Taupo - Wellington

Fly total time: 6 days

Visitors travel from the centre of the North Island to the bottom, through dramatic New Zealand scenery and friendly small towns.

This tour starts in an area known as the Central Plateau, a playground for visitors year-round, whether they come for skiing at Ruapehu in the winter, or fishing and boating on Lake Taupo in the summer. Passing through filming locations on the way through the Tongariro National Park, your clients can end in Wellington, home of The Hobbit Trilogy Director Sir Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop.

To ensure your clients are well rested after their flight, we recommend they stay a night or two in their arrival city before collecting a rental vehicle. Driving in a new country can be challenging and will be even worse if the driver is tired. The driver should always be well rested, take regular breaks during the journey and plan to drive for only 1-2 hours at a time.

New Zealand has unique road rules and driving conditions that your clients may not be used to. For a safe and enjoyable journey make sure your clients know where to find information on New Zealand’s road rules before they depart for their holiday.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Day 1 - Taupo

    Drive Fly

    While the Central Plateau is the North Island’s winter playground with skifields, hiking and cycling tracks, thermal hot pools and adventure activities, Lake Taupo to the north is a rich fishing ground and boaties’ paradise - making this a popular year-round destination. The mighty Waikato River which flows out of Lake Taupo provides the famous Huka Falls - New Zealand’s most visited tourist attraction and the Aratiatia Rapids - where filming also took place.

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  • Day 2 - Taupo - Tongariro

    Drive Fly 1 hour 20 minutes 104 KMS 64 MI

    From Taupo, Tongariro is about a one hour 20 minute drive.

    "So this is my favourite location [Turoa], it is beautiful. There’s a mountain, there’s a waterfall, there’s a beautiful view across the valley there, it’s one of those sort of archetypal kiwi places that you thank god New Zealand has such amazing landscapes." - Martin Freeman - (Bilbo)

    The dramatic landscapes of the North Island’s central plateau where volcanic mountains pierce barren desert and native forests, crystal lakes and rushing waterways beckon outdoor enthusiasts - is one of New Zealand’s favourite holiday destinations.

    It was also one of the favourite locations for the cast and crew of The Hobbit Trilogy who were "blown away" by the scenery and the cultural experience the local Maori people gave them.

    The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is described as one of the best one-day hikes in New Zealand crossing from alpine meadows to mountain summit with stunning volcanic features along the way. Walk across a lunar landscape of craters, scattered pumice, active volcanoes, mountain springs, lava flows, emerald lakes, piles of scoria and statue-like mounds of volcanic desert. This is an 8-9 hour guided trek. The summit of Mt Tongariro is 1967 m and Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom), 2287m above sea level.

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  • Day 3 - Tongariro - Wellington

    Drive Fly Approx 4 - 5 hours 335 KMS 208 MI

    Drive from Tongariro to Wellington (approximately 4.5 hours). Nestled between a picturesque harbour and forest clad hills, the views are everywhere. Wellington has pioneered museums, public galleries and civic space to give the city an easy-living style. Boutique shops, chic cafés and restaurants are always busy. The compact city is a pleasure to walk around with a lively waterfront and bays all around the harbour to enjoy.

  • Day 4 and 5 - Wellington

    Drive Fly

    I know I speak for a company of hobbits, dwarves, elves and orcs when I say that this city holds a special place in all our hearts. We cannot think of a more perfect way to send The Hobbit off into the world than to celebrate with a huge party here in Wellington, where the journey began," - Sir Peter Jackson.

    In November 2012 the spotlight was be the coolest little film-making capital in the world - Wellington - as the scene is set for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

    The Hobbit Trilogy Director Sir Peter Jackson brought Hollywood to New Zealand, and has created his own film empire on Wellington’s Miramar Peninsula with Stone St Studios (film studio), Park Road Post (post production facility), and Weta Workshop/ Digital (special effects and make-up).

    While the focus will be on Wellington as home of the production studios, digital effects and creative wizardry behind The Hobbit Trilogy, the city and surrounding districts also offer visitors many other memorable experiences from a rugged coastline with native wildlife to thriving cafés, restaurants and diverse arts & culture.

    A tour is the best way to uncover the secrets of movie making in Wellington. Visit the sites where filming began for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy with Wellington Rover Tours and Flat Earth Tours. Stops include the Hutt River (Anduin) and Harcourt Park (Isengard), Kaitoke Regional Park (Rivendell), Minas Tirith and Helms Deep at an old quarry closed to general visitors. You will also see Wellington city from the summit of Mount Victoria and run along the same path that the Hobbits ran to the ferry and on to the famous ‘Get off the Road’ scene.

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  • Day 6 -Departure

    Drive Fly

    Depart Wellington