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“Rip Off - Worst/Overpriced LOTR tour ever!”

Trails of Middle-Earth Tour
Ranked #85 of 162 Tours in Queenstown
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We are Lord of the Rings specialists offering a comprehensive and interactive tour in the heart of Middle-earth. Our friendly, knowledgeable guides take you on the ultimate LOTR experience. You can dress up in costume, handle an extensive selection of weapons and even view items from productions. With half, heli, and full day tours available, we have something to suit everyone. This tour is the tour for the LOTR fan and their partner, who will be looked after as well.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Rip Off - Worst/Overpriced LOTR tour ever!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2014

Good things first: Well yes, you'll see some sceneries (actually 3, but for sure not "more than 20") and yes, Bob is a nice guy (it's probably not his fault if the company he works for is greedy and overpriced...).

BUT: The only reason it's a "full day" tour is because you hang around in the same location (only 3 in total) for ages or walk around really slowly (or both). And Bob stops his car 100 times in random spots cause he can't tell stories and drive at the same time (That's actually what he said!) So the whole day is filled with listening to some movie stories or re-watching some scenes (thanks, i've seen the movies, this is why i do this bloody tour!) instead of seeing more locations!
I already got a bit sceptic in the morning when I asked Bob how many different places we would visit during the day and he said "I won't tell you, the tour should be a surprise". Which from my point of view now is a tactic for not revealing that it's only 3 locations. I think this whole "more than 20" advert is an "interpretation trick": as soon as some spot is used in different parts of the movie they make it count as several locations, and every mountain peak or lake that is visible somewhere in the background counts as well. Dear "Trails of middle earth"-guys, that's seriously cheating and gives bad karma! just sayin'...

AND (even more important): WHAT on earth is worth the 300 (!!!) Dollars? (Cause actually i wouldn't complain this much if it had cost me 150 or so, that would have been ok...)

- The fuel for the car? I don't think so. The sceneries are all really close to Queenstown and easily acessable, so if you have the option to go by rental car get a LOTR location guidebook and do it yourself (you don't go any further than 12 Mile Delta and Arrowtown anyway with this tour...)
- The Lunch? It's ok but average, and the weapons...well, that's a nice idea but doesn't explain the massive price of this tour with. (As an example: The LOTR Tour in Christchurch provided lunch and weapons as well, the trip was so much longer and still they were much cheaper!) The "gifts" are some papercopies which won't cost the company anything as well, so again, nothing to make people pay sooooo much!

There are other Tour operators in Queenstown which cost half the price and they take you to spectacular locations at Skippers Canyon (by boat) and Glenorchy/Paradise (by horse). Don't waste your money (and time, all the scenes could easily be seen within half a day) on this tour.

I was really looking forward to doing the Trails of Middle Earth and have never been so disappointed before (actually this is my first bad review ever, but i really HAD to tell this...).

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
25 Thank Anekha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jen H, Manager at Trails of Middle-Earth Tour, responded to this review, 12 August 2014
Thank you for taking the time to post your review.
We are sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the tour with us.
Our prices are comparable with other Full day tours in Queenstown, as prices rise each year we have to keep up with that.
The other points you have mentioned we will take them on board in order to constantly improve the Lord of the Rings experience
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Tour of LOTR filming sites”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 March 2014

Bob, our guide, was a Tolkien uber-geek with amazing knowledge of Tolkien's work and the LOTR films. Funny, friendly and incredibly accommodating. Iearned a lot and enjoyed myself immensely.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank pstarantino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best LOTR Tour!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2014

What a great tour for our family of LOTR and Hobbit fans. We had a fantastic day with Bob and learned so much information. Being able to see the movie scripts and standing in the exact locations was fantastic. A really fun day with lots of humour as well. Excellent. Thanks.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank RachaelBNZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
travellingdom, Marketing Assistant at Trails of Middle-Earth Tour, responded to this review, 6 February 2014
Thanks for taking the time to post your feedback, we're really pleased that you had such a good family day out and it's always great to hear nice things about our guides!
Thanks for sharing the tour with us and if you're in Queenstown again in the future, give us a call and we'll see if we can find some more LOTR adventures to take you on!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2014

This tour is amazing, perfect for the LOTR geek! Highly recommend it to anyone who loves the films, or just wants a day out visiting some beautiful locations.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank BecTR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
travellingdom, Marketing Assistant at Trails of Middle-Earth Tour, responded to this review, 6 February 2014
Hi there, thanks so much for posting your review - really great to hear that you had a good time with us, we love touring with fellow LOTR-geeks! Thanks again, come back any time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Complete rip-off”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2014

Don't bother, it's not worth the money they charge. They sell it as more than it really is. Although the scenery was amazing, it could as well have been anywhere. We were standing on a hill, or under a tree, being told this was the very place they filmed such-and-such a scene, and shown a small, dog-eared, laminated print-out of a still from the movie, but it could have been anywhere, and any scene. The weaponry was sold as being authentic 15000 dollars worth of weaponry but when you swung the swords they rattled and it included only a tiny selection of a few swords and an axe.
We were supposed to get a collectible souvenir. But as we left we had to remind the tour guide of this. It turned out we were going to get a part of the script (by email!!!!) which is not what we expected, or want. and we still haven't even received that email!!!
Total stars: none! (But on this website you're forced to fill in at least one.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank P K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jen H, Manager at Trails of Middle-Earth Tour, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Thank you for your review of our Trails of Middle Earth Tour, We are sorry you were unable to enjoy it.
All our sites are official LOTR sites endorsed by Ian Brodie Location Guide Book author, Which all companies refer to, plus some of our guides who worked as extras also confirmed.
The laminated stills are replaced on a regular basis.
Regarding our weapons, there are 11 swords plus an axe which are authentic Weta Workshop replicas taken from casts of the original, worth over $15,000 which we have been using since the first films came out. Unfortunately regarding the souvenirs we had run out of our booklet which is a copy of the script plus the call sheet from 12 Mile Delta. which we never send by email.
Again we are sorry you did not enjoy our tour as our tours are aimed at LOTR enthusiasts.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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