14 Day New Zealand Middle Earth Private Guided Tour Package
Explore the North and South Island with a New Zealand private tour personalised to suit your group. Our private guided tours are hosted by one of New Zealand’s leading tour guides. Your guide will meet your group at the airport and chauffeur your group to explore the destinations and activities included in your personalised tour package. They will tend to your needs and share valuable local knowledge with your group to enhance your holiday experience. We can cater for groups between 1-20 people.
Our private guided tour packages are flexible and are booked to suit your group’s travel dates and interests.
Private Guided Tour Package Includes:
- Private tour guide / driver
- Private vehicle including fuel (0 – 18 months old)
- 14 Nights in 4 Star Accommodation
- Whale and Dolphin Safari Auckland
- Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
- Te Puia Te Po Maori Evening Experience including Hangi Dinner
- Rotorua’s Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve
- Scenic Floatplane Flight over the Volcanic Plateau
- Interislander Wellington to Picton Ferry
- Abel Tasman Boat Cruise
- Milford Sound Nature Cruise ex Queenstown by Scenic Coach
- The Safaris of the Scenes 4WD Adventure – Glenorchy
- TSS Earnslaw Vintage Steamship Cruise & Walter Peak High Country Farm Evening Dining Experience
Day 1 Arrive Auckland
Arrive in Auckland – the “City of Sails” is New Zealand’s largest city and is bordered by two stunning harbours. Your tour guide will meet you at the airport and take you to your Auckland City accommodation. In the afternoon explore Auckland City with your tour guide.
Stay 2 nights in Auckland City.
Day 2 Auckland
Leave the hustle and bustle of the city and discover the beautiful Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, which is visited by a staggering one third of all the types of marine mammals found on earth. Departing directly from the Viaduct Harbour, you will be welcomed aboard the 20 metre, purpose-built vessel ‘Dolphin Explorer’ for an unforgettable marine mammal eco-safari out on the sparkling waters of the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy a 4.5 hour eco-cruise on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, including guaranteed whale and dolphin viewing – or you get a free trip! Friendly, knowledgeable guides. Commentary on the culture and history of the Hauraki Gulf. Fully licensed bar with snacks available for purchase.
Day 3 Hobbiton > Rotorua
Travel time Auckland to Matamata 159 km /98 miles, 2 hours
Travel to Matamata today to discover the real Middle-earth on the most picturesque private farmland. Near Matamata, visit the Hobbiton Movie Set from the Lord of the Rings films in a fascinating two-hour guided tour. The set has been completely rebuilt and will remain as it was seen in the films. There are spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges from the rolling green hills of the movie set, which is still a working sheep and beef farm. You can relax and soak up the unique atmosphere with a great cup of coffee or a light meal in The Shires Rest Cafe.
Travel time Matamata to Rotorua 68 km / 42 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy the scenic journey to Rotorua, distinguished by Maori culture and geothermal activity. This diverse city will put on a display as you encounter geysers, mud pools, steaming craters and 16 beautiful lakes.
Stay 2 nights in Rotorua.
Day 4 Rotorua
Today, stroll through Hells Gate to view a steaming thermal reserve, with mud pools, craters and activites including the chance to try Maori weaving and wood carving.
Relax in Rotorua for the afternoon.
In the evening, enjoy a traditional Maori Cultural Experience including a Hangi Dinner. Hear stories and learn how Maori traditions live on today. Experience an authentic Maori welcome. Watch a challenge by the Maori warriors, a karanga (call) from the Maori women welcoming you onto the marae, and a whaikorero (welcome speech). Relax and enjoy the beautiful waiata (songs), the world renowned haka (challenge), and the elegant poi dance. Learn Maori customs including Maori musical instruments, haka and poi. The dining experience is a culinary opportunity like no other. Following dessert, you will be transported down into the valley to conclude your evening beside the awe-inspiring Pohutu geyser.
Day 5 Taupo
Travel time Rotorua to Taupo 76 km / 47 miles, 1 hour
Enjoy a short drive south to Taupo, rich in natural beauty and filled with attractions such as relaxing boat cruises and bungy jumping. Just north of Lake Taupo you’ll find New Zealand’s most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second.
In the afternoon, enjoy a Peek at the Lake Scenic Floatplane Flight as you take off from Taupo Bay, past Acacia Bay to Rangatira Point, viewing the crystal clear waters of Whakaipo Bay. Climb up through Mapara Valley, view red scoria quarries, then discover the headwaters of the Waikato River. Fly over the Craters of the Moon and over the Borefields of the Wairakei Power Station, followed by a circuit of the Huka Falls, over Taupo to land on the lakefront (20 minutes approx).
Stay 1 night in Taupo.
Day 6 Wellington
Travel time Taupo to Wellington 371 km / 230 miles, 5 hours
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, has so much to offer. Set on the edge of a stunning harbour, surrounded by rolling hills, it’s a city rich in culture waiting to be explored. In the afternoon, explore Wellington with your tour guide, visiting top Wellington attractions such as Te Papa, the Wellington Cable Car, Mt Victoria Lookout and Wellington Zoo.
Stay 1 night in Wellington.
Day 7 Nelson
Sailing time Wellington to Picton 70 km / 43 miles, 3 hours
Travel time Picton to Nelson 141 km / 88 miles, 1.45 hours
It’s all about the journey today as you board the Interislander Cook Strait Ferry, which will transport you on a scenic cruise to Picton. Back on dry land, drive through Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region, to reach your destination, Nelson. Enjoying New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours, Nelson is a creative paradise, with artists, galleries, boutique shopping, local markets and gourmet cafes.
Stay 2 nights in Nelson.
Day 8 Nelson -> Abel Tasman
Travel time Nelson to Abel Tasman 65 km / 40 miles, 1 hour (each way)
Only a short drive away is Abel Tasman, renowned for its golden beaches, sculptured granite cliffs, rich unmodified estuaries, long sunshine hours and the world-famous Abel Tasman Coast Track.
Enjoy a boat cruise into the Abel Tasman National Park, where you can relax on the hot golden sand, enjoy a day walk or simply enjoy a return boat cruise without having to leave the boat.
Day 9 Hokitika
Travel time Nelson to Hokitika 325 km / 202 miles, 5 hours
Discover the rugged West Coast as you travel to Hokitika, famous for its arts and crafts. Watch a masterpiece being crafted from gold, silver, molten glass, bone, silk or greywacke or carve your own creation from wood or jade “pounamu.” Take in Hokitika’s natural beauty, enjoy its expansive beach, or venture down one of the many walking and mountain biking tracks.
Stay 1 night in Hokitika.
Day 10 Franz Josef
Driving time Hokitika to Franz Josef 136 km / 85 miles, 2.5 hours
Continue south through dense rainforest towards New Zealand’s most famous glaciers.
Activity Option: Add on a 20 minute scenic helicopter flight sweeping above Westland National Park as you explore Franz Josef Glacier before landing in the snow to enjoy exceptional views of the majestic Southern Alps.
After your heli flight you may want to visit the Glacier Hot Pools to enjoy a relaxing hot spa under the southern sky.
Stay 1 night in Franz Josef.
Day 11 Wanaka
Driving time Franz Josef to Wanaka 285 km / 177 miles, 4 hours
The change in landscape will amaze you as you travel down the West Coast, with glimpses of the Tasman Sea showing beneath rugged cliffs. Take the Haast Pass Highway and admire the waterfalls and mountains. There are many viewing points and short walks to break up the drive to Wanaka, an alpine paradise with views so good it’s hard to put down your camera.
In the afternoon you have many options – you may want to visit Puzzling World, Wanaka’s illusional attraction, or the famous National Toy and Transport Museum. You may also want to take a look around Wanaka’s boutique shops, stroll around the lake’s edge, or indulge in one of the many activities on offer.
Stay 1 night in Wanaka.
Day 12 Queenstown
Travel time Wanaka to Queenstown 70 km / 43 miles, 1 hour
Drive over the beautiful Crown Range, New Zealand’s highest State Highway, and admire the fantastic views along the way. Be sure to stop at historic Cardrona Hotel for a refreshment before your arrival into Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital of the world.
Activity Option: Add on the world’s most exciting Jet Boat ride! It’s a thrilling ride – skimming past rocky outcrops at close range in your Shotover Jet ‘Big Red,’ you twist and turn through the narrow canyons at breathtaking speeds. And a major highlight – hold tight for the world famous Shotover Jet full 360º spins!
Stay 3 nights in Queenstown.
Day 13 Queenstown > Milford Sound
Enjoy a scenic coach journey through heartland New Zealand to reach Milford Sound. The Milford Road (between Te Anau and Milford) is one of the finest alpine drives in the world. The scenery is exceptional, ranging from broad grassy flats, dense rainforest, and towering mountains through to glacial lakes and alpine herb fields. The schedule includes plenty of time for short nature walks and photo opportunities along the way.
Upon reaching Milford Sound, you will enjoy a 2.5 hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise. With specialist nature guides on board, Real Journeys Nature Cruises offer a close-up experience of Milford Sound’s rainforest, soaring rock walls, towering snow capped mountains, cascading waterfalls, hanging valleys and wildlife… words just don’t do it justice, you have to see it for yourself! Throughout the cruise, the guides share stories of the fiord’s history and are happy to answer your questions. After your cruise relax while your coach drives through stunning scenery delivering you back to Queenstown.
Day 14 Queenstown
In the morning, explore the Lord of the Rings film locations around Queenstown on a spectacular half day 4WD adventure! This scenic safari offers breathtaking mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley. Beyond Glenorchy, travel up the Dart Valley to the filming location for Isengard, set amongst snow-capped mountains beside the turquoise waters of the Dart River. This setting offers views of Mt Earnslaw and its hanging glacier, used in the first instalment of The Hobbit trilogy. Explore the Paradise Forest, the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and returning towards Queenstown, we stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp.
In the evening, relive the elegance of turn-of-the-century travel with a cruise aboard the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw, the only coal-fired passenger vessel still operating in the southern hemisphere. Step aboard – watch the stokers fuelling the fireboxes and hear the hiss of the steam engines working as the TSS Earnslaw takes you on a nostalgic cruise over beautiful Lake Wakatipu. Disembark at Walter Peak High Country Farm, where you will enjoy a stunning gourmet BBQ dinner. An entertaining after-dinner farm show provides a glimpse into high country farming life. Then on your return cruise to Queenstown, relax with a drink from the bar or join a fun sing-along with the ship’s pianist and make a toast to a fantastic holiday!
Day 15 Depart Queenstown
Depart Queenstown. Your guide will personally deliver you to the airport ready for your departing flight.