3 Weeks

Highlights

  • Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Lord of the Rings Filming Locations
  • Stunning National Parks

Proximity

  • By plane: Start your adventure in Auckland
  • By car: Total trip distance: 2645km

This epic journey will guide you through all New Zealand has to offer in three weeks or more. Scroll to discover more.

Great Wizards are curious adventurers. This epic journey will guide you through all New Zealand has to offer in three weeks or more. Experience otherworldly landscapes and fascinating fiords and get to know the real Middle‑earth.

Week 1: Auckland to Wellington

Auckland
Waiheke Island., Auckland

By Miles Holden

Discover must do experiences in Auckland

Find out more

Highlights

  • Vineyards and Craft Beer
  • Rangitoto Island - an Active Volcano
  • Beautiful Scenery

A vibrant city of harbours, beaches and islands, Auckland is known as the “City of Sails”. Catch a ferry to one of the islands dotted just offshore from the city. See more must do experiences in Auckland.

Waiheke is known for its vineyards, sandy white beaches and quirky galleries, while Rangitoto is a dormant volcano laced with spectacular walking tracks. Many of the islands are within a 40-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland

Hamilton - Waikato
Hobbiton Movie Set, Hamilton - Waikato

By Fraser Clements

Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set

Highlights

  • The Shire
  • Green Dragon Pub

From Auckland, head south to Matamata - home to Hobbiton, where The Shire is brought to life. Visit the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour now.

Take a guided tour and experience this magical piece of Middle‑earth for yourself - all 44 Hobbit-holes have been rebuilt exactly as they appeared on film. Once you've worked up a thirst, stop for a handle of sobering thought ale at the Green Dragon Inn or Good George Brewery (where Hobbiton beverages come from).

Hamilton - Waikato
Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, Hamilton - Waikato

By Discover Waitomo

Discover must do experiences in Hamilton

Find out more

Highlights

  • Glowworm Caves
  • Blackwater Rafting

Proximity

Journey by car to Waitomo. Enjoy a guided tour of the world-famous Glowworm Caves, which includes a magical underground boat ride to view the millions of twinkling glowworms on the cavern roof. Continue driving over the forested Mamaku Ranges to reach the “Thermal City” of Rotorua

New Zealand
Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

By Andy Belcher

Ruapehu

Ruapehu

Discover the Tongariro Crossing

Highlights

  • Volcanic Landscapes
  • Lord of the Rings filming Locations
  • Winter skiing and snowboarding

Proximity

Explore the Central Plateau and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - often described as New Zealand's greatest day walk. Take in the stark volcanic landscapes and visit Mt Ngauruhoe which featured as 'Mt Doom' in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

See more must do experiences in Ruapehu here.

Wellington
Weta Cave, Wellington

By Wellington Tourism

Highlights

  • Movie studios
  • Arts and Museums
  • Craft Beer Culture

Proximity

Located at the southernmost tip of the North Island, Wellington is home to Weta Workshop and the Weta Cave. It's a city with a passion for art, coffee and fantastic food & wine. From here, take the Interislander Ferry to Picton

Week 2: Nelson to Aoraki Mt Cook

Nelson
Split Apple Rock, Nelson

By Fraser Clements

Highlights

  • Marine Mammal Encounters
  • Kayaking and Cruising
  • Incredible Walking and Hiking

Nelson is known as the sunniest region in New Zealand. Seek out Jens Hansen Goldsmith, maker of the 'One Ring' and many other Tolkien-themed items, before journeying deep into the Abel Tasman National Park. You won't be disapointed by the stunning beaches and native forest.

See more top experiences to do in Nelson and Tasman.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Explore Kaikoura, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Sara Orme

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

See whales and dolphins in Kaikoura

Highlights

  • Unbeatable Seafood
  • Dolphin and Whale Safaris
  • Earthquake Tourism

Spend a day whale watching in Kaikoura. Whales thrive close to the coastline here because of its unusual submarine landscape. The continental shelf drops quickly into a number of extremely deep underwater canyons. It's one of the few places in the world that you can get up close to these magnificent creatures. See more Whale-watching tours and Albatross watching tours.

See top experiences to do in Kaikoura

Christchurch - Canterbury
Christchurch City, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Julian Apse

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Discover Experiences in Christchurch

Highlights

  • Punting on the Avon River
  • Street Art and Creative Culture
  • International Antarctic Centre

Drive down the coast to reach Christchurch, an eclectic city of elegance and contemporary culture. Cycle along the picturesque Avon River, mountain bike down well-worn tracks in the Port Hills and enjoy delicious dining options in the central city. 

Christchurch - Canterbury
Hooker Valley Track, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Miles Holden

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Visit Mt Cook and Walk the Hooker Valley Track

Highlights

  • Aoraki Mt Cook National Park
  • Hooker Valley Track
  • Tasman Glacier

Proximity

Visit Aoraki/Mt Cook, the highest peak in Australasia. Stop off at Lake Pukaki, where the cerulean colour of the pure glacial waters are a photographer's dream.

Heli skiing, heli hiking and aerial sightseeing provide visitors with amazing memories. The surrounding country provided a slew of filming locations for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and there are plenty of local tours that will show you the highlights. 

See more top experiences to do in Mackenzie region.

Week 3: Wanaka, Queenstown and Milford Sound

New Zealand
Catch the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for spectacular views of Queenstown, New Zealand

By Destination Queenstown

Queenstown

Queenstown

Visit top experiences to do in Queenstown and Wanaka.

Highlights

  • Bungy Jumping and Jet-boating
  • Middle‑earth Filming Locations
  • Snow Covered Mountains

Proximity

  • By car: 2 hrs 40 mins from Te Anau
  • By plane: 1 hr and 20 mins from Wellington
  • By car: 6 hrs from Christchurch

Journey through the mountains via the Crown Range, the highest main road in New Zealand. Plan to allow time to stop and admire the astounding views along the way - the photo opportunities are magical. 

Surrounded by stunning mountains and a crystal-clear lake, Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations. Take a tour of local filming locations with Lord of the Rings experts Nomad Safaris. Paradise, Glenorchy at the far end of Lake Wakatipu lives up to its name and is a must-visit.

Fiordland
Hall Arm, Doubtful Sound, Fiordland

By Destination Fiordland

Fiordland

Fiordland

Journey to Milford Sound

Highlights

  • Scenic Flights
  • Kayaking and Boat Cruises
  • Wildlife Encounters

While you're in Queenstown, a day trip to Milford Sound shouldn't be missed. Fly in and out (or drive one way) to save time and enjoy a leisurely cruise through the fiord. Nearby filming locations: Takaro Rd (Fangorn Forest), Norwest Lakes (South of Rivendell), Waiau River and Kepler Track (River Anduin), Te Anau Downs Station.

 Discover more top experiences to do in Queenstown.

View the journey below

Experience another adventure

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Christchurch to Dunedin Itinerary →