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Middle Earth Explorer

Begin writing your own story as you travel to Middle Earth in this exclusive New Zealand journey. Spend time touring through the farmlands and landscapes used as sets, explore spectacular geothermal parks, and witness a powerful cultural performance by the Maori people. Spend the next day visiting filming locations of the Shire and Helms Deep, then embrace your adventurous side on a Dart River Wilderness Safari and imagine yourself on screen, surrounded by iconic mountains and landmarks; the perfect opportunity to see New Zealand's true beauty. Wander through this one-of-a-kind country, checking out Hobbiton Village, century-old forests and majestic mountainscapes as you embark on an adventure from North Island to South Island. 

Trip Type: Adventure, Cultural, Family, Wildlife

Gallery

Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer
Middle Earth Explorer

Day By Day

Day 1 – Welcome to Auckland

Encircled by three harbors totaling 18,000 miles of coastline, hundreds of Auckland’s beaches are within easy reach. And they’re all so different, from idyllic white-sand beaches to wild black-sand surf spots. Get into some of the countless activities on and off the water or just unwind and soak up the views. Or opt to see modern and traditional works from around the world at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Visit smaller local galleries to pick up a special painting, sculpture or carving to take home, stroll through modern sculpture parks, or join an intimate art appreciation tour.

Starting Accommodation: Rydges Auckland


Day 2 – Auckland to Rotorua Via Hobbiton

Enjoy a magical journey through Middle-earth to the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings film trilogy for a fascinating guided tour. Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region. Travel through the heritage town of Cambridge where tree-lined streets add to the English-style atmosphere. From here, the journey continues through undulating green hills, reminding you that you are approaching Hobbiton Shire. On arrival at Shire's Rest, embark on a Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest 'green set' in the world and the only place where you get an emotional response with a movie set in a natural setting. There are 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge, the party tree and the Green Dragon Inn. At this stunning location, guests may take photographs at the door of Bilbo's house, 'Bag End', and look out over the whole set to the hills in the distance. After the tour, lunch is available for purchase at the Shire's Rest Cafe before joining the shuttle to transfer you to Rotorua.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside


Day 3 – Eco Thermal Park Tour and Tamaki Maori Village, Evening Experience

Depart from your Rotorua city accommodations for this small-group half-day tour of Rotorua's most natural and popular geothermal parks. Today's tour will visit Wai O Tapu and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. The two parks offer a variety of thermal activity: at Wai-o-tapu, the colorful hot springs are the key features along with the famous Lady Knox geyser. At Waimangu Volcanic valley, the guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption that blew open this now spectacular, bush covered geothermal park. The local naturalist guide will explain the volcanic processes of Rotorua and New Zealand while you have the opportunity to view the volcanoes, geysers, New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool, and hot springs. This half-day tour operates 8:30am to 12:30pm with hotel pick-ups prior to departure.

Journey back to a time of proud warriors and ancient traditions with the Tamaki Maori Village Evening Experience. From the start of the journey visitors are swept away by master storytellers who will share customs, traditions and the Maori way of life. Beginning at the gathering place, embark on a Maori cultural experience to an ancient forest village at Tawa-ngahere-pa – where the land, the people, and the Maori spirit come to life. Set in a magnificent 200 year old ancient Tawa forest, visitors are invited to participate in and learn the poi, the haka and enjoy displays of Maori art forms. You will be welcomed onto the sacred grounds in traditional Maori ceremony, come to a better understanding of the world of Maori, and in the process takeaway a genuine sense of belonging.

Starting Accommodation: Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Meals: Dinner


Day 4 – Travel to Wellington

Takeoff to Wellington and continue on the next stage of your adventure.

Starting Accommodation: QT Museum Hotel


Day 5 – Full Day Lord of The Rings tour

This tour is more than visiting filming sites. Your guide will share fascinating little-known gems relating to the filming at each site, and you will want to watch the films all over again once you have done this informative tour.

Departing the city, head to the Hutt Valley for the first stop at the Dry Creek Quarry where you see the filming site of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Then it is a short drive to the River Anduin (Hutt River) where the Fellowship traveled to Amon Hen, Sir Peter Jackson filmed Faramir’s premonition of his brother Boromir dying, and where Aragorn’s horse Brego saved him from drowning. Visit several more filming sites before heading to the Weta Worshop in Miramar. Here, watch a short behind-the-scenes documentary that details the history of the Weta Workshop company, followed by an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour (entry included) where you see how props plus weaponry are made. Depending on schedules, you may see artists at work making props. After the Weta Workshop tour, a table is reserved at a popular local seaside cafe, where you can relax and enjoy some local kiwi cuisine from the menu (lunch cost is not included in the tour price).

After lunch, head to Mount Victoria to the Hobbiton Woods where the filming of the epic trilogy began. This is the home of the Shortcut to Mushrooms scene; Sam and Frodo’s Second Breakfast; the location where the Hobbits hid from the Black Rider; the Race to the Buckleberry Ferry scene; and King Theoden’s Dunharrow Encampment. The tour concludes with a drive around the bays where you will enjoy the delights of a ‘Rivendell Ripple’ to cap off your memorable tour.

Starting Accommodation: QT Museum Hotel


Day 6 – Travel to Queenstown

Takeoff to Queenstown and continue on the next stage of your adventure.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz


Day 7 – Dart River Wilderness Safari

Transfer from Queenstown by coach to Glenorchy and the mouth of the Dart River to board the 18-foot specially prepared jet boat. The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 90-minute jet-boat journey through the Dart's ever-changing braided river system where you'll be surrounded by snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls.

The tour includes an easy guided 30-minute bush walk at Rockburn at Paradise where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the native forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area. Rejoin the jetboat for the ride back to Glenorchy where you will board the coach for the transfer back to Queenstown.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz


Day 8 – Safari of the Scenes

Travel in a safari-equipped 4WD vehicle for a true off-road adventure. The experienced guides will host you on a breathtaking excursion through the diverse scenery on offer in the Wakatipu Basin. Travel through historic Arrowtown, and then the Land Rovers are put through their paces making a number of crossings over the Arrow River. View the stunning lake and mountain views from The Remarkables Road and the Skippers Canyon Saddle. Some of the Lord of the Rings sites visited during this half-day tour include a glimpse of the Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings and the Ford of Bruinen. No sets are left, just the gorgeous scenery featured in the film.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel St. Moritz


Day 9 – Queenstown to Mt Cook and Christchurch

Depart Queenstown and travel by Great Sights tour coach through the rugged and beautiful landscape of Otago. Cross the Lindis Pass into Mackenzie Country to visit Mount Cook Village at the base of New Zealand's highest mountain - Aoraki (Mount Cook). There are 17 peaks over 10,000 feet in Mount Cook National Park including Mount Cook itself at 12,349 feet. To one side of Mt. Cook is the mighty Tamsan Glacier, a 30 kilometer (18 mile) giant, and one of the longest outside the Himalayas. At Mount Cook Village, there is time to experience an optional scenic helicopter or ski plane flight (weather permitting and additional cost) which may be booked in advance or on the day. Lunch is included today. From Mount Cook, head back to the highway to continue north along the Tasman River, to Lake Tekapo, where you may view the solitary Church of the Good Shepherd - a historic church dedicated to the early pioneers of this area, and the sheepdog - a statue that is a tribute to high country farmers' best friend. The tour continues through diverse farmland before arriving in Christchurch. Tour duration is around 12 hours, and stops may be made along the way to collect and drop off additional passengers.

Starting Accommodation: Fable Christchurch
Meals: Lunch


Day 10 – Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour

Join the Lord of the Rings Tour and journey to the LOTR filming location: remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this peaceful mountain was transformed into Edoras, the capital city of the Rohan people in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Immerse yourself in the natural, unspoiled beauty of this breathtaking area with its sparkling clear lakes, glistening blue rivers and fresh, crisp mountain air.

Starting Accommodation: Fable Christchurch
Meals: Lunch


Day 11 – Depart Christchurch

You will be transferred to the airport for your departure flights.


Included Activites


Pricing

Package Level: Superior

Please note all prices listed are approximations and subject to current rate of exchange adjustments. Each itinerary can be fully customized to your interests and needs.

Twin Share
5/1/2022 - 6/30/2022$2,910
7/1/2022 - 9/30/2022$3,020
10/1/2022 - 10/31/2022$3,130
11/1/2022 - 3/31/2023$3,365
Single Traveler
5/1/2022 - 6/30/2022$4,180
7/1/2022 - 9/30/2022$4,405
10/1/2022 - 10/31/2022$4,590
11/1/2022 - 3/31/2023$5,065

Add internal air to this package from $490*


Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms

Details

Length:

10 Nights

Pricing:

From $2,910 Per Person

Destinations:

Auckland; Rotorua; Wellington; Queenstown; Christchurch

Inclusions:

  • Roundtrip transfers
  • 1 night Auckland
  • Hobbiton Tour
  • 2 nights Rotorua
  • Eco Thermal Park Tour
  • Tamaki Maori Village, Evening Experience
  • 2 nights Wellington
  • Full day Lord of The Rings tour 
  • 3 nights Queenstown
  • Dart River Wilderness Safari
  • Safari of the Scenes Tour
  • 2 nights Christchurch
  • Mt. Cook Tour
  • Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour
  • 2 lunches, 1 dinner
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