Once again, New Zealand sets the scene for the latest in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, and our newest self-drive tour takes you to the locations, real and imagined in 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'. So fasten your seat belts and let us guide you to Middle Earth.
Days 1 - 2: Tongariro National Park
LOCATION: THE HIDDEN BAY - THE ENTRANCE TO THE LONELY MOUNTAIN
Fly into Taupo and drive to Chateau Tongariro for two nights. The heart of Volcano country and LOTR Middle Earth. Spend the next two days in New Zealand’s oldest national park and dual World Heritage Site. There’s so much to do here including one of New Zealand’s nine Great Walks, a full or half day trek of the Tongariro Crossing, or a round of golf on New Zealand’s highest golf course.
Day 3: Wellington
Just a quick stop in the capital. Spend the afternoon exploring the city with a visit to the national museum of Te Papa. Overnight at the Museum Art Hotel.
Day 4 - 5: Marlborough
LOCATION: MIDDLE EARTH - FOREST RIVER
Return your car at the ferry port and take the inter-island ferry across the Cook Strait to Picton. From here transfer by boat to The Bay of Many Coves. Deep in the Marlborough Sound, The Bay of Many Coves is the perfect place for adventure or relaxation. Sail, kayak, fish, swim with dolphins or take an inflatable tandem canoe on a three and a half journey through the heart of the film’s Forest River location.
Day 6: Christchurch
Drive down to Christchurch passing through Kaikoura, the starting point for a whale watching cruise. Overnight in Christchurch and see the how city is transforming itself after the 2008 Earthquake. Visit RE:START the new retail and café precinct shopping area built with shipping containers. One night stay at Orari B&B.
Day 7: Lake Pukaki Mt Cook
LOCATION: MIDDLE EARTH - LAKE-TOWN
Today you will drive through the Southern Alps passing by Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook. See the outdoor set built for The Hobbit Trilogy at Tasman Downs Station, take a scenic flight over Mt Cook or simply enjoy an evening of stargazing. Here your overnight stay is at the Hermitage Hotel.
Day 8, 9 & 10: Queenstown
LOCATION: MIDDLE EARTH - BEORN’S HOUSE
Continue travelling through mountainous scenery for your drive into Queenstown, a vibrant town set around Lake Wakatipu. Queenstown is the adventure capital of New Zealand and home to many Hobbit experiences including 4 x 4 safaris to Lord of the Rings country. Another must do is a trip to Milford Sound reached by car, plane or helicopter and for the fearless there’s bunjy jumping and skydiving. Overnights at The Rees.
2 nights at Chateau Tongariro, Tongariro National Park
1 night at Museum Art Hotel, Wellington
1 night at The Bay of Many Coves, Marlborough
1 night at Orari B&B, Christchurch
1 night at Hermitage Hotel, Lake Pukaki Mt Cook
2 nights at The Rees, Queenstown
Guideline price based on two sharing:
11 days car hire and accommodation for 2 people from £5,995 (no excursions included)
Return flights with Air New Zealand into Taupo out of Queenstown.