Recommended Length: 4 Days
Distance: 738 km (461 miles)
An easy drive south of Auckland will take you to the verdant Waikato, home to Hobbiton and The Shire. Then carry on to the central North Island's Volcanic Plateau for a dramatic contrast - you'll soon see why these mystical landscapes were so easily transformed into Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mount Doom. Take some time out to enjoy all that nearby Lake Taupo has to offer, then drive on to Wellington, production base for The Lord of the Rings movies and Director Peter Jackson's hometown. Many memorable scenes from the movies were filmed in and around Wellington city - practically in Jackson's backyard!