample the superb local seafood at dinner!
Stay 1 night in Kaikoura.
Travel time Kaikoura to Christchurch – 2.5 hours
Enjoy the drive to Christchurch this morning.
Christchurch is a vibrant, energetic city where urban regeneration, creativity, and innovation thrive. Picture amazing street art, innovative projects, a booming hospitality scene and state-of-the-art architecture that is changing the way the city looks, feels and functions – all the while staying true to its heritage and traditional English feel.
Explore Christchurch with your guide, visiting the botanic gardens, the Christchurch Cathedral, the RE:Start Container Mall, and the Canterbury Museum.
Stay 2 nights in Christchurch.
Take a journey into Middle-earth with a full day tour from Christchurch to a key Lord of the Rings filming location. Edoras, also known as Mt Sunday, is set within the remote Mt Potts high country station. Learn how the set was built on top of sheer cliffs, see exclusive photos from the film’s construction, and enjoy awe-inspiring 360-degree views from the summit.
Travel time Christchurch to Mt Cook Village – 4 hours
Your scenic journey through the Mackenzie Basin begins today as you cross over Burkes Pass. As the Southern Alps loom before you, there will be photo opportunities around every corner. Continue past Lake Pukaki on your way to Mt Cook Village, nestled at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain. Your guide will take you to a viewpoint over Tasman Glacier, lying at the base of the spectacular Tasman Valley.
Stay 1 night in Mt Cook Village.
Travel time Mt Cook Village to Wanaka – 2.5 hours
The scenery remains just as spectacular as ever while you continue your tour south to Wanaka. This alpine town boasts panoramic views and a relaxing atmosphere. Along the way, your guide will take you to sample the fresh fruit from the orchards of Cromwell.
Explore the town with your guide, with the option to visit Puzzling World or Rippon Winery, take a scenic drive into Mt Aspiring National Park, or enjoy a peaceful lakeside stroll.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Travel time Wanaka to Te Anau – 3 hours
Your scenic tour will continue as you enjoy the drive over the Crown Range to Queenstown. Your guide will stop along the way for photos at fantastic viewing points.
Visit Arrowtown with your guide on your way through Queenstown, and explore the quaint historic mining settlement. If there are any Lord of the Rings fans in the group, your guide will show you the filming locations for Minas Tirith, Argonath, the Misty Mountains, and the Ford of Bruinen.
In the afternoon, make your way past Lake Wakatipu on your way to Te Anau, the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Nestled on the edge of a lake, the picturesque township of Te Anau is the main visitor base for the glacier-carved wilderness that is Fiordland National Park. Restaurants are plentiful and give visitors the opportunity to sample delicious local far like venison, lobster and seafood.
Stay 2 nights in Te Anau.
Embark on a fantastic journey along the Milford Highway today to New Zealand’s most iconic fiord – Milford Sound. Travel with a small tour group on this extended day trip to Milford Sound, stopping along the way for countless scenic photo opportunities and short walks plus a delicious morning tea. At Milford Sound, enjoy a scenic nature cruise that takes you up close to the majesty of the fiord – you might even spot keas, seals, dolphins, or the rare Fiordland Crested Penguin!
Travel time Te Anau to Dunedin via the Catlins – 5 hours
Along the way to Dunedin, your guide will take you on a tour of the remote Catlins coast, where you will find pounding waterfalls, an iconic lighthouse, lush native bush, a petrified forest, and maybe even penguins and dolphins! Stop for a number of nature walks and photo opportunities along the way, and soak in the wild natural beauty.
In the evening, relax in Dunedin, where you will find a number of striking historic buildings in the compact town centre.
Stay 2 nights in Dunedin.
Today, join the Taieri Gorge Railway for a spectacular journey through the rugged gorges of Central Otago.
In the afternoon, your guide will show you around Dunedin – you have the option to visit Larnach Castle, the Speight’s Brewery, or the Otago Peninsula.
You have the option to discover the Otago Peninsula on a wildlife cruise, to see the world’s only mainland nesting place of the Northern Royal Albatross. Along the way, you will get the chance to see fur seals, up to 20 species of rare ocean birds, and—if you’re lucky—penguins and dolphins. Or you can view the local penguin colony up close on an Argo tour.
Travel time Dunedin to Queenstown – 3.5 hours
Your adventure continues through the ever-changing hills of Central Otago, past bluffs and gorges, farmland and vineyards, to reach Queenstown.
Tour Queenstown with your guide in the afternoon, with the option to ride the Skyline Gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak for panoramic views over Lake Wakatipu. At the top, you may like to take a thrilling ride on the Skyline Luge. The purpose-built Luge carts put you in complete control as you take on over 800 metres of banked corners, tunnels and dippers. Once you’ve conquered the course, hop on the chairlift and do it all again and again. Gentle and leisurely or steep and adventurous, you’ll be hooked. Once is never enough.
Relax and explore the city independently in the evening, or add on a cruise and high country dinner with the TSS Earnslaw.
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today on an excursion to the stunning Glenorchy region, nestled at the head of Lake Wakatipu.
From there, join a Jet Boat Safari which continues past Glenorchy up the Dart River, passing into the Paradise Valley (easily recognisable as Isengard). Stop for a nature walk through the forest used as Lothlorien, and marvel at the snow-capped mountain peaks and stunning turquoise river.
Afterwards, relax and explore Glenorchy with your guide. You have the option to enjoy a forest walk, visit further filming locations (including the Ithilien Camp, the location of the Battle of Amon Hen, and the setting for Beorn’s house from The Hobbit), or take a scenic drive to Kinloch Lodge for a coffee or lunch overlooking the wild reaches of Lake Wakatipu.
Visit the historic mining settlement of Arrowtown and explore the Lord of the Rings locations around Queenstown with your guide today on a relaxing scenic drive. Several locations you’ll see are the Argonath (the Pillars of the Kings), the Misty Mountains, the Ford of Bruinen, and Deer Park Heights (where the Battle of the Wargs and the Refugees of Rohan were filmed).
In the evening, raise a glass to a fantastic holiday!
Your guide will deliver you to Queenstown Airport for your departing flight.
Perfect for fans of the Lord of the Rings films, this New Zealand LOTR Tour offers a comprehensive Middle Earth experience. Visit easily recognisable filming locations on both islands, plus tour the Hobbiton Movie Set and Weta Workshop.
For additional options for your New Zealand LOTR tour, you may wish to browse the selection offered by our New Zealand Guided Tours brand.
Contact New Zealand Travel Organiser today to begin planning your privately guided tour.
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