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New Zealand - An unexpected journey

Description

Beautiful coasts, irresistible volcanic craters, icy glaciers and lush rainforests: that's the landscape of New Zealand, and the reason for it being the background to the world-famous Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Are you a fan? Drive with us to "the end of the world", and we will show you the best and most exclusive movie locations on the North and South Islands.

Highlights

  • Visit Lord of the Rings movie sets
  • Go on exciting hobbit tours and unique landscapes
  • Reality & fantasy  merge
  • Stay in selected 4-5 stars hotels with film background
  • Explore New Zealand's North and South Islands intensively with a rental car for 3 weeks

Destinations

Day 1: Arrival in Auckland - Welcome to New Zealand!

Welcome to New Zealand. If you're a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan, you have likely long harbored the dream of visiting the land where the movies were shot. You will pick up your rental car at the airport, which will allow you to flexibly explore the entire North and South Islands - your adventure begins New Zealand. Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, is located in the northern part of the North Island between two major ports. Known for its diverse water sports activities, the so-called "City of Sails" is a real paradise for all sports lovers and nature lovers. A real highlight is the famous Skytower, the tallest building in the southern hemisphere at 328 m. A tip for the most daring: Sky Jump or Sky Walk in a breathtaking setting (optional). Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium is also a must for all New Zealand travelers (optional). A transparent tunnel takes you through the underwater world and you see sharks, rays and colorful fish swimming above you. Pay a visit to the cute little penguins and if you're looking for an adrenaline rush then organized shark diving is just the thing for you - an unforgettable experience. The famous "Queen Street" invites you to dream. Auckland's busiest street offers everything your heart desires: numerous shops, cozy restaurants and trendy bars. Travel time: 20 km / approx. 30 minutes 1 night in Great Ponsonby Arthotel****+ with breakfast in one Villa, Auckland, New Zealand

Day 2: Auckland to Waitomo - The Cave of Fireflies

Today, after breakfast, your next destination will be Waitomo. The city is known for its cave system with stalactites and stalagmites, inhabited by numerous fireflies. These caves with the flickering fireflies, as well as the rest of Waitamo Valley, have been used as movie backdrop. Discover the scenery for the Staddles Farm and the Trollshaw Forest. Some scenes were filmed here, such as the Orcs attack. There will be plenty of material for the photography enthusiasts, of course. If you feel like living this experience, you can book it with us! Travel time: 200 km / 2:30 hours. 1 night in Woodlyn Park at Hobbit Motel, Otorohanga, New Zealand

Day 3: From Waitomo to Rotorua - hot, steaming & bubbling

Your journey continues today to Rotorua. Make a stopover in Matamata, which is known for its dairy farming. The lush green landscape around the village served as a movie backdrop for the Shire in Middle-earth. And this is where the village of Hobbiton was built. Since then, it has been a permanent tourist attraction. You can opt to visit Hobbiton and take a guided tour. See Frodo and Sam's home and walk along the many small hobbit caves. You will experience how authentic the picturesque hobbit village is along with your guide. See the large Macrocarpa conifer under which Bilbo's big birthday party took place, and fortify yourself with a delicious lunch in the café, The Shires Nest (optional). After you've made movie-quality pictures of Hobbiton and the beautiful green landscape, continue to Rotorua. Located on the volcanic plateau, the small town is worth seeing and worth a visit in every season. Discover the culture of the Maoris, the indigenous people of Australia and encounter hot springs, bubbling mud holes and a strong smell of sulfur that will piss you in the nose. Your onward journey to Rotorua will take you past fields and wide meadows. Duration: 136 km / 2 hours 1 night in the Robertson House with breakfast in the Blue Room, Rotorua, New Zealand

Day 4: From Rotorua to Tongariro National Park - UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage

Your itinerary will take you to Tongariro National Park today. Driving south, you will see New Zealand's largest lake, Taupo Lake. Originally an old volcanic crater, it is filled with water and covers an area of ​​616 km² today. Once in New Zealand's oldest national park, you will check into your hotel. Due to its cultural and natural features, the Tongariro National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for almost 100 years. In 1887, it was given to the Kiwi people as a gift from the Maori Chief, Te HeuHeu. At the same time, it is also the fourth oldest national park, including three active volcanoes: the Tongariro, the Ngauruhoe and the Ruapehu. In addition to volcanic activities, the area also offers enough space for pure adventure. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a day-long hike along emerald lakes and volcanic rocks, is also very popular. Experience the unique volcanic landscape and get a fantastic view of Lake Taupo. Mount Ruapehu is not only the highest volcano in New Zealand with its 2,797m, but it also serves as the location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy for Mordor and Emyn Muil. At the rocky outcrop named Meads Wall, Frodo and Sam Gollum managed to catch. Many scenes, including the one in which the orcs attacked the elves and humans, were shot on the slopes as well as on the surrounding parking lot. Driving time Rotorua - Tongariro National Park: 180 km / approx. 2.5 hours. 2 nights at Chateau Tongariro**** with breakfast at Run of House Room, Whakapapa, New Zealand

Day 5: Tongariro National Park - Day hike through the Tongariro National Park

After breakfast at the hotel, a new adventure awaits: an inspiring hike through the Tongariro National Park. Walk past various vegetation zones and turquoise lakes, some active volcanoes and sprawling crater landscapes - a landscape you only know from movies (optional). But here too, the dreamlike scenery served as the location of the Tolkien trilogy. Most of the scenes for Mordor were shot here, and don't forget to look at Mount Ngauruhoe - it embodied Mount Doom in the series. Once in the Tongariro National Park, let your imagination run free and we guarantee that you will get your money's worth - it is really not difficult to imagine the whole area full of orcs and to visualize the fires of Modor. Your guide is the best contact person for all questions, since he has worked with the Lord of the Rings crew in the filming process for a total of 8 weeks. Please remember to bring good outdoor clothing, sturdy shoes and enough water. You can, of course, book the experience in advance with us.

Day 6 - 7: From Tongariro National Park to Wellington - capital city flair

After breakfast at the hotel, a new adventure awaits you: an inspiring hike through the Tongariro National Park. Hike past various vegetation zones and see turquoise blue lakes, some active volcanoes and sprawling crater landscapes - a landscape as you see it today. Another highlight of your trip on the program: Drive to Welling and explore New Zealand's capital. Passing the inland, you will pass through the coastal area of ​​the Kapiti Coast and pass through the small towns of Palmerston, Levin, Otaki and Paraparaumu, before you finally experience Wellington after 4.5 hours. ** Wellington is the gateway to the South Island** and lies between two harbors surrounded by natural lush nature. Known for its art, culture and unique landscapes, Wellington is also a true gourmet foodie for gourmets. Once in Wellington, do not miss the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Visit also the interactive Te Papa National Museum and the Mount Victoria Viewpoint, from where you can enjoy an unforgettable view of all parts of this little capital. One of New Zealand's most important Lord of the Rings locations is Mount Victoria, which is owned by The city center can be reached on foot without any problems. The forest areas of the mountain served as a backdrop for the Hobbiton Forest. Here the hobbits hid from the black riders. The Wellington Kaitoke Regional Park was converted to Rivendell and here Frodo recovered from the Nazgûl knife attack. Just 45 minutes' drive northwest of Wellington is Queen Elizabeth Park. Here too, impressive scenes of the successful movie were created. Do you recognize the fields where the legendary battle between the ringwraiths of the Nazgûl and the elephant-like mûmakil were filmed, or visit the unique Putangirua Pinnacles, a bizarre rock formation. Experience the scary scene close up, where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli searched for the paths of the dead. Travel time: 337 km / approx. 4:30 hours 2 nights in Museum Hotel****+ with Breakfast in an executive studio, Wellington, New Zealand From movies know (optional). But here too, the dreamlike backdrop served as the location of the Tolkien trilogy. Most of the scenes were shot here for Mordor and do not forget to look at Mount Ngauruhoe, because he embodies the mountain of fate. Once in the Tongariro National Park, you can let your imagination run free and we guarantee that you will get your money's worth - it is really not difficult to imagine the whole area full of orcs and to visualize the fires of Modor. Your guide is the best contact person for all questions, because he worked for a total of 8 weeks with the Lord of the Rings crew during the shooting. Please think

Day 8 - 9: From Wellington to the Abel Tasman National Park - Welcome to the South Island

Now it is time to leave the North Island. After breakfast at the hotel, check out of your hotel and drive your rental car to the ferry dock (take your car on the ferry). During the approx. 3-hour ferry crossing to New Zealand's South Island enjoy a fantastic landscape as far as the eye can see. You will have great photo opportunities, so don't forget to keep your camera in hand. You will cross the well-known Strait of Cook Strait and enjoy a unique view of New Zealand's capital. With a little luck, you can also see dolphins here. Incidentally, this ferry crossing was once referred to as the most beautiful in the world." In the early afternoon you will reach Picton. Here you will take your rental car again and continue to Abel Tasman National Park. On the way there, you will pass the city of Nelson. With its golden sandy beaches, lush bushes and artistically-themed city center, New Zealand's sunniest region is the perfect place to stop in and enjoy the great weather. Tip: Visit the jeweler Jens Hansen, also called "The Ringmaker". Hansen was responsible for the production of 40 different rings for the imaginative trilogy and has an original ring in his shop. Did you know that close-ups were made with a 20 cm diameter ring so it is easier to see when it's in the snow? As a special souvenir, you can make an imitation here - just great! After this short rest, your itinerary will continue to New Zealand's smallest and most popular national park, the Abel Tasman National Park. This coastal paradise covers an area of ​​225 km ² and offers a dreamlike and at the same time diversified landscape of which you always dreamed of: dreamlike bays, crystal-clear brooks and fine golden sandy beaches invite to relax. Ferry crossing Wellington - Picton: approx. 3:30 hours journey time Picton to your hotel: 180 km / approx. 3 hours 3 nights in Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets**** with breakfast at Studio Unit, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Day 10: Abel Tasman National Park - Experience exclusive scenery

The Abel Tasman National Park was named after its discoverer, Abel Tasman, who entered New Zealand in 1642 as the first European. Not only a magnificent landscape characterizes New Zealand's smallest national park, but also its diverse wildlife. Above all, numerous species of birds such as cormorants, gannets and small blue penguins enrich the beautiful coastal paradise and make the oasis to what it is - a real destination for everyone. But also the Lord of the Rings fans get their money's worth here. For example, take a trip to the mountainous area of Takaka Hill, some 70 km away, and visit the forest area, which is the Chetwald in the trilogy. Here was also the scene shot, where the hobbits run through the forest area and try to hang the black riders.

Day 11: From Abel Tasman National Park to Punakaiki - Paparoa National Park

Today, after three wonderful days in the Abel Tasman National Park, you will set off for Punakaiki. As you continue on your journey, you will pass through the small town of Murchison and, if necessary, make a stopover on the West Coast in the town of Westport. Visit New Zealand's northernmost seal colony, for example, in Tauranga Bay (12 km away), and continue along the coast until you reach your destination in about 50 minutes. Known for their "pancake rocks", Punakaiki is surrounded by beautiful landscapes in the heart of the Paparoa National Park. Travel time: 284 km / approx. 4 hours. 1 Overnight stay in Punakaiki Resort**** with Breakfast in Standard Room, Punakaiki, New Zealand

Day 12: From Punakaiki to Franz Josef - Hello Glacier

After breakfast at the hotel, you will leave the Paparoa National Park and drive to your destination of the day: the village of Franz Josef, famous for its eponymous glacier. You will continue along the west coast and after about 90 km you will pass the small town of Hokitika. Make a stop here and check out the Tasman Sea before reaching Franz Josef. Tip: A helicopter flight over the approximately 14 km long Fox Glacier promises an unforgettable panorama. Duration: 215 km / approx. 3 hours. 1 Overnight stay in the Rainforest Retreat**** with breakfast in the Tree Hutt (from September 2017 renaming of the room types), Franz Josef, New Zealand

13th - 14th day: From Franz Josef to Wanaka - Fantastic landscape

Today we will continue to Wanaka on your itinerary. Continue south along the west coast and pass through the village of Haast. Wherever you look, you will experience a pristine landscape: green valleys, spectacular waterfalls and calm rivers await you. Passing Mount Aspiring National Park, which stands out for its alpine scenery, you can reach the small town of Wanaka in just a few minutes. Located on New Zealand's fourth largest lake, Wanaka is the ideal base for adrenaline junkies, hikers and those seeking relaxation. Relax in a local restaurant or end the day in a trendy bar. Travel time: 285 km / approx. 3:30 hours. 2 nights in the ** Tin Tub Luxury Lodge****** with breakfast at the Peak View Room, Wanaka, New Zealand

15th - 18th day: From Wanaka to Queenstown - New Zealand's adventure capital

Today, another thrilling experience awaits you: drive to New Zealand's adventure capital, Queenstown. Embark on the challenging Crown Range Road and you will be rewarded with a unique panoramic view. From the Cardrona Valley you can make a short detour to Mount Cardrona. From the mountain, you can see mysterious scenes that served as a location for Middle-earth, such as the Waiau River, which epitomizes the Anduin River and Mount Olympus, as well as Mount Owen. As an alternative route to Queenstown, you can cruise along the Clutha River and watch adrenaline-seeking bungee jumpers leap onto the Kawarau River Bridge. Just before you reach Queenstown, you will pass the picturesque wine region of Gibbston. Surrounded by a mountain range, Queenstown offers everything your heart desires: experience the craziest adventure you've ever dreamed of, such as a bungee jumping jump from the world-famous 43-foot Kawarau Suspension Bridge. To compensate you will find in Queenstown but also a versatile spa and wellness offer and excellent wines from the region - a real culinary delight. Travel time Wanaka - Queenstown: 70 km / approx. 1 hour. 4 nights in Chalet Queenstown**** with breakfast in the Guest Room, Queenstown, New Zealand

Day 19: From Queenstown to Twizel - For sports and nature lovers

Today you have to say goodbye to Queenstown. After a good breakfast buffet, your journey continues to Farmland Twizel. Not far from Queenstown is Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a former gold mining town, as well as one of the most beautiful historic towns of New Zealand. Explore the Ford of Bruinen on the Arrow River, where a frightened Frodo safely reached the other side of the river with Arwen's help, and hike to Wilcox Green - where scenes were shot on the sword fields. The Chad Farm winery will also captivate you. From there you have a great view of the Anduin River. After seeing more spectacular locations, continue to the 971m high mountain pass, Lindis Pass, and drive through the village of Omarama. Passing the picturesque sheep country, you will reach Twizel in about 20 minutes. Not far from New Zealand's highest mountain, Mount Cook and the largest glacier group, the Tasman Glacier, lies Twizel. Known for its numerous sports facilities, the city is the ideal starting point for mountain biking or kayaking. With a bit of luck you can see one of the rarest birds in the world, the Black Stilt, and let the day fade away in one of the numerous fish restaurants. Distance: 202 km / approx. 2:30 hours. 1 Overnight in the Matuka Lodge***** with breakfast in Deluxe King Room, Twizel, New Zealand

Day 20: Twizel to Christchurch - Behind the Scenes

Drive to Christchurch in the early afternoon. Christchurch is New Zealand's second largest city. After you have peacefully arrived in your hotel, a visit to the botanical garden is absolutely worth seeing. Stroll along beautifully landscaped flower beds and relax with a cool soft drink on the spacious lawn. Also worth noting is the Cathedral Square which, with the famous Christchurch Cathedral, forms the center of the city.  Journey distance: 287 km / approx. 3:30 hours. 1 Overnight stay in Orari Bed & Breakfast****+ with breakfast in Room 6, Christchurch, New Zealand

Day 21: Christchurch - say goodbye

Today you will pack your bags for the very last time: the last day of your journey has begun. You can return your rental car at the Christchurch airport. Go aboard your return flight with all sorts of new impressions, wonderful pictures in the luggage and unforgettable experiences that you were allowed to make in the land of the movies, start your return flight.

Your accommodations:

Great Ponsonby Arthotel**** +,Auckland, New Zealand  (1 night ). The Great Ponsonby Arthotel is located in the historic, yet very popular district of Auckland. The listed 19th century villa features 11 individually decorated luxury rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms and work desks. Only 2 minutes from the dynamic city center, you will soon reach the city's best galleries and restaurants.

Woodlyn Park**, Otorohanga, New Zealand (1 night). Experience a unique time at Woodlyn Park. Just 2 minutes from the Waitomo Caves, Woodlyn Park is the perfect base from which to visit the Cave of Fireflies as well as the numerous scenes of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The slightly different property has 4 different room types: the Train Motel, the Plane Motel, the Boat Motel and the Hobbit Motel. Live your true New Zealand dream at the Hobbit Motel. An accommodation that you simply have to experience.

Robertson House**, Rotorua, New Zealand (1 night). Robertson House welcomes you to one of New Zealand's prettiest corners, where gorgeous nature meets unique Maori heritage. Just ten minutes walk from the city center, is the fully refurbished Robertson House. Relax in the cozy atmosphere of the English Garden and relax on the beautiful veranda.

Chateau Tongariro****,Whakapapa, New Zealand (2 nights). Chateau Tongariro Hotel is located in the heart of Tongariro National Park, at the foot of Mount Ruapehu. The historic hotel has 106 rooms and is the ideal starting point to explore the diverse landscape. The Lord of the Rings crew stayed here during their shooting times. Experience a wonderful stay that you never want to miss.

Museum Hotel Wellington****, Wellington, New Zealand (2 nights). This boutique hotel is located in the heart of the city, opposite Wellington's beautiful harbor and New Zealand's National Museum, Te Papa. The Museum Hotel has 165 rooms, a spacious lobby and a bar where you can relax. The award-winning Hippopotamus restaurant serves French cuisine and has beautiful harbor views.

Abel Tasman Ocean View Chalets****, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand (3 nights). Situated on a small hill, start the day with a wonderful view of New Zealand's smallest national park. Relax on the golden sands and explore the many hiking trails. All rooms are clean and nicely decorated and have a private bathroom.

Punakaiki Resort****, Punakaiki, New Zealand (1 night). Punakaiki Resort is located in Paparoa National Park, just off Punakaiki Beach and the world-famous Pancake Rocks. The beach resort has 63 modern rooms, all with a fridge and a private bathroom. Enjoy a great time in an eco-friendly resort with a wonderful view of the ocean and rainforest. Punakaiki Resort is within easy reach of many activities. Take a kayak trip on the river or join a guided hike through Paparoa National Park.

Rainforest Retreat****, Franz Josef, New Zealand (1 night). The Rainforest Retreat is located in the heart of the Franz Josef Glacier Village on New Zealand's wild west coast. Set in 2.5 acres of lush green bushes, this superior property boasts 30 rooms with rainforest views. Just 500 meters away is the starting point of Franz Josef Heli Hike and within a 5-minute drive you can reach the Franz Josef Glacier.

Tin Tub Luxury Lodge****, Wanaka, New Zealand (2 nights). At Tin Tub Luxury Lodge you will feel right at home here: here you can relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Wanaka and the surrounding mountains. The five rooms and villas are spacious and have all the luxury amenities. Start the day with a rich breakfast consisting of fresh fruits, homemade bread and muffins, as well as eggs, tea and coffee, before exploring the scenic surroundings. The offer ranges from skiing and hiking to cycling tours to wine tasting. The lodge also has a private tennis court, an outdoor pool and a gym. The sauna invites you to relax after an eventful day.

Chalet Queenstown****, Queenstown, New Zealand (4 nights). Just 5 minutes' walk from Queenstown city center, Chalet Queenstown is the boutique hotel. All seven rooms are modern and comfortably furnished with a wonderful view of the lake and the mountain landscape. Start your day with a hearty European-style breakfast and unwind with a refreshing drink in the stylish lounge after an adventurous day.

Matuka Lodge*****, Twizel, New Zealand (1 night). Located at the foot of the Southern Alps, Matuka Lodge boasts beautiful views of Lake Pukaki. Enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery and reach Twizel town center in just 5 minutes. The Matuka Lodge has four stylish rooms, all with a private terrace overlooking the mountains.

Orari Bed & Breakfast****, Christchurch, New Zealand (1 night). This luxurious boutique bed and breakfast is set in the heart of the city in a completely renovated historic mansion dating back to 1893. The 10 luxurious and spacious rooms all come with their own bathroom. The Canterbury Museum and the beautiful Botanic Gardens are just a few minutes' walk away.

Services and Infos

Travel duration: 21 days / 20 nights

Including

  • 20 nights in the advertised hotels
  • Catering according to the course
  • Car rental: Toyota Corolla Sedan or similar, maps, one-way fees, unlimited mileage, 24-breakdown assistance, delivery / pickup outside opening hours, tire and windshield insurance, additional driver
  • Ferry crossing: Wellington - Picton

Excluding

 * International flights

  • Entrance fees in national parks or similar
  • Optional excursions
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • Rental car: gasoline, supplement for young drivers, deposit, other extras (WIFI.) Etc.

Services & Notes

 * Rental car: The terms and conditions of GO Rental New Zealand apply

  • Car rental: Child seats, GPS and snow chains must be pre-booked, luggage carrier only for selected car types and only by pre-booking. These services are included, but they must be booked in advance
  • Please note that during holidays such as Christmas / New Year's Eve etc. changed (earlier) payment terms apply

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