(Auckland, Rotorua, Mount Ruapehu, Wellington)
Follow in the footsteps of Tolkien’s fellowship on this epic quest through the fantasy fuelled natural highlights of otherworldly beautiful New Zealand. An incredible journey, delve into the North Island at your own pace with this designer self-drive tour. Step into the magical meadows of the Hobbiton movie set, the cinematic locations of the Green Dragon Inn & real hobbit holes. Navigate the luminous waters of a glow worm grotto, swim in cool lakes, hike the rugged wilds of Tongariro National Park, visit Mount Ruapehu, connect with the film crew of Weta on Wellington’s coast & listen to tales from passionate Tolkien guides. Featuring boat cruise, farm stays, elvish picnics, breathtaking vistas, car rental & all of the North Island’s fabled highlights, this journey presents the best of New Zealand without any special effects.
Upon your arrival into the Auckland International Airport, make your way to the Budget Rental Car counter located within the arrivals hall to collect your Budget IFAR (P) 14-20 days 4WD Rental car, as so you can make your way to your overnight accommodation.
Auckland is an exciting, sporting and cultural city, sprawled on a narrow isthmus, between two harbours, the Waitemata and Manukau Harbours. This is such a dynamic location as it is situated along numerous volcanic cones including Mount Eden and Rangitoto Island. The city's many beaches, marinas and parks, make it ideal for outdoor pursuits such as yachting, rugby, cricket or a day at the beach. The Auckland metropolitan area is New Zealand's biggest, with a population mix of European, Maori, and Pacific Islander, make Auckland the largest Polynesian city in the World.
Overlooking Waitemata Harbour, this landmark building is adjacent to Saint Patrick’s Square and three blocks from Queen Street shopping district and Sky Tower, in the heart of downtown Auckland. Guestrooms, which have kitchenettes, are located either in the original hotel wing, where they have wood floors and original Art Deco elements, or the contemporary tower wing, where balconies have city views. A historic building and former department store, Heritage Auckland has a comprehensive conference centre, two business centres, and complimentary wireless in the lobby area for the first 30 minutes.
Drive in a Southern direction this morning from Auckland to the small Western coastal village of Raglan.
This afternoon, you'll drive from Raglan to the Waitomo region for an explorative journey through the extensive cave system.
Enjoy this stop-over visit at the sensational Waitomo Caves, an extensive cave system where the local glow worm population flourish providing some very intriguing sightseeing. A guide will accompany you over this 45 minute tour, where you can marvel at the spectacular visual effects created by the glow-worms. Travel through the deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo, whilst your guide delivers some informative and entertaining commentary, stories, and cultural legends regarding this subterranean, natural living masterpiece. Your visit concludes with a brief, yet remarkably boat trip through the Glow-worm Grotto.
Hop into your rental vehicle and make your way from your Farm-stay accommodations in Waikato to the small village of Hobbiton near Matamata.
Today you'll drive to visit the first filming location at "the Hobbiton Movie Set", a splendid little farmland location near Matamata. Upon arrival you'll be met by your guide whom will take you through the set area and provide insight regarding the fascinating stories and details from the movie set. Experience Middle-earth, at the bucolic setting used for "The Shire" during this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour". Your tour begins with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm, providing you with spectacular views across the Kaimai Ranges. During this exploration of this ten acre site you'll visit a number of location created for these epic films. Enjoy seeing just how "movie-magic" can transform this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland into a fantastic and magical world from one of the greatest films ever produced.
After the morning touring, you'll drive to Rotorua to check into your hotel.
Near Polynesian Spa and Blue Baths, this Rotorua property is situated on a lake. Another nearby point of interest is Government Gardens. In addition to air conditioning and minibars, guestrooms feature high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge) and refrigerators. Bathrooms come with shower/tub combinations and hair dryers. At Millennium Rotorua recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a health club, and a sauna. The property also provides a full-service health spa, a poolside bar, and a restaurant.
This morning you'll depart your Rotorua hotel and drive towards Mount Ruapehu located with the Tongariro National Park.
During your drive to Tongariro National Park, you`ll have the opportunity to marvel at some of New Zealand`s rugged, volcanic beauty. As you approach the park-lands you may get that `deja-vu`sensation, almost as if you`ve seen this lively landscape before. Well, this is in the location chosen to represent the region of "Mordor" which you will have the opportunity to breifly explore during this "Lord of the Ring Film Location Tour." Did you recognise "Mount Doom?"
Encompassing the North Island’s central volcanic plateau, Tongaririo National Park is a huge domain for outdoor adventure. During summer walkers and trampers traverse its ruggedly alluring landscape, while icy rivers provide challenges for white water rafting and canoeing. In winter, when the mountains are smothered in snow, it becomes the North Island’s premier ski resort. The park is dominated by its three active volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro.
The Chateau Tongariro sits nestled in the shadow of three towering active volcanoes, and at the very foot of the majestic and sacred Mount Ruapehu. Built in 1929, the hotel is a historic icon with 106 beautiful hotel rooms. The Chateau’s signature restaurant delivers a sophisticated ambience under the glow of chandeliers and surrounded by the clink of wine glasses. The Chateau offers a gym, sauna and hot plunge pool, tennis court, a cinema and the highest golf course in New Zealand. As a Category One Heritage Building, the Chateau’s lavish décor and furnishings, heavenly cuisine and superior standards of service, set against a backdrop of truly remarkable scenery, have created its legacy as a place of magic, refinement and romance.
Today you will recommence your exploration of the dynamic New Zealand terrain as you journey into the Mount Ruapehu area during this "Lord of the Ring Film Location Tour." During this tour you will explore the filming locations used to represent "Mordor", "Ithilien" and "the Plains of Gorgoroth" before heading back to your accommodation.
This morning you will depart the Tongariro National Park and head towards the Kiwi capital of Wellington. En-route, you can stop for some rafting through the gorges of the Rangitikei River, which you will have the opportunity to explore during this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour." This location would represent the "River Anduin" from the films. Later visit Waitarere Forest, which in "Middle-Earth" represented the "Trollshaw Forest" and "Osgiliath Wood." Before arriving in Wellington a stop at the Otaki Gorge is well worth a visit. Your "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour" continues as you visit some of the areas where scenes were shot to represent the "Shire" and "Lothlorien" as well as parts from the "Battle of Pelennor Fields." Upon your arrival into Wellington you'll check into your hotel and have the evening at leisure to enjoy freely.
If, as they say, location is everything, then the Copthorne Hotel Wellington, Oriental Bay has it all. With it’s prime position overlooking one of the most beautiful harbours in the world, our hotel offers one of the most luxurious accommodation experiences in Wellington. All rooms are decorated in colours that capture the natural beauty of the nearby ocean and earth. Enjoy the stunning harbour views from our One 80 Degree restaurant or relax in the comfort of your room with our 24 hour room service. The hotel also offers a heated indoor pool, concierge service and leisure desk.
Follow in the footsteps of the characters from the Tolkiens fellowship series as you enjoy this "Lord of the Ring Flim Location Tour" where you will mimic the routing of the "Hobbits, Dwarfs, Elves and Men." Wellington is one of the many, but most complete "Lord of the Rings Film Locations" boasting some 25 different scenes in and around the greater Wellington area. This tour includes an "Orc" sized picnic lunch, a souvenir map and some thorough explainations and movie backround from a "Lord of the Rings Film Location" expert guide. A lot of ground is covered during this tour, with plenty of time to explore. All of the "Lord of the Ring Film Location" guides are fun, and knowledgeable and commence interactive conversations with all whom are on the tour.
Begin this footsteps tour this morning, spenting a fair bit of time exploring the city amongst the various locations used during the filming including "Mount Victoria" and the "Greenbelt." You'll then drive into the southern suburbs of Seatoun, Miramar and the South Coast where many of the big name stars reside. A stop at Weta Cave and Scorch-o-Rama cafe (own expense) on the Wellywood Coast is also in the schedule.
This afternoon is spent exploring the Hutt Valley making stops at the Hutt River and Harcourt Park. This "Lord of the Rings Film Location" would represent in "Middle-Earth" as the "Great River Anduin", the "Gardens of Isengard" and the land of the famous "Orc Trees." A visit to the Kaitoke Regional Park is planned specifically to enjoy a famous picnic lunch under the elevish trees of the "Rivendell."
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between the airport and hotel.
A Farmstay offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the true hospitality and friendliness of the kiwi people of New Zealand in the comfort of their homes. This experience provides not only a great nights rest, but an opportunity to interact with genuinely interested people who are willing to share personal tidbits about their country, and their lifestyles. You'll stay in a guest room within the home, and become part of the family for the duration of your stay. The activities you will experience on the farm will vary depending on the type of farm you stay on.
VISA/PASSPORTU.S. and Canadian citizens eligible for a visa waiver do not need a visa for tourist stays of three months or less.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of New Zealand for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/new-zealand.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Wellington. Government: Constitutional monarchy since 1907. Language: English is the common and everyday language, but other languages are also spoken, including Maori, which is New Zealand’s second official language (spoken by the indigenous Maori people who constitute approximately 15% of the population). Religion: 55% Christian: Anglican, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic and Methodist are all represented. Time: New Zealand: GMT + 12 (GMT + 13 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Chatham Island: GMT + 12.75 (GMT + 13.75 from the last Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Most hotels provide 110-volt AC sockets (rated at 20 watts) for electric razors only. Telephone: Country code: 64. Most public phones take cards purchased from bookstalls; some also accept credit cards, but very few still accept coins. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good. Internet: There are Internet cafes in cities and smaller town central business districts. Travelers may access the Internet at many hotels and youth hostels.
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