New Zealand Highlights: Middle Earth Tour

The ultimate trip for Lord of the Rings fans! Discover the Hobbiton Movie Set, tour the production studio behind the films, and immerse yourself in gorgeous Middle Earth scenery.

From $2,149
per person
10 days
Airfare additional cost
Based on
2 travelers

We planned this New Zealand Highlights: Middle Earth Tour for a couple who were big Lord of the Rings fans and wanted to see the Middle Earth scenery in New Zealand. They went “there and back again,” visiting both the North and South Islands to see amazing film sites, the real-life Hobbiton, and more. They loved feeling like they had stepped into Middle Earth!

They began their New Zealand Highlights: Middle Earth Tour in Queenstown, where beautiful Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range make you feel instantly immersed in nature. In Queenstown, they took a full-day scenic tour of several Lord of the Rings filming sites, including the locations for Isengard, Lothlorien, and the Seat of Seeing. Then, they had some leisure time to spend in New Zealand’s adventure capital.

Next for their New Zealand Highlights: Middle Earth Tour, they flew to the charming town of Wellington, Peter Jackson’s hometown. The LOTR director loves Wellington so much, he based his production company and special effects workshop there! While in Wellington, our clients toured more film locations, including the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, and Minas Tirith. They also visited Weta Workshop, where many of the special effects and props for the movies were created, and saw the Windows into Workshop exhibition.

Their New Zealand Highlights: Middle Earth Tour continued in Rotorua, home to fascinating geothermal sites and the most accessible Maori cultural experiences. They saw a fun sheep show, complete with a sheepdog demonstration, at the Agrodome and had an immersive Maori culture tour that finished with a traditional hangi feast, where the food is cooked slowly in underground ovens. The next day, they continued their LOTR experience with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set. They even had a pint at The Green Dragon Inn!

At last, it was time to say goodbye to Middle Earth and head back to reality. They spent a night in Auckland before heading to the airport to begin their journey home.

Day 1
Welcome to New Zealand! Upon arrival in Queenstown, enjoy a private transfer to your hotel. Superbly positioned in a spectacular mountain lake setting within walking distance of Queenstown attractions, Hotel St Moritz is a unique place of majestic beauty and legendary experiences. The hotel embodies the spirit of its alpine surroundings.
Hotel St Moritz

Day 2
Today, embark on a fantastic journey through Lord of the Rings scenery with Nomad Safaris. You will be taken on a scenic tour that offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shores of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and on into Paradise. See the film locations of Isengard and Ithilien Camp, plus beech forests near those used for Lothlorien. You can also visit the area used to film the Seat of Seeing/the battle of Amon Hen.
Hotel St Moritz

Day 3
Relax and explore Queenstown at your leisure today. Mountain biking, fishing, hiking, kayaking, shopping, and touring the wine country are all good ways to spend the day. Or, for an iconic New Zealand adventure, take the leap and go bungee jumping!
Hotel St Moritz

Day 4
Today, make the short flight to Wellington on the North Island, with private transfers to and from the airport. Your modern and comfortable hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Wellington, just minutes from the Cable Car, Parliament, and Lambton Quay’s shopping district and nearby to Te Papa museum and Westpac Stadium.
4-star hotel in Wellington

Day 5
Get the ultimate Lord of the Rings experience today from our mates at Flat Earth ToursVisit the Wellington film locations used for the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin, Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith, and where the Hobbits raced to the ferry and hid from the Nazgul. Explore Rivendell and the riverside spot where Aragorn was washed ashore. Then, visit the famous Weta Cave, where you can see life-size sculptures of Lord of the Rings characters, prop replicas, and a mini museum. See the Windows into Workshop exhibition and get a unique behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of Weta Workshop, where many of the props for the movies were made.
4-star hotel in Wellington

Day 6
Today, you’re free to explore New Zealand’s capital city. Known as the world’s “coolest little capital,” Wellington is full of creativity and is known for its fabulous farm-to-table food. Visit the Te Papa National Museum, an innovative and interactive museum located on Wellington’s spectacular waterfront. If you wish, we can arrange a private tour for you. Or, take a nighttime tour of Zealandia, a nature sanctuary that has been carefully restored to the way New Zealand looked thousands of years ago.
4-star hotel in Wellington

Day 7
Enjoy a private transfer to the airport and take a short flight to Auckland, where you’ll pick up your rental car and head to Rotorua. Your hotel is in a beautiful garden setting, yet close to the city center—the perfect base for exploring Rotorua’s incredible natural attractions. Rejuvenate in the spa’s geothermal mineral pools and rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 8
Did you know there are approximately 6 sheep for every person in New Zealand? Learn more about New Zealand’s agricultural traditions today at the Agrodome. See sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, lamb bottle feeding, and an exciting sheep auction at this award-winning show. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon; this evening, you’ll be treated to a fascinating Maori cultural experience in the Tamaki Maori Village. Let imagination take over as a chief is selected, a song is learnt, and the eerie cry of the welcome is heard before you enter the world of the proud warriors of the ancient Maori. Experience the Powhiri (Welcome Ceremony), then enter the village to hear traditional Maori instruments and watch the daily activities of days gone by. In the wharenui (meeting house), a Rangiatea culture group offers a powerful display of haka song and dance. Finally, dine on a traditional hangi feast, where the food is cooked slowly beneath the ground in earth ovens.
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Day 9
Today, drive to Matamata for a fantastic tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the 10-acre set of the Shire, recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created. See how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth, complete with unique Hobbit holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, and more. After your tour, enjoy specially brewed beverages at The Green Dragon Inn. When you’ve had your fill, drive to Auckland and spend the night in a luxury hotel, overlooking the sparkling Waitemata Harbour and the Viaduct Basin.
Heritage Auckland

Day 10
It’s time to say goodbye to New Zealand and its beautiful Middle Earth scenery. Make your way to the airport, where you’ll drop off your rental car and catch your flight back home.

  • 3 nights Hotel St Moritz, Queenstown
  • 3 nights Wellington
  • 2 nights Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
  • 1 night Heritage Auckland
  • 4 days rental car
  • Nomad Safaris – Half-day Lord of the Rings tour in Queenstown
  • Flat Earth Tours – Full-day Middle Earth tour in Wellington
  • Agrodome Sheep Show
  • Tamaki Maori Village evening cultural experience
  • Hobbiton Movie Set tour
  • Private airport transfers

After your tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, be sure to stop by the Green Dragon Inn for an ale or cider. At night, they light the fireplaces outside and it is a lovely place to stop and relax for a bit. You can also stop for a bite at the Shires Rest Cafe.
–Shannon, Down Under Endeavours

Nomad Safaris

Partner Information

  • Location: Queenstown
  • 4WD Tours of Queenstown and Surrounds
  • Lord of the Rings Scenery Tours
  • Quad Bike Adventures
  • Go Off-Road in Beautiful Scenery
  • Small-Group Tours
  • Experienced, Entertaining Guides