- Hobbiton (lunch at 'The Shire's Rest')
- Geothermal activity
- Emyn Muil, Mordor and Mt. Doom
- Gollum's fishing pool
- Powderhorn Chateau (where the stars stayed)
- The Lord of the Rings horses
- The film studios
- Isengard Gardens
- The Calligrapher
- The Elven cloak factory
- Leaving Lothlorien and Gladden Fields
- The Pelennor Fields
- The Rohan sites
- Fangorn Forest
- River Anduin
- The Misty Mountains
- Amon Hen and Ithilian.
Day 1: Arrival in Auckland. You are met at the airport and transferred you to your hotel, the Spencer on Byron. We gather informally this evening to meet each other and prepare for our early start tomorrow.
Day 2: Auckland - Rotorua via Hobbiton. Be ready to depart at 08.00 am. 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 have lunch at Hobbiton in 'The Shire's Rest', on the farm. In Rotorua later today, we'll show you some geothermal activity and suggest optional activities - such as a riding a Zorb and / or enjoying a relaxing hot mineral Polynesian Spa Pool. In the evening, a chance to experience traditional Maori Culture at it's very best. Overnight: The Sudima Hotel, Rotorua. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: From Rotorua to Ohakune, via bubbling mud pools and the beautiful Huka Waterfalls at Lake Taupo. 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. 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 - Wellington. via a 'River Anduin' site, where there's an optional extra Flying Fox activity for the mad and daring - great viewing for the rest of us! We stop for lunch in Foxton and continue on to visit the Black Rider's Ranch. Meet him in person and enjoy his hospitality. He trained the horses , taught the actors to ride and had several key roles in the trilogy. Then, it's on to Wellington City - just in time to see the "Get off the road!" site on Mt Victoria, overlooking the city. Tonight we suggest dining at "The Green Parrot Restaurant" - said to be a favourite of Viggo's. Overnight and tomorrow night, we stay at The Duxton Hotel, in Wellington. Includes: (B).
Day 5: We are joined at breakfast by the LOTR Calligrapher, Cartographer and Artist, Daniel Reeve. After breakfast he'll show us samples of his exquisite work - some are for sale - and talk about his involvement in the movies, including his more recent works - King Kong, Narnia, Pirates of the Carribbean, etc. Next, a "Wellywood!" city tour past Peter Jackson's movie studios, and a wonderful stop at Weta Workshop's new 'Weta Cave' - for souvenirs, viewing their promo dvd, and more ! Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged!! Your afternoon is free to explore Wellington. We recommend a visit to the excellent Te Papa Museum - just across from our hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 6: Today we call in at the Elven Cloak factory and see how the cloaks (and other garments for movies) are made - opportunities here for purchasing and photographs. Then it's over the hills (weather permitting) 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, the Gardens of Isengard and the site of Helms Deep and Minas Tirith. This evening we fly south, to Christchurch. Accommodation: Copthorne Central Hotel, where a special guest who starred in the movie, joins us for dinner. Includes: (B).
Day 7: Your South Island adventure begins and it's time to head for the site and magnificence that is Edoras. We buy a picnic lunch today, as this is a remote area. Bring shorts (or trousers that roll up to the knees) and sturdy footwear. We cross three streams on our way to the summit! Later we'll view the beautiful, mountain fed lakes - Tekapo and Pukaki and see N.Z's highest Mountain - Mt. Cook, which is over 12,000 ft high. Overnight at Twizel's McKenzie Country Inn. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: We depart at around 9-00 am for the Pelennor Fields - an area that once rang to the thunderous sound of 250 horses on the charge, as King Theoden's battle speech roused men to battle. Moving on, we check out the site of The Great Chase and then head to scenic Lake Wanaka for lunch. After lunch we make time to try your archery skills - perhaps we have a budding Legolas amongst us?
If Ian Brodie, author of the LOTR Guide Book, is available we call in and say hello while we're in the locality. Overnight - Cromwell. The Golden Gate Lodge. Includes: (B).
Day 9: We head out through Alexandra this morning, to where the Rohan village was burned. We walk through the canyon where the leaf brooch was dropped. This afternoon - Queenstown - and the remainder of the afternoon is free. Overnight - The Novotel Gardens Hotel. Includes: (B).
Day 10: We take a picnic lunch to the Mavora Lakes today and visit 4 LOTR sites: the Orc funeral pyre, Fangorn Forest, the log which concealed Merry & 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 jet boat down the River Anduin or take a helicopter ride to P.J.'s favourite location. There is also a Glow Worm Caves tour available this evening. Overnight at the Luxmore Hotel in Te Anau. Includes: (B).
Day 11: Today our group returns 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. There is time today to take a helicopter flight to the Ford of Bruinen or the trip up Deer Park Heights. Perhaps a cruise on Lake Wakatipu or some retail therapy - shopping in Queenstown. Accommodation: Novotel Gardens Hotel, Queenstown, for the next 2 nights. Includes: (B).
Day 12: Devote today to further optional activities and last minute shopping. How about a 4 wheel drive tour to Lothlorien country, horse trekking or a jet boat ride or bungy jump? Maybe a trout fishing trip or a hot air balloon ride? In the evening home departure.
Note: Try to keep to one suitcase weighing around 20kgs and one carry on bag weighing no more than 7kgs. Otherwise you will have to pay an excess charge.
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