Journey to middle-earth
This week-long Middle‑earth itinerary is the perfect length in which to discover some of the North Island's best attractions. Experience otherworldly landscapes and fascinating fiords and get to know the real Middle‑earth.
Day 1: Coromandel
Journey from the exciting urban hub of Auckland to the coastal paradise of the Coromandel. Cloaked in native rainforest, with dazzling white sand beaches and picturesque coves, The Coromandel is a favourite holiday destination.
Cathedral Cove is a picturesque photo spot, and at Hot Water Beach you can dig your own natural spa.
Day 2: Hobbiton
Today travel from The Coromandel to Matamata where you will find the original Hobbiton Movie Set, with its enchanting community of life-sized Hobbit holes. Enjoy a guided tour around The Shire, your knowledgeable guide will enlighten you about the history and the on-location filming processes. Stop for a handle of ale at the Green Dragon Inn or grab a light lunch at the Shire’s Rest Café.
Day 3: Rotorua
A fascinating mix of geothermal activity, Maori culture, and adventure, Rotorua is a region that offers a multitude of experiences.
Explore the bubbling mud pools and geysers of Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, or get your adrenaline pumping with some of the great adventure activities on offer. Visit Te Puia or Tamaki Maori Village to experience Maori culture and learn about the fascinating history of New Zealand’s indigenous people.
Day 4: Waitomo
Roam around the native forest and limestone cliffs used as filming locations for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on a guided tour. Or explore the Waitomo Caves fascinating labyrinth of underground sinkholes, tunnels and rivers beneath rolling green farmland. Peter Jackson loved the acoustic quality of these caves and recorded some of the soundscape for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Day 5: Mt Ruapehu
Turn south towards Mt Ruapehu. Ruapehu, in the Central Plateau, is known for it’s mountainous, desolate beauty. This location was used as a filming location for some of the Mordor scenes in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
The Ruapehu region offers a profusion of different activities, from hiking trails to rafting and skiing in winter. The Ohakune Old Coach Road is a popular half-day cycle trail that follows a cobblestone road once used to join the two ends of main trunk railway line before it was finally connected in 1909.
Day 6: Tongariro Alpine Crossing
To truly appreciate the bright emerald lakes, volcanic landscapes and spectacular mountain views of the Ruapehu region, you can’t go past Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
This challenging one-day hike is often billed as one of the best in the world. With stunning views of the plateau’s three imposing volcanoes, old lava flows and active steam vents. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise the shape of Mount Ngauruhoe, as the mountain that stood in for Mount Doom in the trilogy.
day 7: Wellington
Today head to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.
Located at the southern most tip of the North Island, Wellington is home to Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave. Here, you can get a behind-the-scenes look at movie making magic in action.
Spend the rest of your journey indulging in the city’s buzzing food and wine scene, checking out the museums and galleries or enjoy a cable-car ride to the Kelburn lookout for expansive harbour views.
Highlights of this trip
Hobbiton Movie Set
Watch geysers erupt and mud boil
Learn the how to perform a perfect haka
Guided film set tour
Volcanic craters and lava flows
Weta Workshop & Weta Cave
Art and culture in Wellington