The world will soon be returning to Middle Earth and the first season of Amazon's Lord of the Rings TV series has already been shot in New Zealand. The budget for this series is eye-watering and even blows Game of Thrones out of the water. In New Zealand, there are already a number of Lord of the Rings tours operating around the country taking Tolkien fans to all their favorite locations.

The movie set Hobbiton is also in New Zealand and is an easy drive from the main city of Auckland (it is easy to visit without a tour). Lord of the Rings tours can be anything from half-day tours to massive 21-day quests. Here are some examples of the many LOTRs tours offered in Aotearoa (the native Maori name for New Zealand).

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Amazon's 'Lord Of The Rings'

The Amazon series is to be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth before the events of the Lord of the Rings novel and films. It is expected to start streaming on Amazon Prime Video in 2022.

  • $250 Million: The Amount Amazon Paid For The Rights For Lord Of The Rings
  • $1 Billion: The Minimum Amount Amazon Is Expected To Spend On The Series
  • Eight Episodes: Number Of Episodes In The First Season
  • Five Seasons: The number of Expected Seasons
  • $560 Million: (Very) Rough Figure Of What HBO Paid For 8 Seasons Of Game Of Thrones

While it seems that Amazon will be producing subsequent seasons in the United Kingdom, the first season has already been shot in New Zealand where the original LOFRs were filmed.

Related: New Zealand Holiday Guide, The South Island: How To Plan The Perfect Vacation

Nomad Safaris

Nomad Safaris offers a range of half-day and day tours around New Zealand's adventure capital of Queenstown. While LOFRs were filmed all across New Zealand, Queenstown in particular is a filming location hotspot.

Queenstown Lord of The Rings: This quick tour rediscovered the magic of Tolkien's Middle-earth. They visit filming locations like Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Agronath), and more. This is also the old gold rush area of New Zealand and there's gold-panning too.

  • Cost: Adult: $245 ($170 USD); Child $99 ($69 USD)
  • Duration: 4 Hours

Full-Day Lord of The Rings: Travel for a little longer in Middle Earth discovering more mystical lands of the Lord of the Rings. This visits Glenorchy near Queenstown that has not only been the filming location for LOTRs but also The Hobbit, X-men Origins: Wolverine, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, and others. Gold-panning is also included.

  • Price: Adult NZD $490 ($326 USD) Child $215 ($150 USD)
  • Duration: 9.5 Hours

Fun Fact: In Wolverine One Can See An Arrow On the Left Side Of the Road Telling The Traffic to Keep Left, But the Car Drives On The Right. This Is Because New Zealand Drives on The Left But it is Set In Canada

Related: New Zealand Holiday Guide, The North Island: How To Plan The Perfect Vacation

New Zealand Guided Tours

For those wanting a guided tour of New Zealand for their whole time in the country, then New Zealand Guided Tours offer tours from 7 days to 21 days. These tours can be of one island or both islands (don't go to New Zealand without visiting the South Island though).

7-Day Lord of the Rings Guided Tour: This is a tour package for those with only a week to spend in this magnificent country. One will see the most iconic filming locations in both islands and many more must-see attractions in Aotearoa not related to the movies.

  • Includes: 4 Star Accommodation, 7 Nights, and 8 Days Of Touring
  • North Island: Waitomo Glowworm Caves Tour • Mt Doom Scenic Floatplane Flight • Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
  • South Island: New Zealand Lord of the Rings Tour • Jet Boat Queenstown + Isengard
  • Cost: 1 Traveler $15,999 ($11,110 USD), 10 Travelers $3,349 ($2,330 USD) (Sliding Scale Numbers Dependent)

21-Day Lord of the Rings Guided Tour: Their ultimate 21 Day Lord of the Rings Guided Tour will really delve into the world of Middle Earth and justify coming this far for a vacation. This is a premium guide to much of the best New Zealand has to offer. Tours are flexible and customizable.

  • Includes: 4 Star Accommodation, 21 Nights, and 22 Days Of Touring
  • North Island: Hole in the Rock Cruise Glowworm Tour Hobbiton Tour • Mt Doom Scenic Floatplane Flight Weta Workshop New Zealand Lord of the Rings Tour Interislander Ferry
  • South Island: “Edoras” Lord of the Rings Filming Locations Tour Milford Sound Cruise Taieri Gorge Railway “Isengard” + Jet Boat Queenstown
  • Cost: 1 Traveler $39,149 ($2,718 USD), 10 Travelers $9,549 ($6,600 USD) (Sliding Scale Numbers Dependent)

There are many other LOTRs tour companies to choose from like Red Carpet Tours and Lord of the Rings Tours to name a couple.

While at the time of writing New Zealand remains closed to international travel, it is likely that the country will be opening back up soon - perhaps early on in 2022.

Next: What You Need To Know About Backpacking Around New Zealand