Category Archives: General News

Winter Tour Specials

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We are looking forward to our Winter Tours here in Middle-earth, New Zealand.

This is the perfect time of year to go on an adventure and add some wonderful snow skiing at the end of your Tour, in stunning Queenstown.

This June we get to enjoy a special Movie Guest Presentation by the beloved Rosie Cotton (actress Sarah Macleod). We will meet with Sarah, to hear her behind the scenes stories, take photographs and get signed autographs. 


We have an added optional activity for our winter Tours to visit the world famous Waitomo Glow-worm Caves. Take the world-renowned boat ride through the glow worm grotto, marvel at thousands of magical glow-worms and become part of over 130 years of cultural and natural history. 

On our winter Tours we will also have a Movie Guest Presentation and Swordplay Workshop with actor Jed Brophy, who played Nori in the Hobbit and several Orcs and Rohirrim as well as a Black Rider in the LOTR. 

As a fellowship we will enjoy a special festive lunch at the beautifully restored Roxy Theatre, experience a behind the scenes Weta Workshop Tour with special guest presentations and discounts at the Weta Cave for Red Carpet Tours passengers only.


During June we will still be able to climb the magnificent Edoras! This is a stunning movie location with white capped mountains surrounding the most idyllic scenery. We journey to the top with our experienced Guides and fly the Rohan flag!

All Tours include the Day Tour of Hobbiton and festive feast lunch in the Green Dragon Marquee. This experience is a huge highlight of the tours as you will get to experience Hobbiton in a whole new way. 

For the first time ever we are also including an optional Blacksmithing workshop to learn the art of blade making. Learn from a real Blacksmith and create your own Middle-earth souvenir.  

Don’t miss out on your Winter adventure!

Book now!

Special 12 Day Tours of Middle-earth

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Kia Ora Friends,

We have 2 new and exciting 12 Day Lord of the Rings Tours on offer for 2019!


1.     September International Hobbits Day Celebration Tour

Our Tour this September will be an International Hobbit Day Celebration Tour and the first-ever reverse Lord of the Rings Tour! The Tour will begin in the beautiful Queenstown and finish in New Zealand's largest city, Auckland. Included in this Tour will be the famous International Hobbit Day Celebration event in Hobbiton! Including a dusk Tour of the Hobbiton movie set, Green Dragon market place food, entertainment and lamp light Tour of the party field at night. There will be prizes for best-dressed costumes so start sewing now! Our Tour also offers new optional activities in Rotorua and a farewell dinner with special movie guest in Auckland. This Tour has limited numbers and will sell out fast so get in quick!

Tour highlights:

  • International Hobbits day celebration in Hobbiton - not to be missed!

  • Costume competition and prizes

  • Special Guest Rosie Cotton will join us for our farewell dinner!

  • Fly from Christchurch to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital

  • Special themed lunch in the beautiful Roxy theatre

  • Weta Workshop behind the scenes extended tour and activities

  • Explore Trollshaw Forest and climb Mordor!

  • Visit 7 big Lord of the Rings locations at Mavora Lakes

  • Charge across Pelennor fields like King Theoden 

  • Climb Edoras and fly the Rohan Flag

  • Meet the Caligrapher and Mapmaker from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

  • Visit Gollums Fishing Pool and the Secret Entrance to Erebor 

  • Enjoy unlimited WiFi onboard the coach as we travel 

  • Breath-taking scenery and instantly recognisable movie sites


Hobbiton ToursLord of the rings toursMiddle-Earth Tours

Book your place here as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!


2.     December LOTR Christmas Celebration Tour 

Or join us for a special Hobbit Christmas Tour! Begin your Middle-earth journey with us by enjoying a special Banquet Dinner inside the Green Dragon Pub and evening Tour of Hobbiton! Along the way, you will meet those involved in the making of the movies, such as artists from Weta Workshop and Daniel Reeve who was the LOTR and The Hobbit Calligrapher, Artist and Map Maker. Travel off the beaten track into the breath-taking landscapes and natural attractions New Zealand has to offer.

There will be many opportunities to experience unique New Zealand activities such as: flying over The Remarkables and Skippers Canyon, experience our native Maori culture, pan for gold, visit wineries, adventure through Rohan and climb the magnificent Edoras, skydive or raft down a white water river. All within a fellowship of like-minded travellers and led by our passionate LOTR guide.

Costumes are encouraged and always lots of fun. We will be having special Weta Workshop prizes for the best costumes as well!

In short, this Tour’s highlights are:

  • Explore Trollshaw Forest and climb Mordor!

  • Feast on a Banquet Dinner inside the Green Dragon Pub and explore Hobbiton!

  • Enjoy a special Christmas-themed lunch at the beautiful Roxy theatre 

  • Experience an awesome Weta Workshop behind the scenes extended tour with cocktails and a costume competition 

  • Meet the calligrapher and mapmaker from The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit

  • Meet and mingle with one of the Dwarves from The Hobbit!

  • Climb the magnificent Edoras!

  • Charge across the Pelennor Fields and explore Laketown!

  • Practice Gold-Panning in Arrowtown 

  • Visit 7 big Lord of the Rings locations at Mavora Lakes

  • Relax on a beautiful Lake Cruise in New Zealand’s tourist capital: Queenstown

  • Christmas Farewell Dinner

  • Plenty of time for extra optional activates in scenic Queenstown

  • Opportunities to buy special Lord of the Rings Jewellery and Cloaks along the way

  • Unlimited WiFi onboard the coach as we travel 

  • Breath-taking scenery and instantly recognisable movie sites 

Lord of the ringsTours of Middle-EarthLOTR AdventureHobbiton

Book your place here to avoid disappointment!


Every month will have a special feature to it, whether it’s workshops with Weta, Daniel Reeve (Calligrapher and Cartographer for all 6 films) or special movie guests.

June will have a mid-winter Christmas theme and special workshop with Weta!

Groups that are putting together their past Fellowship’s for a Reunion Tour, please message me on Facebook or email me at [email protected] so we can personalize your group return Tour itinerary and special experiences.

For more information, contact us today. Lots to look forward to, what an awesome year ahead!


Red Carpet Tours




Why Our Winter Months Are So Amazing

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Kia Ora Friends,

Join us on a Tour between June-September and experience a beautiful New Zealand winter.

All winter tours through June-September now include:

  • Special Weta workshop tours

  • Exclusive Weta Cave discounts

  • Archery at Lake-town

  • Interactive workshops with our special movie guests


All direct bookings will receive a Red Carpet Tours beanie and Leaf Broach.

All returning passengers will receive a Tour discount. 


This winter, begin your Middle-earth adventure by meeting our beloved Rosie Cotton, actress Sarah McLeod. Sarah will have special stories and photos to share with us. 

This is wonderful preparation for our visit to Hobbiton the next day. Enjoy winter in the Shire with a guided tour and festive feast lunch in the Green Dragon Marquee. 



Actors Jed Brophy (who plays Nori from The Hobbit and Snaga and Sharku from LOTR) and Mark Hadlow (who plays Dori from The Hobbit) will be presenting for us during our winter Tours. You will love their stories, photos and great humour. Its always a very special day!


Daniel Reeve the Calligrapher and Cartographer will inspire and amaze you with his creative works from both movie trilogies. He will create beautiful custom souvenirs just for you.

This is your chance to have a LOTR adventure in a New Zealand winter wonderland where scenery, locations, activities and fun await.

Book your adventure today!


Spring time in Middle Earth

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We are getting ready for Spring time in Middle Earth!


As we see out the final months of winter, we are looking forward to welcoming in Spring time down here in New Zealand.

It’s the time of year to see baby lambs taking their first steps and melting snow revealing breath-taking views of mountains beneath.

hairy feet waitomo   pet sheep polly lamb

What places are best to see in Spring?

The Hobbiton Movie Set is especially magical this time of year with the flowers in bloom creating colourful 360-degree views of the Shire. The vineyards are in their prime and the waterfalls are flowing. Its also the best time of year to visit the spectacular Milford Sound and take in all of its impressive scenery. 

Its a special time to be in Middle-Earth. Gone are the night frosts and icy dew covering the fields. Instead open skies with an array of stars fill the night air and flowers blossom over the hills.

hairy feet waitomo

new zealand

new zealand

Book a Spring tour with us this September and enjoy amazing LOTR/Hobbit locations and extra special guests!

For more information go to our LOTR Tours tab and for bookings head to
this link:]

new zealand

native wood pigeon kereruhairy feet waitomo

Photo sources: (Hobbit Trollshaw location we visit each month)

Dressing up in Middle-Earth

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Dressing up in Middle-Earth 


Whether it is a Red Carpet Tours Premier Party or just re-enacting your
favourite scene at one of the many locations we visit- it is always fun to embrace
your creative side and dress the part!


At the locations we visit:

Many of our fellowships bring with them hand-made costumes to really feel like a part of the scene. These costumes create great opportunities for photos, memories and amusement of course! Below are some of our dedicated fans in their LOTR attire:


Lori - Lord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumes

Lord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumes


At the parties we hold:

At our Hobbit Premier party in Wellington we had an amazing and impressive selection of costumes and characters present! Sir Richard Taylor himself attended and chose the top three costumes of the night and awarded the lucky three with Weta Workshop merchandise for their creative efforts and dedication. Below are just some of the amazing outfits our fans created and wore to our party:


Lord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumesLord of the rings costumes


Dressing up is not always for everyone, but it sure is a lot of fun just to admire
others costumes and be amongst such like-minded people!




5 Minutes with Mark Hadlow (Dori)

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A huge thank you to Dori for being part of the Red Carpet Tours family! He shared a few moments and memories with us.

Biggest Challenge

How was Dori going to take shape. Prosthetics, makeup, costume and weapons essentially were going to determine his look, but maintaining the character for nearly two years in production was going to be a major part of the challenge. I think what helped was the brothers back-story. Dori, Nori and Ori were a pretty close family! Sure, there were squabbles and dislikes but ultimately they had each other's backs. Blood is thicker than water.

Best Locations

It's so hard to choose one, because New Zealand is so amazing to travel anywhere. I think all of the locations were outstanding. Pelorus river was exciting, going down it in barrels and seeing the grandeur of Paradise valley in Queenstown. There was something special about every location. Just like the movies - we were on an adventure, and the journey within the journey was traveling to the locations.

Favourite Scene?

There were a number of them but probably the best was the barrels in the water race! A big water ride was built to shoot the close-up scenes in Upper Hutt in Wellington. It was like a Disney ride and we felt like kids in an amusement park. Two huge Diesel engines propelled water round this huge oval water channel the size of a football field and we got in barrels and were propelled around it we just had fun. It was brilliant, crazy and amazing. 

What's Next?

I'm trying to get a film a mate has written up and running, called SWANSONG. It's a cop serial-killer movie, and the script is a page-turner. Stef Harris is the writer/director, I'm playing a cop and Jed Brophy is playing the serial killer. It's compelling. We are working pretty hard at getting some finance together but the process is pretty slow. Takes forever to bankroll but we believe firmly in the project and will keep sourcing interest. I have a play later in the year for ATC and I've been cast in a film happening mid-year. My Navy work will pick up again with a new project, I hope, and my one-man-show MAMIL (Middle aged Man in Lycra) hopefully may get another couple of seasons. All in all there's a bit on the horizon!

Working with Red Carpet Tours

I am really enjoying meeting the fans on the Red Carpet Tours. I enjoy reliving the stories and the pictures as much as they do! Re-telling the excitement of days on set and the experience keeps it fresh in my ageing mind. I look forward to meeting more!

Favourite Lines

Probably the ones addressed to The Wizard himself, but there were a few in all the films so all of them I guess. Family squabbles with the brothers were good ones.

Lines Spoken to Ori:

  • "Just try it you might like it"
  • "Would you like a cup of camomile tea Mr Gandalf?"
  • "It's got a fruity bouquet"
  • "Mr Gandalf can't you do something about this deluge?"

5 Reasons to Visit Middle-earth

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One does not simply walk into Middle-earth. “Home is behind, the world ahead, and there are many paths to tread."  We take you to the iconic film locations of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand brings the magic alive. Immerse yourself in moments from the films, surrounded by spectacular scenery and the charming local culture. There are many reasons to visit Middle-earth - these are just a few!


Beware the trolls...unless you have a trusty Fellowship with you! Piopio became home to the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaw Forest. The farmland is backed by the dramatic sheer cliffs of the Mangaotaki Rocks, looking above the valley, carved into fantastic formations over millions of years of weathering.

A forest walk takes you into the Trollshaw Forest where Radagast first meets up with the fellowship. It's easy to imagine you can hear the Wargs howl in the distance, readying for an attack. Discover the place where Bilbo meets his famed blade Sting! Apart from the fascination with it being the film's location, you'll appreciate the beauty and wildness of the site itself. The forest is primaeval with looming tree ferns and strangely shaped limestone boulders.


Step inside the Shire with a visit to peaceful Hobbiton, the peaceful region of Middle-earth where Bilbo Baggins lived and the quest of the ring began. Set amid rolling emerald-green hills dotted with white sheep, this location transports you completely into the world of the two film trilogies. Wander the paths past the Hobbit dwellings, taking in the culture and reliving heartwarming moments. Stop at the Green Dragon Inn for a refreshing drink and second-breakfast, elevensies or afternoon tea.

This can't-miss location is a truly magical experience for every Fellowship visiting Middle-earth.


Stunning Lake Pukaki was chosen as the location for Laketown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Glacial lakes feed into Lake Pukaki giving the water its vibrant blue colour. The lake is also a favourite walking and cycling spot, while the snowcapped Mt Cook overlooking the lake is busy with skiers during the winter months.

A nearby farm at Lake Tekapo was used in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to portray epic scenic shots, the 'Warg Chase' and approach to Rivendell. The property was also used for the forest slopes of Misty Mountains.


Twizel lies in the heart of the McKenzie Basin, a vast alpine basin used extensively for scenes involving the Rohan plains. Twizel is also a wonderful place to spend some time studying the stars with some of the darkest skies you can find. You'll be amazed by the thousands of stars that can be seen in this Southern Hemisphere sky thanks to the clear air and lack of light pollution in this region.  The epic Battle of the Pelennor Fields was filmed in this area.

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was a battle for the city of Minas Tirith, and ultimately for Gondor, during the War of the Ring. It was the greatest battle of the War of the Ring, and indeed the largest of the entire Third Age. Major casualties resulted from this battle - including the deaths of King Théoden and the Witch-king of Angma by the blade of the brave Shieldmaiden of Rohan, Eowyn.

Weta Workshop

Wellington is in many ways the heart of the movie fan's experience, being the home to the Weta Workshop, Weta Cave, Weta Digital, Stone Street Studios and Park Road Post Production. Named after a native New Zealand species of ancient insect and a Sir Peter Jackson anagram. Weta has been responsible for the remarkable digital and special effects, costuming and weaponry that have helped bring The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit to life.

The Weta group is made up of a huge number of incredibly talented artists who are responsible for all the Special effects, Motion Capture, costuming and weaponry, its shop front, the Weta Cave and Weta Digital where the digital visual effects wizards are based, the Stone Street Studios and Park Road Post Production. During the production of The Lord of the Rings, the artists turned out thousands of items including 1200 suits of armour and 10,000 arrows among many others. When traveling with Red Carpet Tours, you'll get a taste of these props and the people who made them and their stories on our action-packed Weta Day.


Gandalf:  "You’ll have a tale or two to tell when you come back"

Bilbo:  "You can promise that I’ll come back?”

Gandalf:  "No. And if you do, you will not be the same"  

J.R.R Tolkien Quotes





Do you know where was Lord Of The Rings filmed?

July 2015 News - New Tours Announced!

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Kia Ora from Middle-earth, New Zealand.

We are just back from Melbourne Comic Con, what a great event.

It was great to meet new people and to catch up with past fellowships.

Don't forget the Comic Con special folks when booking over the next 2 weeks for those we met in Melbourne.

Thank you to Billy Boyd and David Wenham for your kind words, photos and autographs. It was lovely to meet you again.

Come and see us in New Zealand !


New tours we would like to share with you!

Artists Sketching and Photography Tour with Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Calligrapher and Map Maker Daniel Reeve as your mentor.

This special tour is scheduled for 7th - 20th November 2016 only and numbers are limited.

Travel Middle-earth with Daniel and enjoy daily sketching, photography and water colour painting of the magnificent scenery and film locations from both trilogies.

Highlights / Reunion Tours

These special Itineraries are well suited for those that have toured with us before and want an expanded experience from their previous tour and also those that want to have the Te Anau and Doubtful Sound experience included.

These special 14 day LOTR tours are scheduled for 29th February - 14th March and 5th - 19th December 2016.

Come on Fellowships, get your groups together for this one !


Keep in touch and have a great July!