The North Island’s hidden gem

It has been nearly 15 years since the epic movie trilogy, 'The Lord of the Rings' put the tiny New Zealand city of Wellington on the map.

New Zealand’s capital city, tucked away at the base of the North Island is rapidly earning a reputation as a hidden gem.

With a thriving cultural life, a pretty outlook and a wonderful sense of hospitality, it has become one of New Zealand’s most sought after places to visit.

Scenic’s 18 Day Royal New Zealand tour offers plenty of opportunities to explore this quirky city. You’ll discover both islands in all their glory; including Auckland’s pretty harbour, the Bay of Islands, the adrenaline of Queenstown and the astonishing landscapes of Milford Sound.

And of course at the end of each interesting day exploring Wellington, guests will return to the lovely Copthorne Oriental Bay Hotel. With a design that draws inspiration from nature, particularly the nearby ocean, each room features a balcony allowing guests to take in the views of the harbour city.

Nestled alongside a horseshoe-shaped harbour and with a population of just over 200,000 people, Wellington is a compact city with restaurants, cafes, hotels, attractions and transport all within walking distance. Home to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the National Opera, the Royal New Zealand Ballet and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, as well as the studios of filmmaker Peter Jackson, it really is the cultural epicentre of New Zealand and a fantastic place to visit aspart of the Royal New Zealand tour.

"Wellington is a compact city with restaurants, cafes, hotels, attractions and transport all within walking distance."

Explore the wonders of the North Island

Discover the best of the North Island with a range of Enrich and Freechoice activities to enhance your journey.

Two nights of the tour will be spent in Wellington where we have created several unique Enrich experiences for our guests, a highlight being a private tour of Weta workshop. Weta is where the creative geniuses behind the special effects found in many award-winning Hollywood films reside.

After beginning in the back room of their flat in Wellington, Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger have built Weta workshop into a world-leading design and effects facility servicing the world’s creative industries.

Housed under one roof is the equipment, infrastructure and capacity to create anything from hand-made weapons, costuming, make-up effects and creature suits through to full-scale tanks, aircraft and miniatures of any scale and vehicle construction.

Scenic’s private tour, guided by Weta crew, will offer up a unique ‘back-stage pass’ into the complex and fascinating world of film-making. You’ll be led through the creative process inside the workshop from brief to execution, as well as learn about the genesis of Weta and the many successful projects they have been involved in.

A hand-crafted documentary will also be screened, which offers up additional insights into this slice of Hollywood found in New Zealand’s backyard. With directors such as Sir Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Steven Spielberg (The Adventures of TinTin), George Miller (Mad Max Fury Road) and James Cameron (Avatar) lining up to work with Weta, this is sure to be a very special Enrich experience.

Another highlight will be a visit to the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Te Papa Tongarewa means ‘container of treasures’ in the Māori language and with six floors of engaging and interactive displays there’s sure to be a host of treasures for Scenic guests to discover. 

Inside you’ll encounter a vast collection of Māori and South Pacific cultural treasures that reflect the importance of nature and art across New Zealand’s history. Utilising a combination of the latest technology and engaging storytelling, Te Papa’s aim is to educate, entertain and inspire.

Some of the most popular exhibitions include the fascinating Whale-Tohora, which blends science and storytelling to explore one of the largest whale collections in the world, Upacked: Treasures from Te Papa, which brings a selection of masterpieces from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Whangarei Art Museum and Waikato Museum together and Kupe Sites which feature stunning photographs tracing the legend of Kupe and his voyage to Aotearoa.

Scenic guests will be treated to a handcrafted private tour featuring the key highlights of the museum, finishing with a chance to sample Māori-inspired food and beverages. It’s the perfect way to get to know more about this beautiful country and its rich history.