Day 1: Arrival day in Auckland. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel - as pre-arranged. Your hotel is The Spencer on Byron. We gather informally this evening to meet each other and prepare for our early start tomorrow.
Day 2: Be ready to depart at 08.00. Auckland to Rotorua via Hobbiton. Prepare to be enchanted by Hobbiton - a very special site to visit. Have us take your photo beneath the Party tree and outside Bag End. We will have lunch at Hobbiton in ‘The Shire’s Rest’, on the farm. In Rotorua later this afternoon, we’ll show you some geothermal activity and suggest optional activities - such as a riding a Zorb, enjoying a relaxing soak in hot mineral Polynesian Spa Pools and in the evening, a chance to experience traditional Maori Culture at it’s best. Overnight - The Sudima Hotel, Rotorua. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: From Rotorua to Ohakune, via bubbling mud pools and the beautiful Huka Falls, to Lake Taupo, where we stop for 'Second Breakfast - Morning Tea' on our way to Mt. Ruapehu and the sites of Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mt Doom. See the spot where Sam and Frodo were lost amid volcanic lava flows and where they first met Gollum. Later we’ll visit Gollum’s fishing pool, where Andy Serkis was careful not to plunge over the waterfall! Overnight - The Powderhorn Chateau ~ where the Stars stayed. Includes: (B).
Day 4: Ohakune to Wellington via the River Anduin. First up there’s an optional extra Flying Fox activity at Gravity Canyon for the mad and daring - great viewing for the rest of us! After lunch, a visit to the forest site where the Elves are leaving Rivendell for the West and Arwen has her vision of Aragorn and their son. Next, the Black Rider’s Ranch - we meet him in person and enjoy his hospitality. He trained the horses, taught the actors to ride and also had several kept roles in the trilogy. Then, on to Wellington City. Tonight we suggest dining at “The Green Parrot Restaurant”- a favourite of Viggo’s. Overnight and tomorrow night in Wellington, we stay at The Duxton Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 5: We are joined at breakfast by the Calligrapher and Cartographer, Daniel Reeve. He’ll show samples of his exquisite work and some are for sale. Next, a “Wellywood!” city tour past Stone Street Studios, Weta Workshop and a stop at the Chocolate Fish Cafe - for second breakfast - a favorite Hobbit eating place. The morning ends with a visit to the ”Get off the road!” site, before setting you down at the excellent Te Papa Museum, back in the city. Your afternoon is free to explore Wellington. Dinner tonight? Perhaps “Strawberry Fare” - specializing in delicious desserts - just up from the Embassy Theater, where the Rotk Premiere was held. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Today we call in at the delightful Elven Cloak factory and see how the cloaks (and other garments for movies) are made ~ opportunities for purchasing and photographs. Then it’s over the hills to the beautiful tranquility of the Leaving Lothlorien site ~ and where Smeagol strangled Deagol! On our return to Wellington we’ll take time for a visit to Rivendell (Kaitoke Park) and the Gardens of Isengard. This evening we fly (45 minutes) to Christchurch. A special guest who starred in the movie, joins us for dinner tonight. Brett Beattie, Gimli’s body double and stunt man. A true hero. Copthorne Central Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Today your South Island adventure begins. It's time to head for the site and magnificence that is Edoras. We'll buy a picnic lunch, as we are going to a remote area. Bring shorts and sturdy footwear, or wear trousers that roll up to the knees. We have three streams to cross on our way to the summit! Later we’ll view beautiful, mountain fed, Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, plus N.Z’s highest Mountain - Mt. Cook, over 12,000 ft high. Overnight at Twizel’s McKenzie Country Inn. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: We depart at around 9-00 a.m. for the Pelennor Fields. This area once rang to the thunderous sound of 300 horses on the charge. Moving on, we check out the site of The Great Chase and then on to scenic Lake Wanaka for lunch. After lunch we’ll take time out for you to try your Archery skills - do we have a budding Legolas amongst us? If Ian Brodie, author of the Lotr Guide Book, is available we will be able to say hello while we’re in the locality. He manages The War birds Museum at the small airport across from the Archery. Overnight - Cromwell. The Golden Gate Lodge. This is a great place to study the night sky - have you seen the Southern Cross? Includes: (B).
Day 9: We head out to Alexandra this morning, to where the Rohan village was burned. We walk through the canyon where the leaf brooch was dropped. Dwarves are 'dangerous over short distances' here! After lunch at Alexandra, we take you to Queenstown. The remainder of the afternoon is free. Overnight - Queenstown. The Novotel Gardens Hotel.
Day 10: We'll take a picnic lunch and head to the Mavora Lakes where there are 4 Lotr sites the Orc funeral pyre, Fangorn Forest, the log which concealed Merry and Pippin before Frodo left the fellowship, and where Sam and Frodo paddled away on the next stage of their journey. Later you may like to take the jet boat down the River Anduin or take a helicopter ride to Peter Jackson’s favorite location. Over night in Te Anau. The Luxmore Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 11: Today our group will travel to Queenstown, via Arrowtown - a charming old settlement, historically significant in the gold rush days of the 1860s. It’s also the location where Isildur was attacked by Orcs at Gladden Fields. This afternoon and tomorrow you are free to pursue optional activities: to take a helicopter flight to the Ford of Bruinen and to trip up Deer Park Heights. Accommodation in Queenstown again for the next two nights. Includes: (B).
Day 12: The last day of our “Fellowship”. Devote today to further optional activities and last minute shopping. A 4 wheel drive tour to the Pillars of Argonath with Nomad Safaris? Dart River Stables - Horse trekking. A Jet boat ride or Bungy jump. Your Guide will discuss options with you and assist or advise with bookings. Tonight we’ll ride the Skyline Gondola up for our Farewell Dinner at the Skyline Restaurant (included in tour costs). Includes: (B).
Day 13: Departure day. Alas - your journey through Middle - earth with our company, is at an end. We thank you for traveling with us ... there and back again.
Notes: The following is a sample itinerary only, representing a typical monthly tour. Details may vary from month to month according to availability of key people, places and accommodation. Final itineraries are confirmed and emailed 4 weeks prior.
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Australia and Oceania New Zealand Local Culture Cultural Journey Film/Film History
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