Wellington - Nelson

Fly total time: 6 days

Starting in Wellington with a Lord of the Rings Tour, visitors travel across the Cook Strait, reaching the South Island and continuing on to sunny Nelson.

Filming for The Hobbit Trilogy Sir Peter Jackon's films began in Wellington, and that's where this tour begins too, with an immersive look at the world created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. This is a unique chance to see the landscapes, digital effects and amazing costumes that brought the films to life. From here, visitors will hop on the ferry and cross to the South Island via the stunning Cook Strait, before spending their final days of the tour in sunny Nelson where they can hit the beach or taste the region's fine wine, craft beer and delicious food.

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:
  • Days 1 and 2: 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 on the coolest little film-making capital in the world - Wellington - 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 3: Wellington - Marlborough - Nelson

    Drive Fly 5.5 hours

    Travel from Wellington to Picton, on a breathtaking 3.5 hour cruise across Cook Strait. Once in Picton, drive 2 hours through to Nelson.

    I can’t believe Nelsonians get to wake up in this amazing paradise every morning." Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf).

    The Nelson Tasman area boasts some of the most dramatic locations used in The Hobbit Trilogy and is famous for its sunny climate, outdoor adventure, the fascinating arts and crafts community and quality wines and food.

    Many of the props used in the epic The Lord of the Rings Trilogy were made around Nelson, and a number of Weta Workshop’s key costume, prop and set designers herald from the region.

  • Days 4 and 5: Nelson

    Drive Fly

    Nelson is the sunniest place in New Zealand with over 2500 annual sunshine hours. It’s famous for beautiful sun-kissed beaches, fine wine and craft beer - all a product of the sunny climate. Spend the next two days exploring this paradise.

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  • Day 6: Departure

    Drive Fly

    Depart Nelson