10 Day Middle Earth Odyssey Self Drive Tour

With Sir Peter Jackson's release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy books and The Hobbit movies, New Zealand has become known as the 'home of Middle Earth'.

10 Day Middle Earth Odyssey Self Drive Tour

With Sir Peter Jackson's release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy & The Hobbit movies, New Zealand has become known as the 'home of Middle Earth'. Let us take you on an amazing journey through the heart of Middle Earth. You certainly don't have to be a movie fanatic to enjoy this odyssey.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours
From: Auckland to Christchurch
Departs: Daily
Duration: 10 days
Tour Code: 10OSD

Regions Visited

Click on the region name to view more information about the region

Auckland, Hobbiton, Waitomo, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Haast, Franz Josef, Greymouth

Tour Inclusions

  • 10 days car hire
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Superior accommodation includes breakfast
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • A delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn, Hobbiton
  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Interislander ferry crossing
  • Safari of the Scenes Tour
  • Franz Josef glacier transfer
  • TranzAlpine train journey

Day By Day Itinerary

Hobbiton and Waitomo Experience

After collecting your rental car head south out of Auckland, enjoy the rural landscape as you drive over the Bombay Hills into the Waikato Region.

Enjoy a guided tour through the Hobbiton Movie Set. Your tour guide will share amazing behind-the-scenes stories and fascinating facts about how the film set was brought to life. After your movie set you, enjoy a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn. Your next stop is the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. A guided tour takes you through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the World-Famous Glow Worm Caves. After exploring these top NZ visitor attractions, you continue on to Rotorua.

Stay: Rotorua

Rotorua, New Zealand

Make the most of Rotorua’s many activities and attractions, you have a full day at leisure in the geothermal city of Rotorua. We are happy to recommend and include additional activities.

Stay: Rotorua

Taupo Day Tour

Leaving Rotorua, head south through vast pine forests before skirting the edges of Lake Taupo.
The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of New Zealand’s largest lake.

Travel past Lake Taupo and on through the Desert Road where on a clear day you get wonderful views of the towering peaks of Mt Ngaruahoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu before arriving into our capital city of Wellington. Stroll the waterfront, Wellington’s superb restaurants and cafes offer elegant fine dining and popular cuisines from around the world.

Stay: Wellington

Lord of the Rings Full Day Tour

Today you have a full day at leisure to explore New Zealand’s capital city and the birth place of Sir Peter Jackson. We are happy to suggest sightseeing options. Perhaps a visit to Weta Cave, Te Papa Museum, take a ride up the Cable Car or head to Cuba Street for a slice of Bohemia and boutique shopping.

Stay: Wellington

South Island Tours

drop off your rental car and board the Interislander ferry for your scenic cruise across Cook Strait. The 92 km, three-hour journey between Wellington and Picton is one of New Zealand’s most iconic tourist experiences, and acknowledged as one of the most spectacular cruises in the world as you pass through the beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

On arrival into Picton, connect with the Coastal Pacific train*. Sit back and enjoy the scenery as you travel through Blenheim and the rugged Kaikoura coastline before arriving into Christchurch this evening.

Stay: Christchurch

* Travel may be by coach if the Coastal Pacific train is not operating

Group Tours South Island

This morning after collecting your rental. Leaving Christchurch, cross farmlands of the Canterbury Plains and through the picturesque village of Geraldine nestled in the foothills of the Southern Alps. Take time to visit the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo and take in the stunning turquoise waters of lakes Tekapo and Pukaki as you continue South through the rugged Kawarau Gorge and into the resort town of Queenstown.

Stay: Queenstown


Today includes a 4WD tour that is perfect for those that want the thrills of an off-road adventure but also want to discover exciting Lord of the Rings film locations. You will uncover the magic of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth filming locations such as the Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings and many more. Other highlights of the morning include the Kawarau Gorge and Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring at Gladden Fields was filmed. Near Arrowtown you will experience a true off-road adventure.

Stay: Queenstown

Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch

A free day for you to enjoy this fabulous resort town. There are dozens of outstanding activities available – something for everyone. Please ask at time of booking for additional options.

Stay: Queenstown

Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk Tour

Leaving Queenstown drive through the rocky Kawarau Gorge enroute to Lake Wanaka. Continue through Mt Aspiring National Park, climbing over the beech forested Haast Pass and into the Westland National Park before arriving at Franz Josef Glacier. We have included a short sightseeing tour. You will be taken by shuttle to the Franz Josef Glacier viewing point. Visitors can view the glacier after a short unguided 10-minute walk.

Stay: Franz Josef

Rail Tours New Zealand

Leaving Franz Josef drive through lush native forests, continue on to the river town of Greymouth, the largest town on the South Island’s West Coast where you will drop off your rental car. Climb aboard one of the world’s great train journeys – the TranzAlpine train. Enjoy a remarkable train journey across the Southern Alps and across the Canterbury Plains to the “Garden City” of Christchurch where your tour concludes.

This tour is available as an Independent Tour

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Prices valid from 1st October 2020

Accommodation Double/Twin Single Triple
Standard $2,651 NZD $3,905 NZD $2,175 NZD Enquire / Book
Superior $3,206 NZD $5,325 NZD $2,925 NZD Enquire / Book
Premium $3,901 NZD $6,470 NZD $3,253 NZD Enquire / Book
Prices are per person and in New Zealand Dollars.

Tour Type: Self Drive Tour
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.
Frequently Asked Questions – Self Drive Tours

What is a Self Drive tour?
A Self Drive tour allows you to travel at your own pace on one of our comprehensive itineraries. Our experienced New Zealand based travel consultants have planned each itinerary to ensure practical driving times while allowing you the freedom for photo opportunities as you travel. Your accommodation and car hire is pre-booked and we are happy to include optional activities to coincide with driving times.

What is required to hire a vehicle within New Zealand?
A valid driver’s licence in English is required to hire a rental vehicle within New Zealand.  Please note drivers must be over 21 years to hire a vehicle, between 21 – 25 years a young driver surcharge is applicable. We recommend all clients have a credit card for car rental, the card number is then held for a bond. All vehicles are automatic transmission, we do not offer manual transmissions.

What is driving in New Zealand like?
We drive on the right in New Zealand, all rental vehicles are set up for right hand drive. Within the cities, roads are busy, there are motorways and highways. Once out of town most of our roads two lanes, there are some divided carriage ways, however most driving will be on 2 lane paved/sealed roads. It will take you a lot longer than you think looking at the map to get from point A to point B.

What dates do your tours depart?
Our self drive tours depart daily, driving times do vary each day so please consider this when booking departure flights.

What is included in the tour cost?
All tours include accommodation and rental car. Some tours include activities listed in the itineraries. Car hire is quoted including basic insurance, with the option to upgrade to fully comprehensive insurance.  A detailed travel wallet with your travel vouchers will be sent to your arrival accommodation, a comprehensive itinerary will be sent to you prior to your departure. Your personal travel consultant will contact you on arrival, allowing ease of communication whilst you are traveling.

What is not included in the tour cost?
Expenses of a personal nature such as meals (except where stated in the itinerary), beverages, travel insurance, fuel, laundry and optional sightseeing (except where stated in the itinerary) are not included in the tour cost.

How many people can I include in a self-drive tour?
Our largest hire vehicle is 9 passengers and a driver. You can travel in a group, with a number of vehicles but each vehicle must have a licenced driver.

I am travelling with children, what price will I pay?
Please contact us for information on child fares, as these vary based on the specific product you require. Some sightseeing activities are unsuitable for children.

Are any meals included in the tour cost?
Our Superior and Premium tour rates include breakfast.  There are exceptions where some activities will include lunch or dinner. We are more than happy to make recommendations, please advise if there are any dietary requirements so we can recommend accordingly. .

Is Halal and other speciality food available in New Zealand? 
Along with a small population of Muslims, New Zealand has an increasing number of Muslim visitors. Halal food and restaurants are now found in many areas of the country, let us now if you require this and we will compile a list for you. We can also offer advice in regards to Vegan and other special requirements.

How will I navigate my way around New Zealand?
You will be supplied with a map in your travel wallet. If you require a GPS, this can be arranged with your car hire, if you are wishing to use your own navigational device, SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Our comprehensive itinerary will guide you, especially with our personal touches just for you. We are only a phone call away. Most pre booked optional activities will have an informative guide giving you an insight into the activity you have chosen.

Can I add in additional days to a tour?
Yes you can. All tours are very flexible – we will gladly work with you to make our tours suit your requirements. Please ask one of our Travel Consultants for extra day rates.

What is the difference between the three tour types Quality, Superior and Premium Tours?
Standard:  Motor Lodge, apartment style accommodation, self-contained accommodation, ensuite bathrooms. Your rental car is a small compact car.
Superior: 4 star hotel accommodation, includes breakfast. Your rental car is a mid-size car.
Premium: 5 star hotel accommodation, including breakfast. Your rental car is an SUV.
Note all accommodation is reviewed regularly by staff, we have high standards and good relationships with all our providers.

What if I cannot find exactly what I am looking for on the website?
Let us know what is on your wish list to see and do and we will be delighted to plan a customised tour to suit your requirements, using our 30 years of experience. Our local knowledge will come up with many pleasant surprises for you. 

How much luggage can I take on my tour?
You can bring as much luggage as you require, we recommend 1 piece of luggage (max 25kg each), for ease of travel. We also advise you check the maximum baggage allowance with your chosen airline.

How do I make a payment for a tour?
For bookings made more than 45 days prior to travel, Pacific Travel require a deposit of NZ$50 per person. This deposit is non-refundable. Balance of payment is due 45 days prior to travel. For bookings made 45 days or less prior to travel, full payment is required at the time of booking. Visa & MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. A 2.5% Credit Card Fee applies to all payments by credit card. You may pay via direct bank transfer to avoid the credit card fee. Bank details will be on your booking advice. All prices advertised are in New Zealand dollars and are GST inclusive.

What is your cancellation policy?
If after your booking has been confirmed you wish to cancel, the following cancellation fees will apply:
Cancellations 31 or more days prior to travel: Your deposit plus a further 10% of the total package price.
Cancellations 15 – 30 days prior to travel: Deposit + a further 20% of the total package price.
Cancellations 0-14 days prior to travel: 100% of total fare (no refund).
Booking amendments made by you: an amendment fee of 10% of total package price will be charged to cover our administration and communication costs. We may also need to pass on any amendment/cancellation fees imposed by our suppliers.

Conditions of travel
Pacific Travel reserves the right to alter fares, amend itineraries, book alternative accommodation or to cancel tours. Pacific Travel Ltd shall not be held responsible for any loss or damage to luggage or personal effects and/or damage resulting in death or personal injury, which may arise whilst travelling with Pacific Travel Ltd or its nominated suppliers. All transportation, both land and sea, is subject to the terms and conditions of the company providing the transport, some of which limit or exclude liability. These are available from the carriers concerned on request.

Will I need travel insurance?
We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. Factors may arise that require you to cancel or amend your holiday. It is essential you are covered for any costs that may be incurred. We recommend purchasing your travel insurance locally at the same time as you book your tour and flights.

Do I need to tip in New Zealand?
If you wish to reward someone for a job well done it is always much appreciated, but not a requirement. It is certainly not expected, nobody will be offended should you wish to.

Do I need a visa to visit New Zealand?
Most visitors to New Zealand do not require a visa to enter for the purpose of a holiday or vacation under the visa waiver program. If you do need a visa to visit New Zealand then you should contact the New Zealand consulate in your home country well before your departure date. We recommend you also check with your local travel agent or airline for any visa requirements to New Zealand particularly if you are passing through Australia.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
The New Zealand dollar is the only legal tender in New Zealand. View a guide between your local currency and the New Zealand dollar. Please note: Your tour and all purchases using a credit card in New Zealand will be charged in New Zealand Dollars (NZD) at the current exchange rate at the time of purchase. The above currency conversion page is to be used as a guide only.

10 Day Middle Earth Odyssey Self Drive Tour

Tour Type: Self Drive Tours Tour Code: 10OSD From $2,175 Per Person Departs: Daily With Sir Peter Jackson's release of the Lord of the Rings trilogy books and The Hobbit movies, New Zealand has become known as the 'home of Middle Earth'. Enquire about this tour

Where this tour will take you...