TRIP SUMMARY
Middle-Earth fans, gather around and discover the best of the North Island. This Lord of the Rings themed road trip is created by the official Hobbiton™ Movie Set photographer and winner of the prestigious ‘New Zealand Geographic Landscape Photographer of the Year’ award.
Starting in Auckland, travel around in your own motorhome and visit Mordor, Mt Doom, Gollum’s Pond, Hairy Feet and the magical Glowworm Caves. You will also tour the Hobbiton™ Movie Set tour and visit the famous Weta Workshop for a behind the scenes experience and Māori Cultural Tour.
From: $2,010 AUD
From
Shaun
For any fan of Lord Of The Rings this is a must-do trip. Not only will you follow an itinerary that will include some of NZ most popular attractions such as Te Puia and Glow Worm caves you'll also see the best filming sites and experiences from the Lord Of The Rings.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1
Day 1: Auckland to Hamilton
Start your trip in the vibrant harbour capital of New Zealand. Pick up your motorhome in Auckland and make your way to Hamilton. Get excited as today, you will experience the official Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tour!
Activities
INCLUDED
Pick up your motorhome
Pick up your motorhome and start your road trip! Your vehicle is certified self-contained complete with solar power, full toilet & shower facilities giving you total flexibility to freedom camp in New Zealand safely and comfortably. The motorhome comes with a large double bed, mountain bikes, a GPS navigation unit, outdoor camping equipment, a Kiwi welcome pack (including a bottle of NZ Premium Tohu wine!), 24/7 AA Roadside Assistance, all linen & bedding, essential kitchen items and a 24/7 WhatsApp Customer Services Support Number. We're proud to partner with Kiwi Motorhomes, a New Zealand owned and operated family business of proud Maori descent.
INCLUDED
Hobbiton™ Movie Set Tour
Experience the real Middle-earth™ at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire™, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. You will be guided around the 12-acre set; past Hobbit Holes™, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure.
OPTIONAL
Haka Hotel - Auckland Extra Night
Hip lodging offering chic apartments with kitchenettes, Wi-Fi & balconies, some with harbor views.
Day 2
Day 2: Hamilton to Rotorua
Rotorua is a dream photography location. Known as the geothermic capital of New Zealand, you’ll have plenty of options to explore. Head out to the magical Redwoods Forest before experiencing a cultural show and dinner at the traditional Tamaki Māori Village.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
The Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest
Explore the enchanting Redwood Forest of Rotorua. Over 5600 hectares of Californian Redwoods await you to enjoy and explore. If you love the outdoors and want to experience nature at its best, this area is for you!
INCLUDED
Tamaki Māori Village
Journey back to a time of proud warriors and ancient traditions with Tamaki Māori Village, the most award-winning cultural attraction in New Zealand. Experience ceremonial rituals, powerful performances and hangi feasting. Learn about the customs, protocols and stories that have been passed through the generations of time.
Day 3
Day 3: Rotorua
On your second day in Rotorua, you are armed with the Diamond Pass. This gives you access to Te Puia, Skyline Rotorua Gondola, Agrodome, Polynesian Spa and a choice of either Rainbow Springs or Paradise Valley Springs. Shaun highly recommends that you don’t miss the mighty Te Puia!
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Rotorua Diamond Pass
This drive yourself pass includes: Te Puia – experience awesome geothermal activity and learn about the Maori culture. Skyline Rotorua Gondola – the best way to see Rotorua, take the gondola up Mt Ngongataha for spectacular views. Agrodome Sheep Show – world famous and a lot of fun, you’ll get to pat a lamb and watch some sheep antics! Polynesian Spa (Adult, Priest Spa or Family Pools) – have a relaxing soak in this award-winning spa complex. Entry to your choice of either Paradise Valley Springs or Rainbow Springs
Day 4
Day 4: Rotorua to Taupo
Make your way to Taupo to visit Gollum’s Pool (Tawhai Falls), where the famous scene of The Lord of the Rings movie was filmed. Another must-see is the Huka Falls. This incredible spectacle is the most-visited natural attraction in New Zealand – it’s hard to tear your gaze away from the endless, mesmerising torrent.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
Huka Falls
You’ll hear the Huka Falls well before you see the them – it’s the sound of nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and thundering 11m into the Waikato River below. This incredible spectacle is the most-visited natural attraction in New Zealand – it’s hard to tear your gaze away from the endless, mesmerising torrent.
Day 5
Day 5: Taupo
Today, you get to experience Mordor! Tongariro Alpine Crossing is the filming location of Mordor and also known as the country’s best day walk. This 19-km hike through landscape made famous in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is well worth the effort. A shuttle bus from Taupo will take you to the start of the hike. Shorter walks to Mordor are also available.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Tongariro Alpine Crossing - Visit Mordor
A World Heritage site, acknowledged for both its natural and cultural significance, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is known as New Zealand’s best day hike. This spectacular track will take you to The Lord of the Rings filming location of Mordor. Shuttle Bus included.
Day 6
Day 6: Taupo to Wellington
On your way to Peter Jackson's home town of Wellington, you come across another Lord of the Rings film location, the Putangirua Pinnacles. Doubled as the Dimholt Road in The Return of the King, don’t miss your chance to walk the Paths of the Death! Then it’s time to visit Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. This vibrant city is full of trendy restaurants, cafes and breweries and has a great live music scene.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
Putangirua Pinnacles - The Dimholt Road
Two hours east of Peter Jackson's home town of Wellington, the Putangirua Pinnacles provide the perfect backdrop for the Dimholt Road (aka The Paths to the Dead), featured in The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King.
Day 7
Day 7: Wellington
Embark on a journey through Wellington's award-winning Weta Studio & Workshop. Immerse yourself in blockbuster behind-the-scenes magic from Lord of the Rings, Hobbiton and countless other Hollywood blockbusters. Enjoy a 5-hour experience with 2 film effects tours, a 2-course lunch and drink on the waterfront. You will also receive a souvenir to remember your Weta experience.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Weta Workshop - Full Experience + Kai (Lunch)
Embark on a journey through Wellington's award-winning Weta Studio & Workshop. Immerse yourself in blockbuster behind-the-scenes magic from LOTR, Hobbiton as well as countless other Hollywood blockbusters.
Day 8
Day 8: Wellington to Taranaki
Taranaki is often missed by travellers, but worth the stop to experience the raw beauty of the North Island. Visit the famous The Three Sisters on the coast or if you’re feeling adventurous, hike to Mt Taranaki for the incredible views.
Activities
Do
FREE OPTION
The Three Sisters
The coastline north of Taranaki is one of the fastest moving in the world. It's incredible to see the rock structures appearing as they break away from the mainland cliffs, but you never know just how long they last.
FREE OPTION
Mount Taranaki hike
There are so many hikes on the mountain that offer amazing views of the peak. You're really spoilt for choice. The reflection of the mountain in Pouakai Tarn is one of the most incredible views.
Day 9
Day 9: Taranaki to Waitomo
Waitomo is world-famous for its Glowworm Caves and vast limestone formations. This area is also known as Hairy Feet, used for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Today it’s time for the ultimate adventure caving tour, the Black Abyss. Feel the adrenaline as you abseil into the dark, seemingly bottomless depths of Ruakuri Cave. Zipline through a gallery of glowworms and climb underground waterfalls as you test your limits on this truly unforgettable journey.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. Black Abyss
Feel the adrenaline as you abseil into the dark, seemingly bottomless depths of Ruakuri Cave. Zipline through a gallery of glowworms and climb underground waterfalls as you test your limits on this truly unforgettable journey.
Day 10
Day 10: Waitomo
Join a tour to Hairy Feet and Trollshaws Forest. Visit the stunning farm location at Mangaotaki Rocks Piopio, near Waitomo, where the troll and campfire scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey were filmed. Towering limestone cliffs, massive rock formations and a primaeval forest on the Denize family farm became the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaws.
Activities
Do
INCLUDED
Hairy Feet
Visit New Zealand's stunning Denize Bluffs farm and join a private tour where Peter Jackson filmed the most location screen time for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Day 11
Day 11: Waitomo to Raglan
Discover Waikato's hidden jewel! Drive to the lively town of Raglan, New Zealand’s surf mecca. Discover Raglan's creative culture, fantastic coffees and surf breaks. Perhaps, you feel like catching a wave yourself?
Activities
Do
OPTIONAL
Kayak & Coffee Excursion
Raglan's unique Limestone Coast, private bays and beaches are all just a short paddle away. A 3-hour guided Kayak & Coffee Excursion is the perfect mix of excitement and comfort and makes for an unforgettable experience.
Day 12
Day 12: Raglan to Auckland
On your way to Auckland, visit the last Lord of the Rings filming location of your trip. Stop at Port Waikato, where the mighty Waikato River meets the ocean. Journey south along the coast to the Nikau caves and past the limestone outcrops in the surrounding hills to find Weathertop Hollow. In Auckland, it’s time to drop off your campervan.
Activities
OPTIONAL
Extra night in Auckland
Can't get enough? Stay an extra night to explore all of Auckland's goodness. A multi-cultural hub of food and wine, music, art and culture, Auckland is rated the third most liveable city in the world.
STORYTELLER

Shaun Jeffers

About Shaun
STORYTELLER

About Shaun

Shaun Jeffers is the award winning photographer from Auckland who famously photographs the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, thrilling Lord of the Rings fans. Shaun’s specialised skill in commercial tourism and landscape photography landed him champion of the prestigious ‘New Zealand Geographic Landscape Photographer of the Year.’ He may be from England, but you’d think he was a born Kiwi with his expert knowledge of New Zealand. Shaun is a captivating storyteller with a talent for bringing to life fictional worlds and uncovering the very best of New Zealand. His trips are uniquely adventure-packed — just like him!

FAQ's

The Airguides Way

Responsible travel is our passion
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
Designed by storytellers
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Luxury meets adventure
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
2Peace of mind travel
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
Trips of a lifetime
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure
Responsible travel is at the core of everything we do
We focus on those destinations 'less travelled' in Oceania
We work with local and Indigenous tourism operators where possible
We search the world to find the most inspiring travel storytellers
Our trips are designed by photographers, filmmakers and chefs
Authentic and exclusive, you won't find our packages anywhere else
Peace of mind travel — we take care of everything for you
We handpick all experiences to make sure you get the very best
Our trips include premium accommodation, unforgettable experiences and transport you can trust
From the planning stage to the trip, our team is here 24/7 whenever you need us
We take care of all logistics, so you can focus on the fun
Travel at your own pace with the comfort of knowing we have got your back
We personalise the trip to match your wildest travel dreams
Balancing detailed itineraries with the freedom to truly discover destinations
Our promise? A once in a lifetime adventure

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