As soon as you start to leave the cities of New Zealand it becomes completely obvious that this is truly Middle-earth. Any of the rolling green hills could be The Shire and once you start heading south, you are in for some spectacular Lord of the Rings scenery as you approach the grand mountains and forests that surround the southern alps. During tour you will visit the 8 Lord of the Rings filming locations you need to visit in New Zealand.
The success of The Lord of The Rings movies show cased New Zealand's Natural Beauty to the rest of the world. For some people, this is one of the main draw cards for wanting to visit New Zealand and trust me, once you’ve been here you will definitely want to re watch the movies to spot out how many places you saw on your travels!
For a Lord of the Rings fan, a trip to New Zealand is not complete unless you make the trip to Hobbiton. The famous home of the Hobbits is hidden away in the rolling farm land of a little town in the North Island called Matamata. This magical movie set is a real place, you can visit Bag End, have a drink in the Green Dragon Pub, frollock around the village in The Shire and Dance under the Party Tree. Die hard fans, you’ll have the chance to re-enact scenes from the first movie and also dress up in costume to become a Hobbit yourself! The tour to Hobbiton is an optional extra activity available to pre-book before commencing your trip!
Mt Doom / Mt Ngauruhoe
Mt Ngauruhoe – also known as Mt Doom! Walk in the footsteps of Frodo and Sam to the fiery depths of Mordor by tackling, what is, one of the best day hikes in the world, the Tongariro Crossing! Traversing through craters, steep inclines and a field of active volcanoes, challenge yourself to the 19.4km day hike to get the best views of Mt Ngauruhoe.
Join an optional tour in Wellington, heading North through the Hutt Valley to beautiful parks and rivers, we will get to experience where many famous Lord of the Rings scenes were filmed. You will get to visit 15 scene locations including; Helms Deep, Minas Tirith, Gardens of Isengard, Hinged Trees of Isengard, Aragorn Washed Ashore, Departure of Boromir, Rivendell and Orc Chant. If joining a tour is not really your thing and you would rather self explore, then head to the top of Mt Victoria. In the Fellowship of the Ring, the Hobbits hide from the ring wraiths on the walking track of Mt Victoria. Highlights are when Merry breaks his carrot and Frodo shouts: “Get off the road!” A Final option for Wellington is the Weta Cave & Workshop. Although not a film location, it may interest those who enjoy a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ action. Home to the studio where all the props, costume, make-up and special effects were created for The Lord of the Rings movies. Well worth a look!
A part of the magnifcient Marlborough Sounds, at the very top of the South Island, the Pelorus River was filmed as Forest River for the second of The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. You know the bit where they escape the Wood-elves in barrels and float down the river to Lake-town? Well, the drop was done at Pelorus Bridge! Brave the refreshing water and jump in for a dip, watch out for Orcs.
The Canterbury Plains are in the middle of the South Island and, along with Poolburn Reservoir in Central Otago, stand in for the Plains of Rohan, the Riddermark. Edoras itself is Mount Sunday, deep in the Rangitata Valley. One of the best rafting trips we offer showcases Mt Sunday – Edoras in the back drop, so be sure to take in the sites before you tackle those grade 5 rapids!
Rangitata white water rafting is an optional activity we offer that one of your awesome guides can book for you whilst on tour.
Queenstown, being the very scenic town it is, there is no doubt why this was a chosen area in New Zealand for many of the great Lord of the Rings back drops. The famous Mountain Range which is seen from everywhere in this town, known as the ‘Remarkables’ makes quite a few appearances throughout the trilogy. One example is the journey from Edoras to Helm’s Deep, where you can spot The Remarkables in the background.
“If you want him, come and claim him” Yes, Arwen washed away the pursuing ring wraiths right here in Skippers Canyon, Queenstown. Re-live the pressure Arwen was under in saving Frodos life on a thrilling Jet Boat ride through Skippers Canyon! Your talented guide will point out where the scene was shot before throwing you off axis on a 360 degree spin through the turquoise waters of the Shotover River.
Skippers Canyon jet boat is an optional activity we offer that one of your awesome guides can book for you whilst on tour.
Not too far from Queenstown, about 1hrs drive, is the small town of Glenorchy. A little further on the outskirts of Glenorchy lies what we believe is one of New Zealands most scenic and hidden destinations, Paradise. Yes, there is a small place actually named Paradise! Right here, happens to be the location of Isengard, home of the white wizard and seen when Gandalf approaches Saruman’s tower. Other scenes filmed in and around Glenorchy include Amon Hen, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains and Ithilien! Visit all these locations and learn stories and secrets from experienced guides that had a great insight into the filming. This is an optional activity we offer through ‘Pure Glenorchy Tours’ that your awesome guide can book for you whilst on tour.