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14 Day Journey to Middle Earth

14 days 13 nights
Christchurch to Christchurch
from NZD$6,284pp
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'Not all those who wander are lost...' Explore the South Island and experience its role in creating Tolkein's Middle Earth. See why it was perfectly cast as Middle Earth and  integral to bringing Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to life in film.  

During your 2 week adventure you’ll explore a variety of landscapes from the films, including Beorn’s House, the Anduin River and the Misty Mountains to name a few.  With many guided tours, scenic flights and jet boat rides, this is a thrilling way to discover Middle Earth for yourself.

Family touringThe Hobbit & LOTRWildlife & nature

This Tour Also Features

Tour full itinerary
Itinerary
Day One - Arrive Christchurch City, transfer to accommodation and rest of day at leisure
Tour day 1
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 1
Private transfer Christchurch Airport to your accommodation

On arrival, you will be met by a private driver and transferred to your Christchurch accommodation.

Itinerary information by APP & in country support

Access to our exclusive Touring App. The App includes your full itinerary and reservation details, all available online and offline as well as lots of other great information such as restaurant guides, weather forecasts, and local activity suggestions. Instant itinerary updates and changes are available and it's easy to keep in touch with us. The App is free and easy to download on your mobile using Android or IOS.
You also have access to our free call number and after-hours service if you require support while on tour.

Welcome to Christchurch City

Christchurch, New Zealand's self proclaimed garden city is a bright and vibrant destination. Known for its large green belt, the wide tree lined avenues and lush gardens make for a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Take the double decker hop on/hop off bus for an easy way to see the sights, or ride a historic tram across town to the renowned botanic gardens and the unique cardboard Transitional Cathedral.

Accommodation: The George Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.

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Day Two - Explore the Canterbury High Country on a full day Lord of the Rings Edoras tour
Tour day 2
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 2
Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour

Journey to the remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this spectacular mountain was transformed into Edoras - the capital city of the Rohan people from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Marvel at its rugged unspoiled beauty and breathe in the clear mountain air, while you indulge in a gourmet sparkling wine picnic.

Accommodation: The George Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
Meals included: Breakfast
The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.

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Day Three - Take the stunning TranzAlpine scenic train across the Southern Alps, then drive to Franz Josef
Tour day 3
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 3
Private transfer accommodation to Christchurch Train Station

A private driver will collect you from your accommodation and transfer you to the Christchurch train station in time for your train journey.

TranzAlpine Scenic Train: Christchurch to Greymouth

Your early morning departure is rewarded with incredible scenery today onboard the TranzAlpine Scenic Train, considered one of the world's great train journeys. It travels between Christchurch and Greymouth, from one coast of New Zealand to the other. From your carriage you'll see the fields of the Canterbury Plains and farmland, followed by the spectacular gorges and river valleys of the Waimakariri River. Your train then climbs into the Southern Alps before descending through the lush beech rain forest to the West Coast town of Greymouth - a great base for visits to Punakaiki and the West Coast glaciers.

Collect your rental car

Our rental car range includes the latest vehicles from the top suppliers. We have a fantastic range, from economy hatchbacks to prestige sedans and SUVs. Insurance can often be included with a small excess or deductible.

GPS navigation system

Use the latest GPS technology as you tour New Zealand. Your portable GPS features a simple touch screen interface with automatic route calculation and turn-by-turn voice-prompted directions including street name announcement. The automotive-grade GPS unit is easy to use and has multiple language options.

Greymouth to Franz Josef

Leaving Greymouth today you will head south to Franz Josef and Glacier Country. Pass through Hokitika and be sure to take a detour to the spectacular Hokitika Gorge, a turquoise coloured river surrounded by native bush-clad cliffs.

Continue on through Ross, a historic gold mining town where several buildings still remain intact. As you travel further down the coast you’ll also go through Hari Hari, the town where Guy Menzies, the first person to fly solo over the Tasman crash landed. Follow the coast through several small towns before catching a glimpse of the Franz Josef glacier as you arrive into the town centre.

Accommodation: Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Only a breath away from the Franz Josef Glacier, Scenic Hotel is located in the heart of Franz Josef Village. Here you will find all of the amenities you would expect, as well as being close to the shops, restaurants and activities on offer in the beautiful Westland region.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 167 kms / 104 miles : 2.0 hours

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Day Four - Continue south and across the Haast Pass to Wanaka
Tour day 4
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 4
Franz Josef to Wanaka

Heading south you pass through the small town of Fox Glacier. A short side trip to view the glacier is recommended before heading along the coast and through more classic West Coast bush scenery. At Knights Point Lookout, elephant seals can often be seen basking on the sandy beaches at the far end of the point. Crossing the Haast River you’ll turn inland and through the mountainous valley littered with waterfalls. Continue on past lakes Hawea and Wanaka into the alpine township of Wanaka.

Accommodation: Edgewater
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Edgewater is Wanaka's leading hotel located right on the edge of Lake Wanaka. A short stroll to the town centres shops, cafes and restaurants and close to many walking trails the resort is ideal to explore this wonderful Alpine setting.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 283 kms / 176 miles : 3.3 hours

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Day Five - Today you'll follow in the footsteps of Hobbits in the Misty Mountains near Wanaka
Tour day 5
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 5
Misty Mountains Traverse Heli-Hike

Experience an exclusive 5 hour guided tour over Lord of the Rings country. Get an Eagle's eye view of Middle Earth! Your Helicopter follows the Eagles flight with a landing on glaciated Fog Peak, to admire Mt Aspiring (3033m) and its surrounding glacial panorama of the breath-taking Southern Alps. From this vantage point you'll see 3 Trilogy film sites. Skimming the razor back ridges, you'll fly and land on Treble Cone's "The Towers Ridge." Soak in the view between the Towers and then walk the very footsteps that the legendary Dwarves, Wizard, and little heroic Ring carrier traversed in their quest over the top of the Misty Mountains, as seen in the Hobbiton movie. On your quest, you will descend 2 hours of guided hike from 2000m, traversing the ridge line, revealing huge rock pillars, canyons, cliffs and glaciers thundering into rivers which join the beautiful jewel blue Lake far below. This downhill walk has amazing diversity, revealing unexpected wonders and is home to the fearless Falcon, and the curious Kea, a unique and inquisitive mountain parrot. Turn your fantasy into reality and traverse the Misty Mountains! This is a truly alpine experience made easily accessible, a real adventure!

Includes: 2 4WD trips, 2 scenic helicopter flights, 2 alpine landings, lunch and refreshments

A moderate fitness level is required for this activity.

Accommodation: Edgewater
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Edgewater is Wanaka's leading hotel located right on the edge of Lake Wanaka. A short stroll to the town centres shops, cafes and restaurants and close to many walking trails the resort is ideal to explore this wonderful Alpine setting.

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Day Six - Today you cross New Zealand's highest sealed road to Queenstown
Tour day 6
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 6
Wanaka to Queenstown

Leaving Wanaka you head over New Zealand's highest sealed road, Crown Range Road before dropping into Queenstown. This drive should be planned as a whole day to really enjoy the scenery and to allow time to explore the walks and many stops en route, including the Cardrona Distillery, Arrowtown and the wineries in Gibbston.

Accommodation: The Rees Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
Meals included: Breakfast
The Rees Hotel is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just a short drive from the town centre, or take a complimentary shuttle. The rooms are spacious and beautifully laid out with a lounge area that opens onto a large tiled balcony. The onsite award winning restaurant, True South, holds an impressive wine cellar and is a fabulous fine dining experience.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 60 kms / 38 miles : 0.9 hours

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Day Seven - Today journey to Paradise Valley where Beorn's house and many LOTR locations were filmed
Tour day 7
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 7
Safari of the Scenes Glenorchy Tour

For those keen on Lord Of The Rings - this is the tour for you. Go on a scenic adventure through some of the iconic locations used in the filming. Although none of the sets are left behind, the landscapes will be instantly recognisable. Follow the shores of Lake Wakatipu to the small town of Glenorchy and enjoy the spectacular views of the Remarkables Range as you drive. From Glenorchy you'll head into the beech forests of Paradise - located on the outskirts of Mount Aspiring National Park - before heading up the dart valley and back. Film locations you'll see include Isengard, Lothlorien, Ithilien Camp and the Seat of Seeing.

Accommodation: The Rees Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
Meals included: Breakfast
The Rees Hotel is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just a short drive from the town centre, or take a complimentary shuttle. The rooms are spacious and beautifully laid out with a lounge area that opens onto a large tiled balcony. The onsite award winning restaurant, True South, holds an impressive wine cellar and is a fabulous fine dining experience.

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Day Eight - Today you'll fly with the helicopter crew used for filming the trilogies, to breath-taking Earnslaw Burn as seen in the Hobbit
Tour day 8
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 8
Earnslaw Burn Scenic Helicopter Flight with Heliworks

This is the top pick from the Heliworks team. Lift off from Heliworks for a flight across the Richardson Mountains; fly over schist covered slopes and views of historical gold mining sites on your way to this exclusive landing site. Just after the Dart and Rees rivers meet near Lake Wakatipu you will see Mt Earnslaw (also known by its Maori name of Pikirakatahi) with the Earnslaw Glacier its crowning glory! Fly along the valley before the breath-taking vista of cascading waterfalls and the hanging glacier opens up before you. Enjoy a landing at this magnificent spot; explore the valley with the Earnslaw Glacier towering above you and an astounding number of waterfalls spilling down the valley walls. Return to Heliworks with views of Coronet Peak and Queenstown itself. Trip Duration is 1 hour.

Accommodation: The Rees Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
Meals included: Breakfast
The Rees Hotel is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just a short drive from the town centre, or take a complimentary shuttle. The rooms are spacious and beautifully laid out with a lounge area that opens onto a large tiled balcony. The onsite award winning restaurant, True South, holds an impressive wine cellar and is a fabulous fine dining experience.

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Day Nine - Journey to Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland and many spectacular film locations
Tour day 9
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 9
Queenstown to Te Anau

As you traverse the shores of Lake Wakatipu you'll see The Remarkables mountain range towering over your approach to the small township of Kingston. Continue towards Southland before crossing the rolling tussock-lands of Mossburn (deer capital of New Zealand) and shortly arriving into Te Anau, gateway to Fiordland National Park.

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 164 kms / 102 miles : 1.9 hours

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Day Ten - Journey up the River Anduin as seen in the Fellowship of the Ring opening aerial shot
Tour day 10
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 10
Pure Wilderness Jet Boat

Jet boat down the Waiau river, across Lake Manapouri, to the ancient forest of the Fiordland National Park. Enjoy the thrill of jet boating down the majestic trout-filled Waiau River, to the serene Lake Manapouri. Step foot into the Fiordland National Park and go for a short walk while learning about the ancient beech forest and ferns. Your jet boat ride includes a number of stops at the exact locations of the filming the "Fellowship of the Ring" on the Waiau or Anduin River, where the driver will tell you the inside story of the filming the Lord of the Rings on this river. The trip will also include some thrilling 360 degree turns and spins as well as interesting interpretation about the flora and fauna and the local European and Maori history.

Accommodation: Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
The Te Anau Hotel and Villas offers a range of accommodation from hotel rooms and suites to villas. Ideally located on the lake front this hotel is just a few minutes stroll from the shops, cafes and many activities Te Anau has to offer.

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Day Eleven - Head north to Dunedin through rolling Southland countryside
Tour day 11
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 11
Te Anau to Dunedin

The drive from Te Anau to Dunedin  takes you through classic Southland farmland scenery but if you want to spend the whole day exploring a little off the beaten path than taking the Southern Scenic Route through The Catlins is highly recommended. Following the incredible Otago coastline to Invercargill the route passes through Manapouri and onto Tuatapere before Colac Bay and the fishing town of Riverton. From Invercargill the route hugs the coastline and there are many side-trips to secluded and deserted beaches and bays to explore before you arrive into the remarkable Edwardian City of Dunedin.

Accommodation: Distinction Dunedin Hotel
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast
Distinction Dunedin Hotel occupies the grand Chief Post Office built in the 1930’s. This art deco inspired building has recently been transformed into a 4 star hotel with elegant décor, set in the heart of the city.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 285 kms / 177 miles : 3.3 hours

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Day Twelve - As you enter the MacKenzie country you'll pass Twizel, a film location for both Hobbit and LOTR movies
Tour day 12
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 12
Dunedin to Mt. Cook National Park

Heading north from Dunedin your first stop should be Moeraki to explore the famous and unique boulders strewn on the beach. Another worthwhile stop is Fleurs in the township, one of the finest cafes in New Zealand. Before heading inland along the Waitaki Valley you pass through the historic township of Oamaru and its Stone buildings. Take time to head into the old quarter and if your timing is right you may get to see some of the local resident little blue penguins. The Waitaki Valley makes a large contribution to New Zealand's electricity supply with its 3 hydro dams. Arriving into Omarama you are now truly in the high country but don't think these vast empty lands are useless, these are some of the country's most productive merino sheep stations. The turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki guide you the final 45 minutes to Mt. Cook Village. Please note there are no food or shops at Mount Cook you will need to stock up prior to arriving in Mount Cook if you wish to self cater.

Accommodation: Hermitage Hotel, Aoraki Wing Premium
Accommodation type: Hotel 4 star
Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
The Hermitage Hotel ringed by magnificent snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, is a world-renowned tourist destination and has been an icon of superior accommodation and dining since 1884.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 317 kms / 196 miles : 3.7 hours

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Day Thirteen - Take a scenic drive to Laketown from the Hobbit (Lake Pukaki), then on to Christchurch
Tour day 13
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 13
Mt. Cook National Park to Christchurch

Leaving Mount Cook national park, travel a short distance before stopping at the visitor centre on the southern shores of Lake Pukaki. Learn about the formation of the region and take in the spectacular views of Mt. Cook. Lake Tekapo also displays the same reflective qualities of Lake Pukaki - making the waters a bright turquoise. You’ll go through the small town of Tekapo, home to some of the most photographed subjects in the country, the Church of the Good Shepherd and the Collie Dog statue. It's a great place to take a scenic flight, enjoy a guided horse trek, a boat trip on the pristine lake or just marvel at the magnificent views. From here you travel through Burkes Pass and into the rich farming valley that surrounds Geraldine. Continue on across the vast Canterbury Plains to arrive in Christchurch City, your destination for the night.

Accommodation: The George Hotel
Accommodation type: Luxury Lodges & hotels
Meals included: Breakfast
The George is the essence of supreme comfort. The award-winning 5 star hotel is opposite Hagley Park and just a few minutes stroll from the Botanic Gardens. It also has an award-winning restaurant, 50 Bistro onsite.
Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 327 kms / 203 miles : 3.7 hours

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Day Fourteen - Explore Christchurch before you leave Middle Earth for home
Tour day 14
14 Day Journey to Middle Earth - Day 14
Depart Christchurch today

Explore more of Christchurch before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Driving distance and time (approximate) for this leg: 7 kms / 5 miles : 0.2 hours

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