Overview

This 10 Days Essential Middle Earth of the North Island Self Drive tour lets you relive the magic of Middle Earth and brings you to key filming locations of Lord of the Rings and Hobbiton in North Island.

See Mordor and Mt. Doom from up above on a scenic flight; experience the living village of Hobbiton; and go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Weta Cave where most of the props, armours, costumes and prosthetics of the movies where made. You'll even get the chance to stay in your very own Hobbit Hole at Waitomo.

Auckland - Waitomo - Tongariro National Park - Wellington

Map of 10 Days Essential Middle Earth of the North Island Self Drive
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Arrive in Auckland
Coast and Rainforest full day tour
Auckland to Waitomo via Hobbiton
Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)
Waitomo to Tongariro National Park
Explore Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park to Wellington
Explore Wellington
Explore Wellington
Depart Wellington

Day 1

Arrive in Auckland

Day 2

Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Day 3

Auckland to Waitomo via Hobbiton

Travel Time: 3 hrs 15 mins

Distance: 263 kms

Day 4

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)

Day 5

Waitomo to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 1 hr 50 mins

Distance: 151 kms

Day 6

Explore Tongariro National Park

Day 7

Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Day 8

Explore Wellington

Day 9

Explore Wellington

Day 10

Depart Wellington

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure.

Stay 2 nights in Auckland

Your full day excursion takes you first to the Waitakere Ranges and a short drive from Auckland Central. Enjoy panoramic views - extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean - as you absorb the area’s history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Walk the regenerating rainforest where your experienced guide will detail local flora and fauna. Take in the giant tree ferns, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls before venturing onto a wild west coast beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch before your eco-tour ends in an area of untamed original rainforest. 

Collect your rental car 
 
Auckland to Matamata and Hobbiton

Head southbound on State Highway one through the lush farmland and dairy pastures of the Waikato region. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of the greater Auckland area and its here you turn inland towards Matamata, the real Middle Earth.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Become immersed in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. 

Matamata to Waitomo

Today you'll head towards the coast to arrive in Waitomo. Limestone hills will mark the Waitomo region and its famous cave complex.

Stay 2 nights in your very own Hobbit Hole at Woodlyn Park Motels, Waitomo

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)

Abseil 100m into into a spectacular world of prehistoric forest, glow-worms, rivers, flowstone formations and massive caverns. Explore the depths before ascending a gigantic ladder through the craggy upper levels of the 'Spider Hole'. Nothing short of sensational, this underground adventure is 4 hours in length.

Travel south into the heart of the Central Volcanic Plateau, Tongariro National Park. Leaving the limestone hills of Waitomo, follow the road through lush King Country pastures, named after the Maori King Tawhiao who lived here in exile during the mid 1800's. Continue on to arrive in this World Heritage Park, home to three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe - as well as many walking tracks, adventure activities and the renowned Tongariro Crossing.

Stay 2 nights Whakapapa Village

Volcanic Explorer Scenic Flight by Aeroplane 

Take a scenic flight over New Zealand’s oldest National Park and world heritage site for a spectacular view of this unique volcanic landscape. See all three volcanoes  - Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu as well as the iconic Emerald Lakes, the Blue Lake and the Tama lake. Climbing to 10,000 ft, you'll also view the active Mt Ruapehu crater lake, and spot some of the landscapes used in the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Your drive today takes you from the North Island Volcanic Plateau to New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Leaving Whakapapa Village, make your way through the Rangipo Desert, skirting the edges of the Tongariro National Park.

A little further is the military town of Waiouru, home to the New Zealand Army museum and a unique collection of military history.

Continue south to the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the spectacular Kapiti Coast. Take a short detour to the quaint seaside town of Paraparaumu before arriving into Wellington City.

Stay 3 nights in Wellington

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour

On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

Weta Cave and Windows into the Workshop Tour 

Visit the The Weta Cave, a mini-museum filled with props, characters and displays from well known movies including Avatar, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Hear stories of how these figures were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. Watch behind-the-scenes interviews from Weta co-founders Sir Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk - and gain insight into the creativity and imagination that comes with crafting the art of Weta.

You'll also take a guided tour through the inner workings of Weta Workshop and learn about its processes and design elements. 

Choose to explore more of Wellington's sights before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Day 1, Arrive in Auckland

Arrive in Auckland

On arrival you will be met by one of our team and driven to your Auckland accommodation.

Welcome to Auckland City

Auckland, New Zealand’s self-proclaimed ‘City of Sails’ is the country’s largest metro area. Resting between the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, this urban paradise has something for everyone. Surrounded by native bush, rainforests and an abundance of beaches, Auckland is a playground for both the city savvy and those with an eye for adventure.

Stay 2 nights in Auckland

Day 2, Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Your full day excursion takes you first to the Waitakere Ranges and a short drive from Auckland Central. Enjoy panoramic views - extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean - as you absorb the area’s history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Walk the regenerating rainforest where your experienced guide will detail local flora and fauna. Take in the giant tree ferns, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls before venturing onto a wild west coast beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch before your eco-tour ends in an area of untamed original rainforest. 

Day 3, Auckland to Waitomo via Hobbiton

Auckland to Waitomo via Hobbiton

Travel Time: 3 hrs 15 mins

Distance: 263 kms

Collect your rental car 
 
Auckland to Matamata and Hobbiton

Head southbound on State Highway one through the lush farmland and dairy pastures of the Waikato region. The Bombay Hills mark the outer boundary of the greater Auckland area and its here you turn inland towards Matamata, the real Middle Earth.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Become immersed in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. 

Matamata to Waitomo

Today you'll head towards the coast to arrive in Waitomo. Limestone hills will mark the Waitomo region and its famous cave complex.

Stay 2 nights in your very own Hobbit Hole at Woodlyn Park Motels, Waitomo

Day 4, Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour (4 hours)

Abseil 100m into into a spectacular world of prehistoric forest, glow-worms, rivers, flowstone formations and massive caverns. Explore the depths before ascending a gigantic ladder through the craggy upper levels of the 'Spider Hole'. Nothing short of sensational, this underground adventure is 4 hours in length.

Day 5, Waitomo to Tongariro National Park

Waitomo to Tongariro National Park

Travel Time: 1 hr 50 mins

Distance: 151 kms

Travel south into the heart of the Central Volcanic Plateau, Tongariro National Park. Leaving the limestone hills of Waitomo, follow the road through lush King Country pastures, named after the Maori King Tawhiao who lived here in exile during the mid 1800's. Continue on to arrive in this World Heritage Park, home to three active volcanoes - Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe - as well as many walking tracks, adventure activities and the renowned Tongariro Crossing.

Stay 2 nights Whakapapa Village

Day 6, Explore Tongariro National Park

Explore Tongariro National Park

Volcanic Explorer Scenic Flight by Aeroplane 

Take a scenic flight over New Zealand’s oldest National Park and world heritage site for a spectacular view of this unique volcanic landscape. See all three volcanoes  - Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu as well as the iconic Emerald Lakes, the Blue Lake and the Tama lake. Climbing to 10,000 ft, you'll also view the active Mt Ruapehu crater lake, and spot some of the landscapes used in the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Day 7, Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Tongariro National Park to Wellington

Travel Time: 4 hrs

Distance: 320 kms

Your drive today takes you from the North Island Volcanic Plateau to New Zealand's capital, Wellington. Leaving Whakapapa Village, make your way through the Rangipo Desert, skirting the edges of the Tongariro National Park.

A little further is the military town of Waiouru, home to the New Zealand Army museum and a unique collection of military history.

Continue south to the rural towns of Taihape, Mangaweka and Bulls before arriving on the spectacular Kapiti Coast. Take a short detour to the quaint seaside town of Paraparaumu before arriving into Wellington City.

Stay 3 nights in Wellington

Day 8, Explore Wellington

Explore Wellington

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour

On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

Day 9, Explore Wellington

Explore Wellington

Weta Cave and Windows into the Workshop Tour 

Visit the The Weta Cave, a mini-museum filled with props, characters and displays from well known movies including Avatar, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Hear stories of how these figures were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. Watch behind-the-scenes interviews from Weta co-founders Sir Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk - and gain insight into the creativity and imagination that comes with crafting the art of Weta.

You'll also take a guided tour through the inner workings of Weta Workshop and learn about its processes and design elements. 

Day 10, Depart Wellington

Depart Wellington

Choose to explore more of Wellington's sights before dropping your rental car at the airport depot and continuing your onward journey.

Additional Information

Pricing

Cost per Person

 Twin/Double
Motel Accommodation from NZ$3,563 per person

* PLEASE NOTE*

Price is per person and based on two adults travelling together and sharing a rental car and accommodation.

Prices are estimates only, and are subject to availability and exchange rates when booking, seasonal or holiday price surcharges (such as Christmas/New Year and Easter); as well as special events that may be on. Please forward a request and we will be happy to forward a quote.

Payment

  • Deposit: 20% of the package cost or NZ$250 per person (whichever is the greater) at time of booking
  • Full Payment: 45 Days before travel
  • Airfares (if applicable): Paid in full at the time of booking

Cancellation Charges

  • Cancellation Fees up to 100% can apply after booking. Extra deposits or full payment may be requested to cover these charges prior to booking
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Includes

Includes:

9 nights accommodation

  • 2 Nights Auckland
  • 2 Nights Waitomo
  • 2 Nights Tongariro
  • 3 Nights Wellington

Car hire

  • Rental car insurance: Fully inclusive with variable excess/deductible.
  • Rental car: GPS navigation unlimited kms, airport/ferry terminal fees, additional drivers

Private airport transfers

Hobbiton Movie Set

Coast and Rainforest full day tour

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour

Tongariro Volcanic Explorer Scenic Flight

Weta Cave Workshop Tour

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour, Wellington

Options

Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas, then travel insurance is a necssity. Compare rates and polices online and get a free travel insurance quote.

Itineraries

All itineraries can be amended or combined with other itineraries. Please advise amendments when requesting a quote.

Accommodation

There is a choice of accommodation available on all packages, which depending on locations, includes motels, 3 star hotels, 4 star hotels, boutique lodges & hotels and luxury lodges and hotels. We are happy to quote on alternate accommodation requests.

Airfares

International flights can be included from Australia for all Australian residents.

Highlights

Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata

Become immersed in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata - in the heart the lush Waikato farming region, your two hour tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and insight into the making of the films.

Coast and Rainforest full day tour, Auckland

Your full day excursion takes you first to the Arataki Visitor Centre - gateway to the Waitakere Ranges and a short drive from Auckland Central. Enjoy panoramic views - extending from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean - as you absorb the area's history and admire the magnificent traditional Maori carvings. Walk the regenerating rainforest where your experienced guide will detail local flora and fauna. Take in the giant tree ferns, bubbling streams and cascading waterfalls before venturing onto a wild west coast beach. Enjoy a picnic lunch before your eco-tour ends in an area of untamed original rainforest. Here, mature 1,000 year old kauri trees have developed separately from the rest of the world for millions of years and this part of the rainforest is particularly rich in bird life due to a successful programme to eradicate pests.

Waitomo Adventures Lost World Tour

Abseil 100m into a spectacular world of prehistoric forest, glow-worms, rivers, flowstone formations and massive caverns. Explore the depths before ascending a gigantic ladder through the craggy upper levels of the 'Spider Hole'. Nothing short of sensational, this underground adventure is 4 hours in length.

Tongariro Volcanic Explorer Scenic Flight

Take a scenic flight over New Zealand's oldest National Park and world heritage site for a spectacular view of this unique volcanic landscape. See all three volcanoes - Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu as well as the iconic Emerald Lakes, the Blue Lake and the Tama lake. Climbing to 10,000 ft, you'll also view the active Mt Ruapehu crater lake, and spot some of the landscapes used in the making of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

From Wellington

Weta Cave Workshop Tour

Visit The Weta Cave, a mini-museum filled with props, characters and displays from well known movies including Avatar, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Hear stories of how these figures were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. Watch behind-the-scenes interviews from Weta co-founders Sir Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk - and gain insight into the creativity and imagination that comes with crafting the art of Weta.

Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour

On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry, and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment.

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10 Days Essential Middle Earth of the North Island Self Drive

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