On this spectacular tour, you will be in awe as you journey to the South Pacific to explore iconic filming locations from three of the most beloved movie series of all time: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Your life will be changed after experiencing the breathtaking wonders of the most beautiful country in the world, as you soar high above mountains, ride and trek through incredible scenic landscapes, and set sail across stunning channels, magnificent fjords, and otherworldly caverns.
This is the ultimate tour of New Zealand. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience that has never been offered before!
Hobbiton Movie Set
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Tongariro National Park
Cruise across Cook Strait
Kahurangi National Park
On this tour, you will not only explore iconic filming locations from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia film series, but you will also see world-famous sites and experience the most breathtaking scenery that New Zealand has to offer. Each night, you will stay at luxury establishments, including the Waitomo Boutique Lodge nestled in the rolling countryside of Waitomo and the Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa on the shores of Lake Wakatipu. A luxury coach will transport you from place to place.
This tour will be one of, if not the most, extraordinary trips of your entire life. Your ticket includes three helicopter rides, one scenic airplane flight, a cruise through Milford Sound, passage on the Kaitaki Interislander ferry across Cook Strait, a family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River, an all-day off-road tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy, horseback riding in Paradise, and many more exciting activities. (Please note: ticket not inclusive of helicopter rides or scenic airplane flight available at a discounted rate upon request.) In addition, all breakfasts, every lunch, and seven dinners are covered in your ticket cost.
During this tour, you will receive guiding from author, historian, and avid fantasy fan Solomon Schmidt, who will present a wealth of information and fascinating stories relating to these three film series. Our group will also be joined by expert New Zealand guides, who will immerse you in the history of the country and traditional Maori culture. You will be provided with wireless headsets that make for easy listening no matter the location – whether you’re gazing out to the sea from Cathedral Cove or standing atop the mighty Mt. Olympus!
Throughout this tour, you will have personal freedom to break away from the group and explore on your own if you wish. For five of the thirteen nights, you will also be able to make your own dinner plans and spend time exploring incredible cities like Wellington and Queenstown. This tour will be exhilarating, informative, but also relaxing.
Tour Leader Solomon Schmidt
Solomon Schmidt is the author of the History Bites series and host of the History Bites YouTube channel. He started writing at the age of twelve, and since then, he has published seven history books. Over the last few years, Solomon has traveled across the United States speaking and exhibiting his books.
Solomon is not only passionate about U.S. and world history, he is also an avid fan of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia. He has devoted thousands of hours to watching the movies, learning how they were made, and reading about their unique connection to New Zealand. In addition to watching and re-watching and studying these films, Solomon has also had conversations with people who were involved in the making of these incredible movies, including William Moseley (Peter Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia) and Dr. Tom Shippey (Tolkien scholar and linguistic consultant for Peter Jackson’s film series).
Join Solomon on this unforgettable adventure as he leads you into the real-life world behind three of the greatest film series of all time.
Special Guest Peter Hambleton
Peter Hambleton is an accomplished New Zealand stage and screen director and actor, who played the role of the dwarf Gloin in The Hobbit movie trilogy.
We are very excited to have Mr. Hambleton as a special guest on the tour. On Saturday, March 19, he will be joining our group for a memorable dinner in Wellington. You will be able to chat with him about his exceptional career and the amazing experiences he had acting in the three Hobbit films.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to meet and talk with one of the members of the Company of Thorin Oakenshield! Register for the tour today!
Special Guest Dan Hennah
Dan Hennah was the production designer for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies and was intricately involved in the making of these iconic films. He has worked with director Peter Jackson on seven films and has received five Academy Award nominations, winning an Oscar in 2004 for Best Art Direction on The Return of the King.
We are very excited to have Mr. Hennah as a special guest on the tour. On Sunday, March 20, he will be joining our group for dinner at The Boathouse in Nelson. You will be able to chat with Mr. Hennah about his remarkable film career so far and his experiences working with the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to meet and talk with one of the key filmmakers behind these incredible movies! Register for the tour today!
Auckland, Hahei, and Matamata
After arriving in Auckland, you will be welcomed at the 5-star Hilton Auckland to an informational get-together on Tuesday night, March 15, and the tour will officially commence! On Wednesday morning, you will begin your journey in New Zealand as we drive to the village of Hahei on the Coromandel peninsula. After arriving, we will walk to the beautiful Cathedral Cove, where the Pevensie children first arrived in Narnia in the early scenes of Prince Caspian. You will be able to relax and soak in the beautiful surroundings, gazing out to Mercury Bay and even walking under the iconic Cathedral Cove arch.
Following our visit to Cathedral Cove and the village of Hahei, we will make our way south to the town of Matamata, home of the beloved Hobbiton Movie Set. Our group will be guided on an unforgettable tour of Hobbiton, where so many iconic scenes from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies were filmed. You will visit Bag End, the Green Dragon Inn, and to top it all off, our group will enjoy a private, hobbit-themed dinner at The Millhouse.
Visiting The Shire is truly a life-changing experience. After dinner at The Millhouse, we will head to the Waitomo Boutique Lodge, nestled in the idyllic, rolling countryside of Waitomo and with commanding views of the Coromandel Mountains beyond. Sir Peter Jackson himself once stayed here while filming part of The Hobbit movie trilogy!
Walk where Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy walked at Cathedral Cove and take a stroll through the rolling countryside of The Shire at Hobbiton Movie Set!
Cathedral Cove Arch
Green Dragon Inn
Inside The Millhouse, where we will have a private, hobbit-themed dinner
Waitomo Boutique Lodge
Get ready for a relaxing day in the beautiful region of Waitomo! In the morning, feel free to spend time strolling through the lovely grounds of Waitomo Boutique Lodge, taking in the picturesque landscapes surrounding it. After departing the lodge, we will make our way to the village of Waitomo and take a boat ride through the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Thousands of luminescent glowworms light your way as you travel through this dazzling, otherworldly cavern.
Following our tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and a charming lunch in town, we will head over to the Denize Bluff farm, where the towering Mangaotaki Rocks are located. This lovely farmland became Trollshaw Forest in The Hobbit movie trilogy, and it was here that the Company of Thorin Oakenshield encountered the trolls’ hoard, Bilbo Baggins was given his sword “Sting,” and Radagast the Brown brought the company spine-tingling news from Dol Guldur. We will receive a guided tour of these unique locations from farm owners Warrick and Suzie Denize, a wonderful couple who opened their home and farmland to the actors and filmmakers of The Hobbit trilogy.
After a delightful day in Waitomo, it’s on to the Powderhorn Chateau in Tongariro National Park, where the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings stayed!
Gaze above at the otherworldly beauty around you on a tour through the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves! Then, travel to Trollshaw Forest, where the Company of Thorin Oakenshield rested during their epic journey to the Lonely Mountain!
View from Waitomo Boutique Lodge
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Denize Bluff farm
Trollshaw Forest, Denize Bluff farm
Tongariro National Park
Tongariro National Park is home to Mt. Ruapehu and Mt. Ngauruhoe, and both of these towering volcanoes were used as the backdrop for the barren wasteland Mordor in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. We will start our day with a thrilling scenic flight over Tongariro National Park with stunning views of Mt. Ruapehu, Mt. Ngauruhoe, Mt. Tongariro, and Lord of the Rings filming locations! You will fly over the grand Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand, and on a clear day, you can look south and see the summit of the mighty Mt. Taranaki!
Nestled in Tongariro National Park is Tawhai Falls, which was used as the filming location for the Forbidden Pool in The Two Towers. It was here that Gollum was nearly put to death by Faramir’s archers. After visiting this beautiful location, we will head back to the Grand Chateau for lunch, before making our way to the Mangawhero River and Falls in Ohakune, where a freezing Andy Serkis nearly died trying to film Gollum chasing after a fish in the water.
After our exciting time in Tongariro National Park, it’s on to Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand and home of the world-famous Weta Workshop!
Explore the mighty volcanoes Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Ruapehu on a remarkable scenic flight over Tongariro National Park! Follow in the steps of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, as they made their way into the land of Mordor!
Scenic airplane flight over Tongariro National Park
Wellington. Located on the southern coast of the North Island off Cook Strait, it’s known as Windy Wellington. It’s also been nicknamed Wellyworld because of its connection to significant New Zealand films like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Avatar, among many others. Wellington is also the home of Sir Peter Jackson, world-renowned director of the two Middle-earth trilogies.
The Lord of the Rings filming locations are sprinkled throughout the city. We will start our day exploring Mt. Victoria, where several key scenes from The Fellowship of the Ring were filmed, including “A Shortcut to Mushrooms” and “Race to the Buckleberry Ferry.” From there, we will head over to the suburb of Miramar, hub of the New Zealand film industry.
Miramar is home to Weta Workshop, a truly magical place. Overseen by creative masterminds Sir Richard Taylor and his wife Tania Rodger, it was here that the incredible armor, weapons, and other props and practical effects from The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia were created. During our time in Wellington, you will be able to take a once-in-a-lifetime tour through this eye-opening, inspirational place, where you will get a unique chance to see how these spectacular films were brought to life.
Following our tour of Weta Workshop, we will drive out of the city of Wellington to nearby Kaitoke Regional Park and Harcourt Park, where we will visit the enchanting locations of Rivendell and the Gardens of Isengard. After a delightful afternoon tea, we will conclude our day with a drive back to Wellington, passing the Hutt River (which became the Anduin River) and Dry Creek Quarry, where the epic Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith sets were constructed.
After arriving back in Wellington, on this night of the tour we will be joined for dinner by special guest Peter Hambleton, who played the dwarf Gloin in The Hobbit movie trilogy! You will have a chance to talk with Mr. Hambleton about his incredible stage and screen career and discuss his exciting experiences while acting in The Hobbit films. A memorable end to an awesome day!
Experience Wellington, home of Sir Peter Jackson and the hub of the New Zealand film industry! Visit iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations and tour Weta Workshop, where movie magic was made for three of the greatest fantasy trilogies of all time!
View from Mt. Victoria
“Get off the road!”
Tour of Weta Workshop
Kaitoke Regional Park
Rivendell in Kaitoke Regional Park
Harcourt Park – the Gardens of Isengard
Dry Creek Quarry during filming of The Lord of the Rings
Cook Strait, Havelock, and Nelson
Cook Strait is one of the most beautiful channels in the world. It separates the North and South Islands of New Zealand, and your cruise across it will be one of the most memorable journeys you ever take. We will sail on the luxurious Kaitaki Interislander ferry on a three-hour voyage from Wellington to Picton.
After arriving in Picton, our South Island adventure will begin in the lovely town of Havelock. Here we will go on a fantastic family-friendly raft tour down the Pelorus River – the same river that the Company of Thorin Oakenshield floated down in barrels in The Desolation of Smaug! Following this, we will head to the city of Nelson, situated on the northern coast of the South Island in Tasman Bay. On this night of the tour, we will be joined for dinner at The Boathouse in Nelson by special guest Dan Hennah, who was the production designer for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies! You will have a chance to talk with Mr. Hennah about his incredible film career and discuss his exciting experiences while working on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.
On Monday, March 21, get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy a beautiful ride down the stunning west coast of New Zealand en route to the town of Kumara, where we will stay the night. Along the way, we will stop at the scenic Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki, a beautiful location with expansive views of the Pacific Ocean beyond.
Sail in luxury across Cook Strait and take a family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River, AKA the River Running! Drive down the stunning west coast of New Zealand and gaze at the pristine blue waters of the Pacific!
Inside the Kaitaki Interislander ferry
Pelorus River – Hobbit filming location
Raft ride down the Pelorus River
The Boathouse, Nelson, where we will have dinner with Dan Hennah
West coast of New Zealand
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki
Flock Hill and Mt. Sunday
On this day of our spectacular tour, we will visit two of the most iconic fantasy filming locations of all time. After departing our hotel in Kumara, we will make our way through Arthur’s Pass and on to Flock Hill Station. It was here that the great battle of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was filmed, in a lush green valley surrounded by towering grey mountains. You will stand where King Peter sat astride his majestic white unicorn, looking out at the vast landscape and picturing the army of the White Witch coming towards you from across the valley. This will be the experience of a lifetime for any fan of The Chronicles of Narnia.
Following our tour of Flock Hill, we will drive to a surprise scenic spot for lunch, and from there, it’s on to the capital city of Rohan: Edoras…or at least the mountain it once rested upon! For The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the magnificent Edoras set was built on top of Mt. Sunday, which lies in the Rangitata River valley and is surrounded by the looming peaks of the mighty Southern Alps. It is an easy trek up the mountain, and the view at the top is striking. You will stand where Eowyn stood, as she watched the flag of Rohan wearily blow off into the distance in The Two Towers.
After a peaceful walk back to our coach, we will drive to our hotel in the alpine town of Methven, a popular skiing destination located in the shadows of the beautiful Southern Alps.
Visit Flock Hill and stand where King Peter sat astride his unicorn as he faced the army of the White Witch! Hike to the top of Mt. Sunday, where the Golden Hall of Meduseld and the capital city of Rohan once stood!
View from Mt. Sunday
Mt. Cook and Twizel
Named after the legendary British explorer Captain James Cook, Mt. Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Our first stop of the day will be at the Mt. Cook Airport, where we will embark on an extraordinary helicopter ride over Mt. Cook National Park. Our ride will begin with a flight around the awe-inspiring summit of Mt. Cook, after which we will land on the Tasman Glacier and spend time soaking in the dramatic scenery around us. Following this, our flight will conclude with a ride over the arctic-like Tasman Lake, before returning to the airport.
This thrilling flight is only the first part of our incredible day. After leaving Mt. Cook Airport, we will head on to the remarkable town of Twizel, which has served as one of the most prominent locations in several blockbuster films, including The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Disney’s live-action Mulan. In Twizel, we will be joined by local guide Jason Menard, who was an extra in The Hobbit films. We will visit the inspiring location for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where nearly 300 horsemen portrayed the army of Rohan as they charged downhill into the ranks of the forces of Mordor.
After our relaxing tour of Twizel, we will head to Braemar Station on the shores of the beautiful Lake Pukaki, which became the Long Lake and the location of Lake-town in The Hobbit movie trilogy. From your room in Braemar Station, you will be able to look across the pristine blue waters of Lake Pukaki and behold the magnificent Mt. Cook towering over the surrounding landscape. Our time at Braemar Station will be one of the most memorable parts of the entire tour.
Soar to the summit of the majestic Mt. Cook on an awe-inspiring flight around New Zealand’s highest mountain! Explore the site of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in the remarkable town of Twizel!
Mt. Cook National Park
Summit of Mt. Cook
Pelennor Fields location
View of Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook from Braemar Station
Following a pleasant morning and breakfast at Braemar Sation on the shores of Lake Pukaki, our day will begin with a beautiful drive to the historic town of Bannockburn en route to Te Anau. After stopping for lunch at the beautifully located Bannockburn Hotel, we will make our way to Te Anau, gateway to the magnificent Fiordland National Park and world-famous Milford Sound.
Once we arrive in Te Anau, we will embark on an exclusive Lord of the Rings-themed helicopter ride over the Southern Lakes region. Just when you thought the helicopter rides couldn’t get any more incredible! On this flight, we will visit locations that became the Dead Marshes (Kepler Mire), the Anduin River (Waiau River), and the lands between Rivendell and the Mines of Moria (Lake Norwest). You will feel like one of the members of the Fellowship on this ultimate Lord of the Rings-themed flight.
After over exhilarating ride, you will have time to explore the town of Te Anau or just relax back at our 5-star hotel Radfords on the Lake, which is on the shores of Lake Te Anau and has commanding views of the stunning mountain scenery surrounding the town.
Stand in awe of the magnificent Southern Alps in the beautiful town of Te Anau! Take a memorable helicopter flight over the Dead Marshes, the Anduin River, and the lands of the Misty Mountains!
Fiordland National Park
Helicopter tour of the Southern Lakes region
Kepler Mire – Dead Marshes location
Waiau River – Anduin River location
Lake Norwest – south of Rivendell location
Radfords on the Lake
Lake Te Anau
The serene bays, the cascading waterfalls, and the ethereal mountains of Milford Sound make this breathtaking place equivalent to Valinor on earth. Though not used as a filming location in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, or The Chronicles of Narnia, Milford Sound is a world-famous location and the most popular destination in New Zealand. After a refreshing breakfast at Radfords on the Lake, we will leave Te Anau and make our way to Milford Sound via a beautiful scenic route through Fiordland National Park.
We will be taking an exhilarating, 2-hour luxury cruise through Milford Sound. During this cruise, we will visit iconic locations, such as the Hanging Gardens, Fairy Falls, Stirling Falls, and you will also get close-up views of New Zealand wildlife like fur seals and dolphins. This is an amazing experience that you will never forget!
Following our cruise through Milford Sound, we will make our way to the city known as the “adventure capital of the world”: Queenstown! We will be spending all three nights in Queenstown at the 5-star Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa on the shores of the tranquil Lake Wakatipu.
Journey to paradise on earth with a spectacular cruise through Milford Sound!
Cruise through Milford Sound
Hanging Gardens, Milford Sound
Fairy Falls, Milford Sound
Stirling Falls, Milford Sound
Wildlife in Milford Sound
Wildlife in Milford Sound
Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Get ready for an exciting day of adventure into Middle-earth, as we explore the wilderness lands around Queenstown and visit some of the most awesome filming locations from The Lord of the Rings. We will go on an all-day off-road tour of the region, beginning in the morning with a drive west from Queenstown to Glenorchy and Paradise through Mount Aspiring National Park. Here we will tour the beautiful location used for the Wizard’s Vale and Saruman’s fortress of Isengard.
Following a hearty lunch in Queenstown, we will continue our adventure through Middle-earth with a drive to Gibbston and Arrowtown, where we will visit a number of locations from The Lord of the Rings, including (but certainly not limited to!) the Pillars of the Kings, the exodus from Edoras, Ithilien, Lothlorien, and Fangorn Forest! To top it all off, you will follow the path of Arwen into Skipper’s Canyon, where she courageously stood against the Black Riders and called on the Ford of Bruinen to wash them away!
After our thrilling tour concludes back in Queenstown, you will be able to spend this night of the tour relaxing back at the Hilton Queenstown or strolling through the city itself and dining at one of the lovely local restaurants.
Travel into the heart of Middle-earth on an exhilarating off-road tour through the extraordinary lands around Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world!
Off-road Lord of the Rings tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy
Mount Aspiring National Park
Pillars of the Kings location
Exodus from Edoras location
Fangorn Forest location
Skipper’s Canyon – Ford of Bruinen location
Queenstown at night
Glenorchy and Paradise
Just when you thought you had seen it all in New Zealand! On the last day of our tour, we will go on a stunning helicopter ride over some of the most magnificent mountain ranges in the world. Our ultimate destination: Earnslaw Burn.
Our helicopter ride will begin with an incredible journey through Moonlight Saddle and over the Richardson Mountains en route to Mt. Earnslaw. After reaching the mountain, we will descend to Earnslaw Burn, a spectacular vista of cascading waterfalls and blue ice hanging from the glacier above. This grand place was one of the locations where the Company of Thorin Oakenshield was filmed traveling “Over Hill” in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. After we land at Earnslaw Burn, you will have a chance to relax and soak in the incredible scenery around you, before we continue on to the second part of our flight.
Once we lift off from Earnslaw Burn, we will fly over Lake Wakatipu and across Greenstone Valley before landing at Mt. Nicholas Station. From this unique location, you will have commanding views towards the town of Glenorchy and beyond to Fiordland National Park. Following this, we will journey back to the helicopter hangar in Queenstown.
After lunch at the Botswana Butchery, one of the most popular restaurants in Queenstown, we will drive to the rural area of Paradise north of Glenorchy. Yes, you read that name right – Paradise, and it’s easy to see from pictures why it’s called that. It is here that some of the most beautiful filming locations from The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia trilogies are located. We will be going on a scenic horseback ride through the most beautiful parts of this peaceful, heavenly land. We will ride where Prince Caspian rode as he fled from Miraz’s soldiers in the opening scenes of the second Narnia film. Throughout our ride, we will be surrounded by Tolkienesque mountain landscapes that were used as backdrop locations in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies.
Before heading back to our hotel, we will celebrate the tour with a memorable private dinner at The Grille by Eichardt’s, one of the finest restaurants in Queenstown with gorgeous views of Lake Wakatipu. The perfect end to a spectacular trip!
Stand before the cascading waterfalls of the magnificent Earnslaw Burn in Glenorchy! Relax on a peaceful horseback ride through the rural countryside of Paradise!
Earnslaw Burn – Hobbit filming location
Mt. Nicholas Station
Horseback riding through Paradise
Paradise – Prince Caspian filming location
Mountains in Paradise
The Grille by Eichardt’s
Included In This Tour
• 13 nights’ lodging in 4- and 5- star accommodations
• 13 breakfasts*
• 12 lunches*
• 7 dinners*
• Travel on a dedicated luxury coach throughout the tour
• Passage on the Kaitaki Interislander ferry
• All entrance and guides fees
• 3 helicopter rides
• Scenic airpline flight over Tongariro National Park
• Family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River
• Cruise through Milford Sound
• All-day off-road tour of Queenstown and Glenorchy
• Horseback riding in Paradise
• Wireless headset
• History Bites hat
• History Bites t-shirt
• Copy of The Life & Works of J.R.R. Tolkien History Bites by Solomon Schmidt
• Copy of The Life & Works of C.S. Lewis History Bites by Solomon Schmidt
*Alcohol not included
$7,999 per person* **
*Based on double occupancy. Single-person accommodations are available upon request for an additional fee of $2,299.
**Ticket not inclusive of helicopter rides or scenic airplane flight available at a discounted rate upon request.