New Zealand's premier
Lord of the Rings tour company


Got a question about New Zealand or one of our Lord of the Rings tours?

Check out some of our Frequently Asked Questions below.

Tipping in New Zealand is not compulsory, however if you feel you have had very good service feel free to tip an amount of your choosing.
The electrical power in New Zealand is 240 volts, we would recommend buying an adapter in your home country suitable for travelling in New Zealand.
There are swimming pools in 4 of the hotels we stay in, as well as the wonderful Polynesian spa (Hot Pools) in Rotorua.
Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted throughout New Zealand. It would be useful to have some New Zealand cash on you for smaller purchases. You can obtain this from your Airport before departure.
Your packing should include some standard items: Medication, toiletry, Jacket and good walking shoes.
The types of clothing you bring will depend on the season you Tour with us:
Forecast and Weather map

Try this site for packing tips:
Packing Lists
New Zealand is a long way to come for many Lord of the Rings fans, and many must wonder about this remote country. Is it very strange, this far-away place?
Forget out of date notions like "It was a British colony and still looks to England," or "It is stodgy place full of sheep and dull people, that produces nothing more than wool and butter." If you want to see THAT New Zealand, watch Peter Jackson's 1996 film Heavenly Creatures or Jane Campion's An Angel at my Table which both set their stories against that background.
Currently, New Zealand is as much a Pacific nation as a British one. It has changed due to the resurgence of Maori culture, the growing population of Polynesians, the variety of immigrants from Asia seeking business and educational opportunities, and because tourists from all around the world who ended up staying. The influx of different cultures has made it a lively place to live.
One of the paradoxes about New Zealand is that it is tradionally a fairly laid-back place where people are slow to get excited about anything except perhaps sport, but countering that is the fact that its very remoteness makes it a nation of tireless world travellers. In any year, around 7% of the population at any one time travels out of the country for a long or short term. When they return, they bring with them a familiarity with other cultures. It makes for a relaxed attitude towards visitors.
You might want to know the nitty gritty facts about the country. Government? A parliamentary democracy. How big is the country? Bigger than England, nearly as big as California. Currency? The New Zealand dollar. Do the phones work? Normally, yes. Is Internet available? It's everywhere - every second café in any town tourists are likely to visit has realized that tourists want to email home regularly. Do you have to bring your own towels and toilet-paper? No!
Start by visiting your own country's Government website for passports and visas and make sure you have met their requirements in plenty of time before your travel.

Visit this this link for information on obtaining a New Zealand travel visa.
New Zealand Visa Information
New Zealand lies between 37 and 47 degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Both the north and South Islands of New Zealand enjoy moderate, maritime climate, weather and temperatures.

Visit this link for detailed information on the climate and temperature range of New Zealand.
Forecast and Weather Map

The weather is variable! New Zealand has a maritime climate strongly affected by its landforms - mainly the long, cloud-blocking spine of the Southern Alps, but also the high tableland around the Volcanic Plateau, which you as a determined visitor to Mordor will be visiting. In short, the weather is whatever the great Southern Ocean chooses to throw at us, and temperatures vary with your altitude. There is a lot of altitude to consider, for instance while scaling the location of Edoras which is surrounded by snowcapped mountains even in summer.

The eastern side of the alps - most of the South Island - tend to stay drier, but rain can arrive at any time. The secret to moving comfortably around New Zealand is layering your clothes so you can peel off or add on according to the conditions. Should you arrive and find that you have nothing warm/cool/waterproof enough, there is a dizzying array of locally-made clothes that will make up the lack, and they will be tempting you before you even leave the arrival lounge of the airport.
Use our own currency converter which can be found on various pages of our website or visit the link below.
Currency Converter
For detailed information about internet access while traveling in New Zealand visit the link below.
Internet Access in NZ
We stay in 4 Star Hotels in most cities / towns and some very nice lodges and Inn's in country areas. The accommodation is comfortable, and in many cases the same accommodation that the cast and crew used.
"I got Elijah's room! That's right, I spent the night in Elijah Wood's bed…For six weeks Elijah slept in the bed that I am currently in. I mean, the entire crew, well, lived here." - Josh's Tour Diary
That hasn't been our experience, in fact far from it! The people who enjoy the LOTR trilogy enough to book one of our tours have proved to be an intelligent, witty and very diverse group, made up of all ages and all nationalities.

"I was nervous because I'd never been on anything like this before; no roadshows, no conventions, no movie premiers and certainly no themed tours like this one was. I (naively) kind of expected the people on the tour to be all very similar and a lot like the stereotyped sci-fi or fantasy geek. I'm very pleased to be able to report that I was proved very, very wrong." - Ben's Tour Diary

"Yet I think my personal highlight was to realize how close we all got within this short amount of time. In only four days, the group grew to be the 'Fellowship of the Tour'. And sitting in the hotel talking to everybody, realizing how much I'm going to miss all the people who stay behind, really added a great deal to the whole experience." - Tanja's Tour Diary
Inaccessible to most people! Red Carpet has exclusive contracts with the owners of the properties which allow our tour groups access; in many cases the owners saw and participated in months of filming and are happy to share their memories of the film project.

"Reach today's final destination at around 5:30 p.m.: Twizel, a.k.a the Pelennor Fields. Friendly greeting by owners of farm, Simon and Priscilla, as well as cute little dog. Learn Priscilla has been an orc-extra ("I'm one of the little, multiplied dots."). Extremely hard to believe! Must have been nicest orc in middle-earth… Learn film crew spent 4 weeks on farm, working with over 300 horses, 600 extras and a big blue screen in front of hill. Don't envy Rohan-Riders that much anymore, now knowing they spent up to 10 hours a day on horseback. In armour. False beards glued to their face. Do however envy Simon and Priscilla for experience of having more than one hundred horses galloping through their backyard at 40 km/h. Awesome!" - Tanja's Tour Diary
No, a lot of them were only enhanced in minor ways. You will instantly recognise where you are in the film, with the locations the Red Carpet visits.
In most cases yes they were with the exception of Hobbiton, which has been completely rebuilt including the Green Dragon and is a permanent set! In the cases of the other locations you will find that the landscape itself evokes the drama that took place there without the set. Many of the key landmarks that identify the spots are an integral part of the landscape itself.

Here are some reactions from those on previous fellowships -
"…everyone is a little nervous about walking towards the site itself which is still hidden over the brow of the hill. This is the first site we've been to, in theory the most recognisable of all of the filming locations and if this doesn't live up to expectations and it proves hard to recognise the place from the film then the whole tour will have a dark cloud looming over it."

"But, in keeping with the sunshine of the day, we're all knocked back as we come over the hill to gaze into Hobbiton itself. It's all there... Bag End, the Party tree, Bagshot row and over a dozen Hobbit holes still in the hillsides. Although there's none of the set dressing left, no gardens or frontages to the holes, there's still so much more than we were expecting." - Ben's Tour Diary.

" You need but little imagination to make it all come alive again." - Tanja's Tour Diary

And imagination is something that LOTR fans do not lack!

"Walking in there, you know exactly where you are. It's fantastic. I even took the opportunity to sit down where Bilbo and Gandalf had their smoke before the party and wrote in my journal for a minute. The experience of being there was…Well, you kinda had to be there." - Josh's Tour Diary.

"Among the most dramatic scenery in The Two Towers is the grassy mountain valley in which the Rohan capital of Edoras is built. Almost no computer graphics are used in the creation of the town…Sadly none of the buildings remain but you can make out the locations for the royal burial cairns and the path leading up to the gate. Exploring the site was a bit like doing some archaeology, having to try and locate clues to the existence of different structures and line up terrain features to the few photos and memories we all had. The hill itself was easily recognisable from every angle… Once we got to the base of the hill it's a steep hike up to the top but once you are there the adrenaline buzz is amazing as it's one of the most recognisable places we've been to. I must have used an entire roll of film in the couple of hours we were there." - Ben's Tour Diary.