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Let a knowledgeable guide lead you off the beaten track during this day trip from Wellington to Cape Palliser Bay. Set out from the New Zealand capital to visit Lake Ferry and the fishing village of Ngawi, with stunning views of the rugged coastline. See the North Island’s largest colony of fur seals near Cape Palliser Lighthouse, and stop at a winery in Martinborough for wine tasting. You’ll even discover Middle-earth at a filming site from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Includes lunch and round-trip hotel transport.

Highlights

  • Visit the largest seal colony in the North Island
  • Visit a Lord of the Rings site at Kaitoke
  • View the beautiful Cape Palliser Bay Lighthouse
  • Enjoy lunch at the historic Lake Ferry Hotel
  • Delight in wine tastings in Martinborough

What You Can Expect

Palliser Bay and Coastal Delights Tour from Wellington

Rivendalle Bridge

On a scenic day trip to Cape Palliser Bay, discover a Lord of the Rings filming site located right at Wellington’s doorstep. After hotel pickup, listen to fascinating facts about Wellington’s history and enjoy the scenic drive into the Lower and Upper Hutt valleys. Continue on to find Middle-earth’s Great River Anduin and visit Kaitoke Park, aka Rivendell. See where Frodo recuperated from his sword attack by the Ringwraiths and, if you’re feeling adventurous, cross a swing bridge suspended over the rushing river below.
Continue on to find Middle-earth’s Great River Anduin and visit Kaitoke Park, aka Rivendell. See where Frodo recuperated from his sword attack by the Ringwraiths and, if you’re feeling adventurous, cross a swing bridge suspended over the rushing river below.
Your guide remarks on the area’s natural landmarks as you journey through the Rimutaka and Tararua ranges and the country towns of Featherston and Martinborough. You’ll have time for lunch in Lake Ferry, provided at a waterfront inn.
Then continue your tour through the lovely coastal scenery of Cape Palliser Bay, where you’ll get up close to the largest fur seal colony in the North Island. If you wish, huff up the 250 steps to Cape Palliser Lighthouse for more spectacular views.
Then relax on the return drive to Wellington, stopping for wine tasting at a Martinborough winery, including the region’s prized pinot noir, before hotel drop-off.

Customer Reviews

Robert United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

Really scenic and see a really rugged coastline. Quite a long drive out from Wellington but the scenery on the drive is also amazing.

Irene B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This tour was wonderful. The lunch was great and the scenery breathtaking. Our driver was great and very knowledgable. The only troublesome thing was trying to figure out where to meet. First it was one spot then another. Good thing I was able to get my e-mail and see that the place had been changed to the train station.

Manhui H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

It is an excellent tour. I am excited to see the seal

bkawabe USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2013

This was an excellent tour, a lot of traveling to get to various areas of the tour but our driver/guide Paul was the best. It was as if we had a friend in Wellington taking us around for the day. We just had some confusion on the pick location but once that was out of the way our tour was perfect.

Ross W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2013

Perfect day. Our guide Brian was excellent, very knowledgable and definitely went the extra mile. We could not fault anything. The forest trip and seeing the seals at Cape Palliser was a real hi light. Brian's driving was very safe and comfortable. We thoroughly enjoyed his company. Ross and Julia Walker and Ross and Maxine Houltham.

Clare B United Arab Emirates

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2008

Such a good combination of sights, scenery, animals and alcohol! Our guide was great and we loved this trip!

Suzanne E USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2008

I would recommend this trip to everyone!

Izzza Poland

4 star rating: Recommended January 2017

Amazing trip :)

Uday G

4 star rating: Recommended September 2008

Since I went in winter, I got a personal tour. Nobody else joined the tour! Nice day out, gorgeous weather but chilly. Be prepared for a long day of driving. The LOTR sites are all empty, with no sets, so not that exciting unless you're a Rings fan just for the thrill of being there. The guide's commentary was kinda lame, he just passed out books. Palliser Bay was most exciting, getting right up close to the seal colony among some cold wet rocks be careful! Saw large number of seals, lots of great photo ops. Beautiful scenery and totally worth it for this alone! The winery was OK, small and local, nothing to rave about really. No cheese/crackers to complement the wines. Finally saw Weta digital, just a small tourist spot, but it's fun if you're a Rings fan, cool souvenirs to buy, etc.
Note - there are some difficult walking areas on the LOTR tour, there's a swing bridge which is very narrow and sways nervously above a rushing river, wide enough for one person. Also, there's a Lighthouse at Palliser Bay that has 200 very steep stairs up a hillside. They're both optional but just FYI if nervous of heights. I went halfway took some nice photos. Too windy! Also, and this is true of all the tours I did, lunch sucked. Just a lame NZ sandwich which the tour pays for but still. Need more sustenance. Was starving by the time tour ended.
Also, if you go in winter get a Marmot hardshell and North Face softshell, and wear layers. You won't regret it! I'm so glad I had mine handy. Plus outdoor shoes, not tennies. Good grip soles.

Paul W USA

4 star rating: Recommended May 2008

We had a great tour guide. The highlight of the tour was the intimate views of the fur seals at Palliser Bay. Check out this tour out soon before it is fully discovered.

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