Great wizards are also brave adventurers who travel far and wide. Embark on an epic journey throughout New Zealand to experience otherworldly landscapes and fascinating fiords in the real Middle‑earth.
How can New Zealand not bewitch anyone who visits?Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf
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What would you pack for your Wizard-inspired holiday? Get replicas from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies to take with you.
As you approach Rotorua, you may notice a faint scent of sulphur and escaping curls of steam, the first hints of the region's dramatic geothermal character. Witness the earth's power at the famed Pohutu Geyser - the undisputed star of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. The geyser erupts up to 20 times a day to heights of 30 metres at Te Puia.
Marvel at the huge valleys of ice that form Frans Josef and Fox Glaciers. Here the ice age is still underway. Enjoy an easy walk to the foot of glaciers, along ancient river valleys, or be whisked high above them by helicopter. These scenes will have you reaching for your camera at every turn.
Imagine riding through the backcountry New Zealand, through tussocked plains, between soaring peaks, alongside sparkling alpine lakes and rivers. Channel the spirit of Shadowfax, the "Lord of all horses", and ride south with the wind in your hair. From Queenstown, travel to Glenorchy and trek the magnificent Paradise Valley, or cruise across Lake Wakatipu and ride through rolling farmland with Walter Peak Horse Treks.
Brilliantly bright, the night sky here will cast its spell on you. See glittering constellations and shooting stars in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, free from light pollution. Head to Big Sky Stargazing at the foot of Mount Cook or join one of Earth & Sky's tours at Tekapo's Mount John Observatory, and see the stars through powerful telescopes.
With more than 23 peaks over 3000 metres, New Zealand’s Southern Alps is a home of giants. Marvel at these snow-capped peaks that fill the horizon and explore the rugged landscape ice and rock. The Southern Alps starred in both Middle‑earth trilogies; locations include Mt Potts Station (Erewhon), Mount Sunday (Edoras), Treble Cone's Towers Ridge (Misty Mountains) and Twizel (Pelennor Fields).
Ancient rainforest clings to impossibly steep mountains, waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords, and the shimmering lakes and granite peaks look the same today as they did thousands of years ago. Fiordland National Park and the Mavora Lakes were the location for Fangorn Forest - take a moment to breath in here and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
This is the Middle‑earth I had always pictured.Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf
With your adventure nearly over, you can afford to slow down and reflect. Take a gentle stroll through the homely village of Hobbiton, past hobbit holes and the Party Tree. Wander across the bridge to the Green Dragon Inn and enjoy a relaxing ale among friends. If you choose an evening visit, you will be treated to a banquet fit for a hobbit.