(Nelson, Queenstown, Te Anau, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch)
Follow in the footsteps of Tolkien’s fellowship on this quest for the ages with this epic self-drive tour showcasing New Zealand’s South Island. Take it in at your own pace as you drive through Abel Tasman National Park, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Lake Tekapo and Christchurch. Combining classic Kiwi adventure and Tolkien themed tours, enjoy a silversmith visit where the “one ring” was forged, learn traditional gold panning techniques, cruise Milford Sound’s fjords, kayak the Mangaweka Mokai gorge, Safari through “Lord of the Rings” film locations and enjoy many unexpected adventures along the way. Leave the Hollywood effects on the big screen as this tour takes you to the magical world of elves and wizards complete with 4-5* accommodations, ferry transfers, detailed tour manual and map, expert Tolkien guides and much more!
An aquatic transfer is provided today between Wellington and Picton via the Interislander Ferry. The approximate travel time is 3 hours and 10 minutes.
Upon your arrival into Picton, you'll drive via the picturesque Queen Charlotte Drive to the sunny city of Nelson. It is here in Nelson where the famed jeweler, Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith at Trafalgar Square forged what is known as the "Ring of the Ring" used in the "Lord of the Rings" films. What makes this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour" extremely special to devoted and die-hard fans is that the Jens Hansen Gold & Silversmith jewelers have made replicas of the "Ring of the Rings" available for purchase...."my precious....."
Your day of touring continues as you depart Nelson and drive for roughly one hour to the Chetwood Forest. Similar to the Kahurangi National Park with its abundance of flora and fauna, the Chetwood Forest was also used for a multitude of sets during filming, which will be explored during this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour." Whilst in this location you can choose to visit the Abel Tasman National Park for some, out of pocket, sporting activates. You'll drive back to Nelson for your overnight.
Grand Mercure Nelson Monaco is the perfect place to escape everyday life and relax in the old world charm of a village atmosphere. With views stretching across the Waimea Inlet to the mountains of Kahurangi National Park, the resort is conveniently located just minutes from the heart of Nelson and the city's airport.
Depart from Nelson this morning after breakfast, en route to the Franz Josef Glacier. During this 6 hour drive you'll have an opportunity to take in the rugged beauty of the southern New Zealand. The coastal area's boast some truly bizarre rock formations including deposits of Jade near Greymouth and Hokitika. These precious stones are refined and carved at various workshops, which you will have an opportunity to visit at least one. You will than make route to the Westland National Park, with its many shades of dense green trees, truly awe-inspiring. There are many other activities to try out including Jet boat rides to visit the White Heron Colonies at Whataroa, kayaking around the coastal lagoons, or scenic flights over the Franz Josep and Fox Glaciers.
Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier sits at the edge of the Westland World Heritage Park, and is just moments from one of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, the Franz Josef Glacier. Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier makes the most of its alpine location and offers quality accommodation in two separate hotel ‘wings’. Stay in either the Douglas or Graham wing, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings within Franz Josef village. The hotel is in a premium location, making it the perfect place to base yourself while exploring the magnificent Westland region.
This morning you'll depart the Franz Josef Glacier area and drive towards Queenstown. During this 6 hour drive you'll make stops at the Ship Creek Walk and Monro Beach before continuing on the scenic Haast Pass. You'll make your first "Lord of the Rings Film Location" related stop in Wanaka, which was in the fictional world of "Middle-Earth" known as the "Misty Mountains." After this brief stopover the scenic drive continues via the Crown Range roadway until you've reached Queenstown, considered by many as the "adventure capital." Upon your arrival into Queenstown, you'll check into your hotel.
This spa property is situated in Queenstown, near Steamer Wharf. Another nearby point of interest is Bob's Peak. Guestrooms have balconies, a turndown service, and sofa beds; rooms also include coffee/tea makers, bathrobes, and hair dryers. Recreational amenities at Heritage Queenstown include an outdoor pool, a health club, and a spa tub. Other amenities include a complimentary area shuttle, a 24-hour business center, and a restaurant.
Today you'll go on a journey through some of "Middle-Earth's" most famous landmarks during this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour." The city of Queenstown is considered the "Mecca" for every "Lord of the Rings" fan. You will be picked up from your hotel this morning before visiting the highlights the scenic spots in and around Queenstown including various "Lord of the Rings Film Locations", and the cultural and historic past of the New Zealand gold mining and river crossings industries.
Depart the Queenstown area and head towards the famous and picturesque region of Milford Sound. This journey will pass through Eglinton and the marvelous Hollyford Valley before arriving at the crystal clear, reflective waters of Milford Sound. Admire the landscape lined with some 1000 meter high towering Mitre Peaks.
Upon your arrival into Milford Sound this afternoon, you will head to the pier for a scenic cruise of the sound. Hop aboard the famous Real Journey Scenic Cruise Vessel for this panoramic escape boasting marvelous views of the area's waterfalls, rainforests, mountains and of course the various bird and wildlife species. Upon completion of the cruise you'll re-board your vehicle for a transfer to your overnight accomodation.
Luxmore Hotel is situated within easy walking distance of NZ's second largest lake - Lake Te Anau. Right in the heart of the township, the hotel is surrounded by all of the local services, attractions and tour departure points. The hotel's 180 well-appointed rooms include modern amenities and ensure a relaxing stay. Dine in relaxed, comfortable surroundings at Highlights Restaurant, with spectacular views overlooking Lake Te Anau. Indulge in the extensive Carvery buffet, featuring only the finest local produce and prime meats and enjoy the casual setting of Bailiez Café Bar. Relax, unwind and experience the serene surroundings of Lake Te Anau before heading out to explore Fiordland.
This morning you will depart your hotel and head towards the Mount Cook region. You will drive along the famous Kawarau River which during this "Lord of the Rings Film Location Tour" of the "Middle-Earth" map would be the "Pillars of the King." You will continue through the vastness of Central Otago to the captivating Lindis Pass. You will then make your way to the area around Twizel, which was the perfect site to film scenes from "Edoras" and "Pelennor Fields." Enjoy a guided tour of the Twizel area before continuing onwards Lake Punaki and Mount Cook. Upon your arrival into the Mount Cook village, an optional non-guided trek through the foothills in made available. Head back to Lake Tekapo for your overnight stay.
Set near the shores of Lake Tekapo and surrounded by the spectacular landscapes of the Southern Alps, Peppers Bluewater Resort is a glimmering spectacle on New Zealand's South Island. The architectural design of Peppers Bluewater Resort is a reflection of the surrounding Mackenzie Basin landscape and combined with the exceptional facilities and services of Peppers, offers the perfect destination for relaxed weekend escapes or as a relished retreat after a hectic day of exploration.
Depart early this morning to visit "The Lord of the Rings Film Locations" of "Edoras," "Meduseld," "König Theoden’s Hall" during today's scheduled rafting trip on the Rangitikei River. The scenery of this dynamic location is truly spectacular. After your rafting journey hop aboard a jet boat for a tour of the mountains which surround this serene body of water. Once you’re back on dry land, you will continue your drive over the wide Canterbury Plains to the famous Garden City of Christchurch, where you will overnight.
Peppers Clearwater Resort Christchurch is a stunning waterfront resort set within beautiful grounds and surrounded by clear shimmering lakes and water ways from which the resort gets its name. Built with a contemporary boathouse design, all apartments feature the premium facilities and services you expect from a Peppers Resort. Accommodation offers marvellous lake or fairway views while our spacious two bedroom apartment boast's a cosy fireplace designed to warm the soul.
Depart your Christchurch hotel this morning in your rental vehicle and head towards the airport where you'll drop off your rental car and board your flight, leaving the epic "Lord of the Ring Filming Locations" used to represent the fantastic "Middle-Earth" map with memories of "hobbits, elves, and dwarfs."
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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