The Red Carpet Tours Team

Passionate and knowledgeable, our team is here to make your dream of visiting Middle Earth a reality. We will lead you in the footsteps of your favourite hobbits through the lush green fields of the Shire, to gaze upon the shorelines of unspoiled lakes surrounded by snow-capped peaks, and to epic battle grounds, in an experience so compelling you will almost hear the distant thud of hooves and swords clashing. You will start your Red Carpet Tour with strangers, and depart as friends, bound by the memories from an adventure of a lifetime on a journey exploring the length and breadth of the country that has become Middle-earth.

Brego Coach Fellowship from 2012 Premier Tour
Vic James
Managing Director & Driver Guide

Vic has over 20 years experience in tourism - a background that led him to create a special tour for like-minded people, when the first of the LOTR trilogy of films was being produced. With the co-operation of many individuals involved in the LOTR production and with permission gained from private land owners who had film sites on their properties, Vic put together a comprehensive and exciting 2 week tour throughout New Zealand.

Vic enjoys his role as a driver/guide and has a wealth of knowledge and stories in relation to all things LOTR & 'Hobbity' and New Zealand in general.

Raewyn James
Office Manager

Co-Director and Office Manager at Red Carpet Tours.

Raewyn's focus is on day to day office management, communications, itinerary planning and bookings. Along with Vic, she was involved in setting up the company from day one, which initially involved some intrepid journeys to remote locations as they created their unique and stunning New Zealand-wide tour itinerary.

Raewyn brings a world of administrative experience to the business and is the person to talk to when it comes to managing the details of your booking. Preferring a support role in the company, Raewyn is usually the first contact via telephone and email. She sees her role as keeping the office operational and ensuring everything runs smoothly, with every detail taken care of so you don't need to sweat the small stuff and can wring every moment of pleasure from your tour experience.

Raewyn is married to Vic and is the mother of Julie.

Julie James
Sales & Marketing Manager/Guide

"It gives me great pleasure to share my country with like-minded Lord of the Rings fans from around the world, and to guide them to the magical film locations that Sir Peter Jackson and his team lovingly put together."

Julie is Red Carpet Tours Sales and Marketing Manager but you might also find her driving or guiding you through Middle-earth. A true Hobbit at heart, Julie has a Diploma in Tourism and Business Management and has traveled widely. She is highly skilled in IT and has a passion for all things LOTR. Julie aims to ensure Red Carpet Tours maintains its high level of customer service and satisfaction, making your experience with Red Carpet Tours a total pleasure, 'there and back again'!

Keep in touch with Julie and the goings on at Red Carpet Tours on our Facebook page.

Erica Challis
LOTR Scholar & Facilitator

To ensure the tours were a worthwhile experience, Vic searched for a local expert. He found Erica Challis, who had long been a Tolkien scholar and enthusiast. Erica helped found the the fan website www.theonering.net (aka TORn) which developed a following that produced over 2 million hits each month.

She also published a well received book: 'The People's Guide to JRR Tolkien'. During LOTR filming Erica was instrumental in building a closer relationship between the fan-generated website and the film-makers, becoming the link that carried information and feedback between the film company and the fans, to the great satisfaction of all. With Erica's input, Red Carpet Tours began operating its official LOTR Tours in 2002.

Ben Perchik
Business Development Manager USA

"My passion for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit relate to the life lessons and personal journeys outlined in the books. Coming to Middle-earth to experience what Tolkien wrote about (and what Peter Jackson created) is like a pilgrimage that elevates and transforms us all. What a life-changing experience it is to be in this land and immersed in Tolkien's works."

Ben is Red Carpet Tours’ Business Development Manager, he’s based in North America and has long been inspired by the Lord of the Rings. A man of many talents, Ben is a scientist who has worked extensively in the areas of healing, rehabilitation and spirituality.

Sue Conklin

Ben's wife Sue supports all aspects of Red Carpet Tours and her many years
of experience in IT management, marketing and event planning come in very handy for facilitating the tours."My awe of the film makers and my love
of the literature of J.R.R. Tolkien makes working with Red Carpet Tours a dream come true. And the best part of it is sharing the experience with
people from around the world."A cancer survivor, Sue knows all too well the importance of making memories and grabbing every possible opportunity while you can.
"Red Carpet Tours is so much more than a tour of New Zealand (Middle Earth).My goal is for people to come away with a rich, transforming experience and to take home with them an appreciation of New Zealand's culture, beauty and purity. And of course to have a whole lot of fun in the process!"