21 Great Days – Middle Earth and Hobbiton New Zealand Tour  Self Drive Tour Package – Season 2023/2024

One of the most fascinating New Zealand Self Drive Tours 4.8/5

A journey to Middle Earth – on the trail of the Hobbits!


Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known worldwide as Middle Earth.


New Zealand’s dramatic landscape of golden plains, breathtaking mountain landscapes and enchanting valleys have fascinated viewers and fans in both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. These trilogies are based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s work of the same name, and all of the films were directed by none other than Sir Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings trilogy has won a total of 17 Oscars. While all of the film sets, except Hobbtion, have been dismantled – Lord of the Rings fans are sure to recognize some of the landscapes and film locations!

Discover the world of Frodo, Bilbo, Aragorn, Arwen – We invite you with “Haere Mai” – welcome to New Zealand!

This tour package can be customized to suit your requirements precisely. Please let us know your special requests.

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p.P. in Double Room or Twin Share from:

NZD 6,270 *

  • *) Please note:
    • All Prices in New Zealand Dollar (NZD)
    • Daily Departures
  • Tour Options:
    • Upgrade/Downgrade options (accommodation category, rental car category, length of tour, activities, etc.)
New Zealand Tours Sepcialist Tour Operator DMC
New Zealand Tourism Board certified specialist

Please look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday.
Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. You enjoy New Zealand and your round trip, we take care of the rest.

Included within this package:


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  • Accommodation (20 Nights)
    • 1 Night at Copthorne Hotel Auckland City - 1 x Superior Room
    • 1 Night at Woodlyn Park - 1 x Hobbit Unit
    • 2 Nights at Powderhorn Chateau - 1 x Hotel Suite
    • 2 Nights at West Plaza Hotel - 1 x Standard Room
    • 2 Nights at Avalon Manor Motel - 1 x Standard Room
    • 1 Night at The Ocean View Retreat - 1 x Standard Room
    • 1 Night at Punga Grove Franz Josef - 1 x Studio Unit
    • 2 Nights at Wanaka Hotel - 1 x Lake Facing Room
    • 2 Nights at Te Anau Lodge - 1 x Standard Room
    • 3 Nights at Garden Court Suites & Apartments - 1 x Studio Suite
    • 1 Night at MacKenzie Country Hotel - 1 x Studio
    • 1 Night at Homelea B&B- 1x Classic, Double Room

    Key:  BB: Bed and Breakfast, DBB Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

  • Meals:
    • 19x Breakfast (no breakfast at Woodlyn Park) for Standard Option, 20x Breakfast for Superior Option
    • 3x Lunch (Wellington Rover Tour, Pure Glenorchy Tour, Hassle Free Tour)
  • Rental car hire:
    • Vehicles Touring, Intermediate 4x4 or Luxury 4x4
    • airport/ferry terminal fees
    • Day 1 (Auckland Airport) – Day 21 (Christchurch Airport
    • Rental car insurance: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible

  • Tour & Activity Pack: (can be customized to suit you precisely )
    • Interislander Ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton for foot passengers & rental car
    • Matamata: Hobbiton Movieset & Farm Tour x2
    • Waitomo: Hairy Feet Scenic Film Location Tour x2
    • Wellington: Weta Cave, Full Experience Tour x2
    • Queenstown: Pure Glenorchy Overland Tours, Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour x2
    • Christchurch: Hassle Free Tours, Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour x2
  • While in New Zealand 24 hour support
  • Tour Excludes:
    • Flights, Travel Insurance
    • Fuel and parking fees
    • Meals, unless otherwise specified
    • Optional activities

Additional Information:

We all know Terms and Conditions are really boring.


These are no exception. We fell asleep two times while we wrote them!

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BUT - we need them so that there is no misunderstanding if you decide to change or cancel anything. If you transact through this website then we will give you every chance to read these. Any quotes and bookings undertaken are done so on the understanding that you have read and agree to these terms. Please read here  our Terms & Conditions for payment options and cancellation policy.
We play fair and we know we play with people who play fair!

  • Our tours incl. all tax, fees and admissions
  • All prices are displayed/charged in NZ$ and may vary in your home currency depending on currency conversion rates.
  • This tour price is based on 2 people sharing one room and may vary depending on type of accommodation (Motel, Boutique Lodges, 3-5 Star Hotels). Of course, we can provide more options in type of car, accommodation, also in route and duration of your tour.

Please look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday.
Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. Enjoy New Zealand, we take care of the rest.

  • Stunning and proven New Zealand itineraries

    Accommodations and meals | Activities package: All admissions, tours and activities marked as such in the tour itinerary | Detailed driving information, road maps, route book, and more.

  • Extras for your individual New Zealand Tour holiday

    Numerous additional options and individual tips possible | Tour price options (upgrade/downgrade) possible in Standard, Superior and Luxury categories (3-5 star hotels/motels, boutique lodges, rental car category, tour extension, etc.) | Personal "Meet & Greet" service possible (private shuttle/transport airport, city hotel, cruise terminal, etc.)

  • Rental car incl. all inclusive Insurance with GPS

    All-Inclusive rental insurance or with variable excess | GPS navigation | airport/ferry handling fees | unlimited mileage | additional drivers

  • Ideal prices thanks to daily currency conversion

    Perfect for you: We offer our tours in NZD$  (New Zealand Dollar). Experience has shown that this is often more favourable for our guests during the booking period than a fixed price in your local currency, which may include possible currency fluctuations at the time of travel.
    All prices in New Zealand Dollar (NZD) incl. 15% GST (New Zealand Goods and Services Tax) and incl. all taxes applicable in New Zealand.

  • 24-hours Support while you are in New Zealand

    Details on how you can reach us at any time during your New Zealand holiday - in your time zone - can be found in the travel documentation.


Your daily New Zealand tour details:

The following summary lists driving information for each major driving day of your itinerary. Times and distances are based on ideal conditions without stops. Plan to take longer to allow time to explore and enjoy some stops. While in New Zealand we offer 24 hour support.

Destination Auckland


Auckland with its suburbs has over 1 million inhabitants. It is the largest city in the country and spreads generously over a narrow isthmus between the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. Over 60 extinct volcanic cones and craters characterize the landscape, while an endless procession of sails in the harbor is typical of the relaxed way of life here. Auckland was the state capital until 1865 and is today the economic center of New Zealand.

Day 1

Copthorne Hotel Auckland City • Auckland
Day Notes

Welcome to New Zealand!

After your arrival at Auckland Airport, you will pick up your rental car. You will have the rest of the day to recover from your long flight. In “The Lord of the Rings” and the “Hobbit” trilogy, New Zealand was splendidly showcased and firmly established in the imagination of viewers worldwide as Middle-earth. On your upcoming trip, you will understand why Sir Peter Jackson chose to shoot the films in New Zealand. Let yourself be captivated by this country full of contrasts – we wish you an unforgettable journey into the world of Middle Earth!

  • Pick up rental car at Auckland Airport 
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Destination Waitomo


Located in King Country, and set an easy two-hour’s drive from New Zealand’s capital, Auckland, Waitomo is one of the country’s most outstanding travel destinations, famed for its exceptional natural environment, exquisite scenery, and unique adventure options. The area is home to legendary limestone caves – the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakari Cave, Aranui Cave, and Gardner’s Gut – which offer a multitude of adventure opportunities. Explore caverns glittering with the presence of countless glowworms, go ‘blackwater’ rafting or tubing in subterranean lakes, or abseil past magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations. Other attractions in the area include the breathtaking Marokopa Falls, the captivating Pureora Timber Trail (a cycle route), and the 17-metre high stone arch that forms part of the pulse-quickening Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk.

Day 2  Auckland – Waitomo

Woodlyn Park • Waitomo
Day Notes

Heading south, you leave Auckland, cross the Bombay Hills and enter the Waikato River valley. New Zealand’s longest river runs through one of the most agriculturally productive areas on earth.

On your journey, you will make a stop in Matamata. On a 2-hour guided tour, you will discover the real Middle Earth here and visit the film set of the “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” triologies, which might be better known to you as the “Shire”. During your tour you will see the Hobbit Caves, The Green Dragon Inn, the Party Tree and many other highlights.

The journey continues to your very special accommodation in Otorohanga. Today you will sleep like a hobbit! A unique experience that will transport you once again into the world of Middle Earth.

  • Hobbiton Movieset & Farm Tour x2
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Destination Ohakune


The small rural town Ohakune is blessed with magnificent scenery, as well as some of New Zealand’s best skiing and snowboarding on the slopes of nearby Mount Ruapehu. Sporty travellers will be in their element here, with kayaking, hiking and cycling also high on the list of local activities. Ohakune is the kick-off point for trips to Tongariro National Park, the country’s oldest wildlife reserve and a UNESCO Wold Heritage Site, known for its stunning glacial lakes with aquamarine waters, rugged volcanic peaks blanketed with snow, and rich Maori culture. The town also has plenty of great wining, dining, shopping and entertainment options.

Day 3  Waitomo – Ohakune (Tongariro National Park)

Powderhorn Chateau • Ohakune
Day Notes

On the way to Ohakune, stop a little south of Waitomo and join the Hairy Feet Scenic Film Location Tour. On this tour you will see and walk through different film locations from Lord of the Rings.

Continue your journey to Ohakune near Tongariro National Park, which you will surely know as “Mordor”. Here you will stay at Powderhorn Chateau, where the actors of the Lord of the Rings films spent a few weeks. So there is a chance that you will spend the night in the same room as Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood or Peter Jackson. The actors especially enjoyed their time in the two restaurants and the very popular Powderhorn Bar. The Powderhorn Chateau is the perfect starting point for excursions to the filming locations of Mordor and Ithilien.

  • Hairy Feet Scenic Film Location Tour x2
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Day 4  Ohakune (Tongariro National Park)

Powderhorn Chateau • Ohakune
Day Notes

Use today to visit various filming locations (optional):

-Lord of the Rings: To reach Ithilien you must drive along the Turoa Ski Field road, also known as Ohakune Mountain Road Scenic Drive. Follow the road until you reach Magawhere Falls. At the trailhead, park your rental car and climb down from here to the bed of the Mangawhere River. At this filming location Smeagol (Gollum) hunted and caught a fish (coordinates: 39° 19.161’S 175° 30.158’E). The scene where Frodo and Sam walk across a clearing was filmed a little further upstream (coordinates: 39° 19.217’S 175° 30.315’E).

-Hobbit: To reach the secret entrance to “Lonely Mountain” drive along the Turoa Ski Field road to the end, to the ski area. It was filmed here in the summer of 2011, and the location can only be recognised in the summer months when there is no snow, as used in the film. From car park 3 you have a perfect view of the filming location. Interesting additional info: During filming, a special path scaffolding was created to give actors and crew access to the filming location without damaging the moss and its growth. At 1500 metres, this location is the highest in the film series (coordinates: 39° 30’95.19”S 176° 52’42.63”E).

  • Alternatively, guided tours to filming locations are also possible (provider: Adrift Guided Outdoor Adventures – LOTR Highlights).
  • You will spend another night at Powderhorn Chateau. Tip: Check the hotel guestbook for the entry by Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee).
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Destination Wellington


Located on the south-western tip of North Island on the Cook Strait, Wellington is the constitutional and cultural capital of New Zealand – dubbed ‘the coolest little capital in the world’. With its diverse architecture, world-class museums, cultural attractions and award-winning restaurants, Wellington is a popular destination for both local and international travellers. Due to its location in the ‘Roaring Forties’ the city experiences its fair share of wind and as a result, sailing is a popular activity here – with charters offering the visitors the experience of a relaxed cruise with beautiful views of the city and the surrounding bays.

Day 5  Ohakune – Wellington

West Plaza Hotel • Wellington
Day Notes

Along the Kapiti Coast you travel to Wellington. On the way we recommend a stop at “Riverbank Farm Equine” (optional), where you can recognise some of the horses from the trilogies. You will also have the opportunity to meet their trainer Jane Lenaghan. Jane was Liv Tyler’s stunt double for equestrian scenes and also played roles such as Nazgul, Rohan Warrior and Ranger. Farm tours are available by appointment.

You then arrive in Wellington, production home of all the films, home to Sir Peter Jackson, 3 Foot 6, Wingnut Films, Weta Workshop and Weta Digital. Explore the centre on foot and discover interesting and famous sights.

  • For an excellent start to your city exploration, we recommend the National Museum “Te Papa” (admission free). This is where the premiere of “Lord of the Rings – The 2 Towers” took place.
  • At the corner of Jervois Quay and Cable Street is “The Film Archive”, New Zealand’s museum of moving images (free admission).
  • Nearby (10 Kent Terrace) is the Embassy Theatre, Wellington’s most magnificent cinema. It was the venue for the Oceania premieres of Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship and The 2 Towers. It also hosted the world premiere of Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King in 2003, as well as the world premiere of Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey.
  • A visit to “Dymocks Booksellers” (360 Lambton Quay) is also recommended. This bookshop offers the largest selection of Tolkien books in New Zealand.
  • Some of the film crew’s favourite places in Wellington during filming were: The Scorch O Rama (Scorching Bay), The Green Parrot (16 Taranaki Street), Bravi Ristorante (40 Wellington St). 
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Day 6  Wellington

West Plaza Hotel • Wellington
Day Notes

Today you will take a guided tour of the Weta Cave film studios. Lord of the Rings was co-created and created at these studios.  

Discover props, costumes and cool stuff.
From The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to Avatar and District 9, learn about the making of props, costumes and creatures created for your favourite films. Interact with the cool stuff from our creative departments, and if you’re lucky, watch an artist at work on our tour stage.

Explore the Wētā Cave shop: A cave of creativity that packs a punch! Be greeted by giant trolls when you arrive and explore our mini-museum.

  • Weta Cave, Full Experience Tour x2
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Destination Motueka


The sunny little town of Motueka is situated close to the mouth of the Motueka River, on the western shore of Tasman Bay on New Zealand’s South Island. Visitors tend to use the town as a convenient base for exploring the beautiful Abel Tasman and Kahurangi National Parks and visiting the lovely neighbouring beaches. Motueka’s family-friendly green spaces, diverse sporting and recreational opportunities, a clean environment and terrific climate have attracted a large number of people from all over the world, resulting in a cosmopolitan, artistic community. A vibrant main street offers lovely little boutiques, quaint cafes and charming restaurants. Don’t miss a visit to the wonderful Sunday morning farmers’ market and pretty, leafy beer garden where you can sample delicious local craft beers and ciders.

Day 7  Wellington – Motueka (Abel Tasman National Park)

Avalon Manor Motel • Motueka
Day Notes

In the morning, you board the Interislander ferry to the South Island, including your rental car. You will reach the small harbour town of Picton via the Cook Waterway and the famous Marlborough Sounds. From here you will first drive to Havelock, primary producer of green shell mussels. A short drive from Havelock to Pelorus Bridge then takes you along the Pelorus River via the picturesque town of Canvastown. There is a large car park in front of the bridge, from here you start an exploration tour. This is where the filming took place of the scene where the 13 dwarves and Bilbo were washed ashore after their previous capture by the Elf King Thranduil and subsequent escape in barrels through the Forest River.

You can visit two of the filming locations here: Walk onto Pelorus Bridge and look downstream, with beautiful views of the surrounding trees and clear water. Then walk along the path next to the bridge on your left. This is where the orcs desperately tried to stop the dwarves on their wild barrel ride. (Coordinates: 41° 17’56.39”S 173° 34’29.81”E).

Interesting info: The shooting came to a rather rapid end due to the arrival of the police. This was because the police were about to issue a severe weather warning. Peter Jackson said he had never seen a film crew pack up so quickly.

Your journey continues to Nelson, the sunniest city in New Zealand. In Nelson you have the opportunity to visit “Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith” (Trafalgar Square). Among the jeweller’s designs is that of the “One Ring”. Jens created 40 rings for the shoot, one of which is on display in the shop. Sadly, Jens died in 1999 before he could see his masterpiece on the screen, but his son Thorkild continues the family tradition. On request, Thorkild makes copies of the “One Ring” in 9 and 18 ct gold.

  • Interislander ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton 2x adults, 1x car
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Day 8  Motueka (Abel Tasman National Park)

Avalon Manor Motel • Motueka
Day Notes

We recommend spending the free day in Motueka in the Abel Tasman National Park.

There you have different options. Take the taxi boat into the National Park and walk parts of it or experience the National Park from the water by joining a kayak tour.

(all activities optional)

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Destination Punakaiki


The tiny township of Punakaiki on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island is primarily used by visitors as a base for exploring the nearby Paparoa National Park. The park is best known for its dramatic blowholes and the distinctive Pancake Rocks. These picturesque limestone formations look curiously like stony stacks of pancakes which funnel blasts of water up to 15 m into the air as the waves crash into the caverns below the rocks. Visitors can explore the sub-tropical rainforests, horse ride along the spectacular coastline, paddle a canoe down the tranquil Pororari River, or climb the remarkable limestone formations for which this area is known. The town itself offers some delightful cafes and restaurants and is home to a small community of quirky local craftspeople including jewellers, carvers, painters and potters. This little town is the perfect place to take some time out between excursions into one of the West Coast’s most beautiful and untouched wilderness areas.

Day 9  Motueka – Punakaiki

The Ocean View Retreat • Punakaiki
Day Notes

You continue to Punakaiki on the west coast of the South Island. Here you can visit a filming location of “Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies”. This is close to the famous “Pancake Rocks”, which you can visit on a 15-minute walk (best at high tide). The Paparoa Cliffs were used in the scene where the dwarves escaped from the Elf King Thranduil in barrels. Although the scenes in the water were filmed at Pelorus Bridge and Salisbury Falls, the Paparoa Cliffs were used as a contrast in the background. The cliffs can be seen from several vantage points. 

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Destination Franz Josef


The quaint west coast town of Franz Josef has a few hundred permanent residents, but numbers swell during the holidays to around 2000 visitors per day. This is glacier country, and Franz Josef glacier (after which the town is named) and Fox Glacier, some 23km further south, are the main attractions. The town offers myriad options for cosy accommodation, especially after the snow and ice activities on offer – combine a helicopter tour with a guided walk on the glacial terrain to view ice caves, and spectacular crevisses and pinnacles. Helicopter tours over the two glaciers are also available, with a stop off at the head of either glacier so you can experience the frozen landscape up close.

Day 10  Punakaiki – Franz Josef Glacier

Punga Grove • Franz Josef
Day Notes

The journey continues along the west coast to the Southern Alps, which might be better known to you as the Misty Mountains. As a natural weather barrier, the high mountain ridge is responsible for one of the most extreme precipitation regimes in the country. Above the snowline, large masses of ice accumulate to form fast-flowing valley glaciers. The Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, about 12 km long, slide down to a height of 300 m above sea level – unique in temperate latitudes.

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Destination Wanaka


Wanaka is a town located on the southern bank of Lake Wanaka on the South Island of New Zealand. This resort is known for being a prime access-point to the unique Southern Alps’ Mount Aspiring National Park – featuring rich birdlife, enormous mountains and many astounding glaciers – and which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Area of Te Wahipounamu. However, besides being near the famous park, Wanaka also offers an abundance of outdoor activities. When it’s warm, enjoy water sports like kayaking and canoeing on Lake Wanaka, as well as hiking, rock climbing and 4×4 routes; while, in winter, you can go skiing and snowboarding on the white peaks of Snow Farm, Treble Cone or Cardonia (all within a 40-minute drive from Wanaka), and extreme sports enthusiasts even have the opportunity to heli-ski.

Day 11  Franz Josef Glacier – Wanaka

Wanaka Hotel • Wanaka
Day Notes

You will continue to Wanaka. Here you can visit the “Puzzling World”, which gives you an insight into how different perspectives were filmed in the trilogy.

For the adventurous, Wanaka is also the place to go skydiving with the same provider as Orlando Bloom.  If you look from the city shore to the Alps at the end of the lake, you will see the backdrop of the scene where Gandalf flew to Rohan on the eagle (Gwaihir) after his rescue from Orthanc.

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Day 12  Wanaka

Wanaka Hotel • Wanaka
Day Notes

You will have the opportunity to visit other filming locations today (optional):

-The filming location is on the road Glendhu Bay & Treble Cone Ski Field. After about 15km you will pass Glendhu Bay on your right. Continue towards Treble Cone and before you would turn into the ski field you will reach the filming location. On the big brown mountain to your right, a ruin was digitally inserted for the film at the scene where the companions walk south (coordinates: 44° 39.2.13’S 168° 58.342’E).

-The top of Treble Cone ski area can be seen in the film “Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey”.

-Not far after the turnoff to the ski area, the trail continues along a gravel road. Here the landscape becomes even more impressive and beautiful. With glacier-fed Matukituki to your right and snow-capped peaks to your left, you are at another filming location of “Hobbit – The Battle of the Five Armies”. The Dwarf Company was filmed in the valleys as they left the Misty Mountains on their way to the Bleak Forest (coordinates: 44°30’41.23”S 168°44’47.81”E).

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Destination Te Anau


Te Anau is situated in the southern region of New Zealand’s South Island, on the eastern bank of Lake Te Anau (the largest lake on South Island). The town is the perfect gateway to the unique and awe-inspiring geographical attractions of Milford Sound (boasting rich marine life and spectacular views), and the Fiordland National Park (offering the excellent Kepler, Routeburn, and Milford hiking and biking trails among astonishing landscapes). However, beautiful Te Anau has plenty to offer in its own right. Active travellers can enjoy water sports on the lake, such as kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and trout fishing, while gentle boat cruises provide a more leisurely option. Make sure to visit the incredible Te Anau Caves to see other-worldly displays of glowworms and an impressive underground waterfall, and visit the beautiful native birds at the Punanga Manu o Te Anau aviary.

Day 13  Wanaka – Te Anau

Te Anau Lodge • Te Anau
Day Notes

Your drive takes you to Te Anau, the gateway to the Fjordland National Park. The perfect way to get to know the unspoilt landscape and surroundings is to take a boat trip on Doubtful Sound (optional). This takes you to Lake Manapouri in Fjordland National Park, New Zealand’s largest and by far most developed national park. As the precipitation is amongst the highest of the world, a very special vegetation has developed. Declared a World Heritage Site, this rainforest area with its numerous fjords attracts many naturalists and individual nature lovers. Doubtful Sound is a real insider tip, as it is not directly accessible by car like Milford Sound. First you cross Lake Manapouri. Then, via the Wilmot Pass, you will reach Deep Cove and Doubtful Sound by bus. In this seclusion you undertake a boat expedition into New Zealand’s animal kingdom. Bottlenose dolphins are often encountered. Numerous seals can be seen on isolated rock formations. As you walk along Lake Manapouri, look up to the high mountain peaks on your right, near Freeman Burn. Up there in the alpine peaks are the Norwest Lakes, locations used when the Fellowship left Rivendell for the south.

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Day 14  Te Anau

Te Anau Lodge • Te Anau
Day Notes

You can continue to explore the area on your own today, or alternatively take a scenic flight to more filming locations (optional).

On the Lord of the Rings Helijet Adventure tour you will see 3 filming locations. First, a jet boat ride across the Waiau River awaits you. Then you will board a helicopter and experience a 40-minute scenic flight over the Kepler Mire, where Frodo and Sam wandered through the Dead Marshes. You will also fly over Lake Manapouri to the Norwest Lakes. Enjoy the view of the lakes before making the return journey to Te Anau.

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Destination Queenstown


Queenstown is situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and has stunning views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Considered by many as one of the world’s adventure capitals, it offers visitors a wide selection of adrenaline-boosting activities to choose from, such as bungee jumping, white water rafting, zip lining, skiing and skydiving. Queenstown also has a lively bar and restaurant scene, and for those who prefer the quieter things in life there are vineyards, golf courses, spas and wellness centres.

Day 15  Te Anau – Queenstown

Garden Court Suites & Apartments • Queenstown
Day Notes

On the drive from Te Anau to Queenstown we recommend a stopover on the Takaro road. You leave Te Anau on the main road to Queenstown, after a few kilometres turn left onto the Kakapo road. After about another 6 km, the dirt road will take you through a clearing with an access road on the left. Park your rental car in the small turning area. You are now in Fangorn Forest. Filming locations are on both sides of the road. There are filming locations around Queenstown that you can explore over the next few days.

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Day 16  Queenstown

Garden Court Suites & Apartments • Queenstown
Day Notes

Today you are in for another real treat for all Lord of the Rings fans! You will take part in the Pure Glenorchy Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour. On this tour you will go deep into the heart of Middle-earth and see the filming locations of Isengard, the Battle of Amon Hen, Lothlorien Forest, the Misty Mountains and Ithilien Camp. The professional guides know all the filming locations down to the smallest detail and let you share stories and secrets of the filming. On the tour you will receive a delicious picnic and many possibilities for breathtaking pictures. 


Pure Glenorchy Overland Tours, Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour x2

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Day 17  Queenstown

Garden Court Suites & Apartments • Queenstown
Day Notes

The cast and crew fell in love with Queenstown and the surroundings right away. Much time was spent at the Rattlesnake Bar and The Cow Restaurant, among others. If you want to experience some of the filming locations again in a different way, we recommend a horseback ride with Dart Stables (optional).

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Destination Twizel


Twizel is set in the highlands of the Mackenzie district, amidst a magnificent setting of turquoise glacial lakes, sienna plains, and rugged snow-capped mountains. Thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts will be in their element here, with the region’s natural assets lending themselves to a wide array of adventure activities including trekking, mountain biking, and helicopter rides, to horse riding, canoeing, fly fishing, and SUPping. The town offers a fantastic ongoing market and enticing shops, cafes, and restaurants. Twizel is also the gateway to excursions through the popular Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, known for its spectacular scenery and multitude of hiking trails, and the wider UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, renowned for the beauty of its star-studded skies. Make sure to play a game of mini-golf at the Twizel-themed miniature golf course, which features holes named after local farms.

Day 18  Queenstown – Twizel (MacKenzie Country)

Twizel Central Motel • Twizel
Day Notes

Continue your journey to Twizel. Here you will find the fields of Pelennor, where the biggest war scene of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was set. As the filming location is on private land, it is only accessible with a booked tour (optional). Your guide may be a Rohirrim or Gondorian warrior, or even an Orc. The tour is offered by Onering Tours.

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Destination Christchurch


Despite the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch was placed second on The New York Times’ list of 52 ‘Places to Go’ in 2014. This speaks volumes of the spirit of this city and its people, whose collective creativity has seen a number of restorative art projects developed on the empty lots and buildings the disasters left behind. The city also offers a fabulous array of activities, including punting down the Avon River, helicopter tours, hot-air ballooning and whale and dolphin watching. Or stroll around the Botanic Gardens.

Day 19  Twizel – Christchurch

Home Lea Bed and Breakfast • Christchurch
Day Notes

On the way to Christchurch, we recommend a stop at Lake Pukaki. On the east side of the lake is a filming location of the Hobbit trilogy. This is where the epic pursuit of the dwarves by orcs took place as they desperately searched for the secret entrance to Rivendell. Afterwards continue to Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island.

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Day 20  Christchurch

Home Lea Bed and Breakfast • Christchurch
Day Notes

Today you will join the full-day Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour. Enter a world of natural beauty with clear lakes, sparkling blue rivers and fresh mountain air. You will be picked up at your accommodation and start your 4WD adventure through several small streams to Edoras. On a short guided tour you climb to the top and enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree panorama. You will see photos of the formation of Edoras, accessible only for this tour. Furthermore, you will see the Misty Mountains and the area that was the backdrop for “Helm’s Ridge”. You can also hold Aragorn’s and King Theoden’s swords, as well as Gimli’s axe and the flag of Rohan. You will be served a delicious picnic on your tour.

  • Hassle Free Tours, Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour x2
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End of Itinerary

Day 21  Christchurch

Day Notes

Your New Zealand tour ends today. Drive to Christchurch Airport and return your rental car. From here you start your onward journey or journey home. We wish you a pleasant flight!

Goodbye – or Namárie in the language of the elves!

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Please take a look at our other New Zealand self-drive tours and if you can’t find the right tour- no problem! We are happy to advise you individually to offer you the perfect New Zealand holiday. That’s why we are winner of the “Bespoke Tour Operator of the year” LTG-Award – New Zealand 2018, 2019″.

Get in touch with us! Behind this website are real people who want to share their enthusiasm and expertise for this country. You enjoy New Zealand and your round trip, we take care of the rest.

"What I loved about this tour was that the guide was not afraid to get off the beaten track and show us the real country. This was an experience I would definitely want to come back to."
Alene Elvine
HR Manager
“Our tour was everything I hoped for, and more. Great Days really makes a difference, I would have never discovered the beautiful places we stopped at."
Jona Gerber

Get in touch for your New Zealand holidays. That’s what we are here for. Behind this website are real people who are at your disposal with expertise and passion for this extraordinary country place in the world. We know where to go as we live here – and we are looking forward to sharing our hidden gems with you.

Enjoy the Holiday of a lifetime