Venture into the land of hobbits, elves and dragons

By | Entertainment
Discover the real Middle Earth: Bilbo Baggins' home in the Shire

The Lord of the Rings that gave rise to Tolkein Tourism ten years ago is on the rise once again, putting New Zealand and its stunning landscapes at the centre stage for movie lovers worldwide.

With the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of the Smaug, hobbits, elves and dragons are once again luring tourists to the fictional universe of the Middle Earth. And it’s clearly a popular choice – Tourism New Zealand has said that nearly one in 10 (8.5%) visitors have cited The Hobbit Trilogy as a reason for visiting the destination.

Giving flight to this fancy is Austravel, the leading Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific specialist that is offering customised tours that will take you right to the heart of New Zealand and into the spectacular real-life movie sets.

Karen Joyce, General Manager, Austravel, says, “Austravel has had a brilliant year for New Zealand, particularly with tours and self-drives. The new Hobbit film has naturally sparked interest with customers as it highlights the beauty of the destination and inspires people to visit this fantastic country.”

So, what are you waiting for? The door to the fantasy land is open. Walk right into the cute little doors of the Hobbit homes in the charming Shire, soak in the beauty of the gorgeous, pristine, green countryside or take a stroll near the Pelorus River. See your own epic adventure coming alive right in front of your eyes, starting from the minute you land in Middle Earth.

Explore new locations

Austravel is offering customers an eight day self-drive trip which includes a one night stay at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch, a two night stay at Peppers Awaroa Lodge in Abel Tasman and three nights at the Scenic Hotel in Marlborough before returning to Christchurch for a final night. Promising to take you to new locations close to Marlborough, the tour also includes a visit to Pelorus River which is the setting for Forest River in The Hobbit.

The trip starts from £1,549 per person and includes return flights from London Heathrow with Qantas in April 2014.

The charming Shire

In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit.


Hobbiton movie set near Matamata in the North Island of New Zealand

Hobbiton movie set near Matamata in New Zealand

If you fancy having a look at Bilbo Baggins’ home and getting a taste of his lifestyle in the Shire, you can do so by visiting the farmland of Matamata in New Zealand’s North Island. The two hour Hobbiton movie set tour is designed to make you walk through some of the film’s most iconic settings. It finishes off with refreshments at The Green Dragon pub.

Rebuilt for The Hobbit Trilogy, the set is now a permanent tourist attraction. Guests can take a trip to Hobbiton during a holiday in Auckland and Rotorua – which is a 45 minute drive from the attraction. The tour includes a three night stay at Rydges Auckland, two nights at Rydges Hotel Rotorua and a two night stay at Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge on the Coromandel Peninsula and four days car hire. This eight day tour is being offered by Austravel with prices from £1,249 per person for departures in April 2014.

Queenstown and beyond

The most magical locations in the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, were shot at Queenstown and its surroundings. To explore this region alone, Austravel is offering an eight day South Island self-drive holiday, departing on various dates in March 2014. The tour includes a night at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch, four nights at Rydges Lakeland Queenstown, one night at the Comfort Inn Kaikoura and a final night back at the Chateau on the Park in Christchurch.

With seven days’ car hire included, travellers can visit the various sites at leisure. This offer includes return flights from London Gatwick with Emirates and will cost £1,395 per person.

For that extra kick, guests visiting Queenstown can also experience the ‘Safari of the Scenes’ tour with Austravel. This 4WD tour gives a spectacular look at the diverse scenery where the filming of the Peter Jackson trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, was shot. Prices from £83 per adult.

While these are some of the deals that Austravel is offering, all these tours can be customised and tailor-made to suit the customers’ needs. For more information on Austravel visit

Which place would you like to visit from the Hobbit movies?


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