Hey, Lord of the Rings fans, enough cosplaying and following online theories to see if Gandalf really did plan on having eagles fly the ring to Mount Doom; it’s time to make the ultimate journey to the motherland. Home to Frodo, Samwise Gamgee, Legolas, Strider (AKA Aragorn) and the loveable Gimli among others, the picturesque country of New Zealand is the setting for Zicasso’s Ultimate Lord of the Rings Tour: A 60th Anniversary Celebration trip. Who’s as excited as a hobbit at second breakfast?
Taking place over 11 days, travelers will get to explore the country as Tolkien saw it and Peter Jackson created it through adventures in Auckland, Hobbiton, Rotorua, Wellington, Queenstown and Wanaka. Geek out over a behind-the-scenes private tour of the Hobbiton set, snap photos of hard to reach filming locations from the window of your private helicopter and sit in oversized furniture in your LOTR-themed room at the five-star Minaret Lodge.
On day three, venture to the depths of Mordor in Rotorua where geysers spout out of geothermal hotspots, mud pools bubble, Sauron watches over his fortress (or, did…thanks, Frodo!) and warm geothermal ponds turn into a kaleidoscope of color. Here, Lady Knox Geyer erupts daily at 10:15 a.m. and the scent of sulfur fills the air as the fiery landscape gives you that eerie feeling that the All-Seeing Eye is watching you.
But if that doesn’t get you all revved up, maybe a full day of Helms Deep shenanigans will. Jumping aboard a private helicopter, experience filming locations that are difficult to access as you make your way over gray-tiered, castle-like structures on the mountainsides. Continuing on through Middle Earth, discover large evergreens that are home to the Elvin civilization before reaching Helms Deep.
Throughout the journey, optional activities can be added on so that you can really get the full LOTR experience. This once-in-a-lifetime trip starts at around $7,000 per person, double and includes private tours, rental cars, luxury accommodations, exclusive after-hours access to the film design workshop, some meals and helicopter flights. The offer is also customizable so make sure to tailor it around you because this will be one adventure to rule them all.