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 visit world-famous sites, 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!
Auckland
Cathedral Cove
Hobbiton Movie Set
Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Tongariro National Park
Wellington
Cruise across Cook Strait
Mt. Sunday
Mt. Cook
Milford Sound
Queenstown
Paradise
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 4 and 5-star establishments, including the Waitomo Boutique Lodge nestled in the rolling countryside of Waitomo and the Heritage Queenstown 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 a cruise through Milford Sound, passage on the Kaitaki Interislander ferry across Cook Strait, a family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River, an off-road tour of Glenorchy and Paradise, and many more exciting activities. (Please note: ticket inclusive of a Lord of the Rings-themed helicopter ride in Te Anau is available at an increased rate upon request.) In addition, all breakfasts, nearly every lunch, and three 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 Mt. Sunday!
Throughout this tour, you will have personal freedom to break away from the group and explore on your own if you wish. For nine of the twelve 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.
REGISTER FOR THE TOUR

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 eight 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 become acquainted 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.

Auckland, Hahei, and Matamata

March 14-15

After arriving in Auckland, you will be welcomed at the Grand Millennium Hotel in Auckland to an informational get-together on Tuesday night, March 14, 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 and the Green Dragon Inn, where you will be able to purchase food and refreshments fit for a hobbit.
Visiting The Shire is truly a life-changing experience. After our tour of Hobbiton, 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!
Auckland
Cathedral Cove
Cathedral Cove Arch
Bag End
Green Dragon Inn
Inside the Green Dragon
Waitomo Boutique Lodge

Waitomo

March 16

Get ready for an enchanting 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 at otherworldly beauty 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
Mangaotaki Rocks,
Denize Bluff farm
Trollshaw Forest, Denize Bluff farm

Tongariro National Park

March 17

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 visit to the Mangawhero River and Falls, where a freezing Andy Serkis nearly died trying to film Gollum chasing after a fish in the water. From there, we will take a pleasant drive through Tongariro National Park to 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 seeing this beautiful location, we will head to lunch at the Grand Chateau, one of the most famous hotels in New Zealand and where Sir Edmund Hillary used to stay during climbing trips in the Southern Alps.
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!
See the mighty volcanoes Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park! Follow in the steps of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, as they made their way into the land of Mordor!
Mt. Ngauruhoe
Mt. Ruapehu
Tawhai Falls
Mangawhero River
Grand Chateau

Wellington

March 18

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 lunch and an early afternoon tour of Weta Workshop, you will have the rest of the day to relax, explore Wellington, and make dinner plans on your own.
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!
View from Mt. Victoria
“Get off the road!”
Tour of Weta Workshop
Tour of Weta Workshop

Cook Strait, Havelock, and Nelson

March 19-20

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 Monday, March 20, 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
Havelock
Pelorus River – Hobbit filming location
Raft ride down the Pelorus River
Nelson
West coast of New Zealand
Pancake Rocks, Punakaiki

Mt. Sunday

March 21

On this day of our spectacular tour, we will visit one of the most iconic fantasy filming locations of all time. After departing our hotel in Kumara, we will make our way through scenic Arthur’s Pass National Park, 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 Southern Alps.
Drive through the serene Arthur's Pass National Park! Hike to the top of Mt. Sunday, where the Golden Hall of Meduseld and the capital city of Rohan once stood!
Arthur’s Pass National Park
Mt. Sunday
View from Mt. Sunday
Methven

Mt. Cook and Twizel

March 22

Prepare for an awe-inspiring day. After leaving Methven in the morning, we will take a relaxing, scenic drive 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 Dawn Ghoorah, who has great expertise in the filming locations in Twizel. 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 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, 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. 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.
Explore the site of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in the remarkable town of Twizel! See the majestic Mt. Cook while staying on the shores of tranquil Lake Pukaki!
Twizel
Pelennor Fields location
View of Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook from Braemar Station
Lake-town location

Te Anau

March 23

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, you will have the option to embark on an exclusive Lord of the Rings-themed helicopter ride over the Southern Lakes region, which can be added on to your ticket for an additional cost. This flight visits 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!
On this afternoon, 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!
Bannockburn
Bannockburn Hotel
Te Anau
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

Milford Sound

March 24

The serene bays, the cascading waterfalls, and the ethereal mountains of Milford Sound make this breathtaking place equivalent to Tolkien’s 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 called “the Eighth Wonder of the World” 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 two nights in Queenstown at the luxury Heritage Queenstown on the shores of 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
Heritage Queenstown
Lake Wakatipu

Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Paradise

March 25

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, The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia. We will go on an off-road tour of the region, beginning in the morning with a drive west from Queenstown to Glenorchy and then on to the region of Paradise.

Our drive will take us by the Dart River and the mighty Mt. Earnslaw, and we will visit numerous scenic and movie locations, including the valley of Isengard and the enchanted forests of Lothlorien and Ithilien. To top it all off, you will follow the path of Prince Caspian through Paradise, as he fled on horseback from Miraz’s soldiers in the opening scenes of the second Narnia film. Throughout our off-road journey, 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.

After our thrilling adventure concludes, you will be able to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing back at the Heritage Queenstown or strolling through the city itself. On this final night of the tour, we will celebrate 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!

Travel into the heart of Middle-earth and Narnia on an exhilarating off-road tour through the extraordinary lands around Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world!
Mt. Earnslaw
Isengard location
Lothlorien location
Ithilien location
Prince Caspian river location
Mountains in Paradise
The Grille by Eichardt’s
Queenstown at night

Included In This Tour

• 12 nights’ lodging in 4- and 5- star accommodations
• 12 breakfasts*
• 10 lunches*
• 3 dinners*
• Travel on a dedicated luxury coach throughout the tour
• Passage on the Kaitaki Interislander ferry
• All entrance and guides fees
• Family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River
• Cruise through Milford Sound
• Off-road tour of Queenstown, Glenorchy, and Paradise
• Wireless headset
• 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

Pricing

$3,999 per person* **
*Based on double occupancy. Single-person accommodations are available upon request for an additional fee of $1,299.
**Ticket inclusive of Lord of the Rings-themed helicopter ride is available at an increased rate upon request.

Payment Policy:

1st Installment – 25% of tour price due at registration.
2nd Installment – additional 25% of tour price due by October 13, 2022.
Outstanding balance – remaining 50% of tour price due by December 13, 2022.
or
Pay total amount of tour price due by December 13, 2022.

Cancellation Policy:

100% refund up to December 12, 2022.
Since we prepay hotels, meals, transportation, and entrance fees in advance, we are unable to offer refunds after December 12, 2022.* However, you may transfer your tour ticket to another person by notifying History Bites Tours.
*A full refund will be given at any time should there be government restrictions that make traveling to New Zealand impossible.
Travel insurance is highly recommended.

In the unlikely event that costs for hotels, food, transportation, etc., increase substantially, tour prices will be increased. Should tour costs increase more than 5%, tour members will have the option of accepting the increased ticket price or receiving a full refund, History Bites Tours reserves the right to cancel this tour.
Please note: Tour venues subject to change. History Bites Tours shall be under no obligation or liability to any person as a result of any inaccuracy, misdescription, or changes to any tour by History Bites Tours or any other party.
History Bites Tours has no liability for losses or additional expenses incurred by passengers due to sickness, weather, strikes, delays, or changes in air or other transport services, force majeure, Act of God, or other causes outside the control of History Bites Tours.

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Image credits:

1. Hobbiton: © Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
2. West Coast: © David Wall
3. Mt. Sunday 1: © For the Love of Travel
4. Mangaotaki Rocks: © 100% Pure New Zealand
5. Cathedral Cove 1: © The Coromandel
6. Paradise 1: © WildernessShots
7. Mt. Cook 1: © 123RF
8. The Lord of the Rings movie poster: © New Line Cinema
9. The Hobbit movie poster: © Warner Bros.
10. The Chronicles of Narnia movie poster: © Walt Disney Studios
11. Auckland: © Layover Guide
12. Cathedral Cove arch: © Auckland i-SITE
13. Hobbiton movie set: © Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
14. Waitomo glowworm caves tour: © Waitomo Glowworm Caves
15. Mt. Ngauruhoe: © matejalicious
16. Wellington: © wellingtonlive
17. Ferry across Cook Strait: © Discovery Campervans
18. Mt. Sunday 2: © An Orcadian Abroad
19. Mt. Cook 2: © Viator
20. Milford Sound 1: © Getty
21. Queenstown: © MarketMAPS Blog
22. Paradise 2: © See the South Island
23. Peter Hambleton: © Zimbio
24. Gloin: © The Queensland Times
25. Cathedral Cove 2: © AJMANDELL1
26. Bag End: © Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
27. Green Dragon Inn: © PandoTrip
28. Inside the Green Dragon: © Scabard
29. Waitomo Boutique Lodge: © Waitomo Boutique Lodge
30.Waitomo Glowworm Caves:  © inhabitat.com
31. Inside Waitomo Boutique Lodge: © New Zealand Book Now
32. Waitomo Glowworm Caves: © Atlas Obscura
33. Waitomo Glowworm Caves 2: © Inhabitat
34. Trollshaw Forest, Denize Bluff farm: © 100% Pure New Zealand
35. Aerial view of Tongariro National Park: © TravelDigg.com
36. Mt. Ngauruhoe: © www.hickerphoto.com
37. Mt. Ruapehu: © Michal Klajban
38. Lake Taupo: © PlanetWare
39. Tawhai Falls: © hikespeak
40. Grand Chateau: © Chateau Tongariro Hotel
41. Mangawhero River: © FilmQuest
42. Mangawhero Falls: © Charly-TA76
43. Weta Workshop: © Distinction Wellington
44. View from Mt Victoria: © Stuff
45. “Get off the road” location: © Virtualtopia
46. Tour of Weta Workshop: © Viator
47. Tour of Weta Workshop 2: © Hisgo
48. Cook Strait: © AA Traveller
49. Inside the Kaitaki Interislander ferry: © Interislander
50. Havelock: © Mattinbgn
51. Pelorus River: © Pelorus Eco Adventures
52. Family-friendly raft ride down the Pelorus River: © The Global Wizards
53. Nelson: © PenciDesign
54. Pancake Rocks: © AA Traveller
55. Arthur’s Pass National Park: © Tripadvisor
56. Hiking up Mt. Sunday: © The Outbound
57. View from Mt. Sunday: © See the South Island
58. Methven: © Powderhounds
59. Mt. Cook 3: © GreatSights
60. Twizel: © 100% Pure New Zealand
61. Pelennor Fields location: © Bookme
62. View of Lake Pukaki and Mt. Cook from Braemar Station: © Braemar Station
63. Lake-town location: © TripAdvisor
64. Te Anau: © New Zealand photography by Martin Sliva
65. Bannockburn: © 100% Pure New Zealand
66. Bannockburn Hotel: © TripAdvisor
67. Te Anau: © Switch Back Travel
68. Fiordland National Park: © kimkim
69. Helicopter tour of the Southern Lakes region: © New Zealand Tour Organizer
70. Kepler Mire: © WordPress
71. Waiau River: © 100% Pure New Zealand
72. Lake Norwest: © davidwallphoto.com
73. Radfords on the Lake: © TripAdvisor
74. Lake Te Anau: © 10stopphotography
75. Milford Sound 2: © MoveHub
76. Cruise through Milford Sound: © Viator
77. Hanging Gardens: © Fergus Murray
78. Fairy Falls: © culture trip
79. Stirling Falls: © Emilie Lavoie
80. Dolphin: © Milford Sound
81. Seals: © nowhereandeverywhere
82. Heritage Queenstown: © Kayak
83. Lake Wakatipu: © expedia.com
84. Glenorchy tour with Nomad Safaris: © Nomad Safaris
85. Mt. Earnslaw: © Queenstown Mountain Guides
86. Lothlorien location: © Jason’s Travels
87. Ithilien location: © experitour
88. Prince Caspian river location: © Destination Queenstown
89. Arrowtown: © Winged Boots
90. Pillars of the Kings location: © FilmQuest
91. Exodus from Edoras location: © Jeffsetter Travel
92.
Mountains in Paradise: © RentACampervan
93. The Grille by Eichardt’s: © Luxury Adventures
94. Queenstown at night: © The Invisible Tourist

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