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Discover: Five of the best Lord or the Rings locations
From the rolling hills of Hobbiton to the desolate slopes of Mt Doom, discover the real Middle Earth when you visit these five iconic Lord of The Rings locations. Whether you're a die-hard hobbit hunter or just a curious fan, when touring New Zealand’s spectacular scenery you're sure to be transported into the realms of fantasy.
Just two hours south of Auckland in the heart of Waikato king country you’ll come across Hobbiton,The Shire. Hidden within lush farmland and rolling green hills, it's easy to see why this area was chosen to bring Tolkien's words to life. Located on a private dairy farm, the fully intact set has been left ‘as is.’ Visit hobbit holes, Bag-end, the Green Dragon Inn and the Party Tree. We highly recommend a two hour guided tour for insider secrets into the filming.
The Volcanic Plateau and Taupo
Used extensively in both trilogies, this part of central New Zealand is immediately recognisable from the films.The barren landscape of Tongariro was used as the Lord Sauron’s stronghold ‘Mordor’ while director - Sir Peter Jackson - took inspiration for Mt Doom from active volcano, Mt Ngauruhoe. While you’re here, be sure to visit the nearby Rangipo desert where many of the Orc army scenes were shot.
New Zealand’s capital city is home to Weta Workshop - the design and effects facility behind the films. Stop in here to see real life characters, props and actual displays used during the making of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit. It’s also close to the Putangirua Pinnacles - the setting for eerie Dimholt Road and Paths of the Dead and Mt Victoria, where you'll see encampment of Dunharrow and the hidden refuge of Rivendell.
Nelson and the Canterbury Region
Nelson is home to Jens Hansen, the goldsmith responsible for creating the 40 different rings used in production. One original ring is on display, and for the truly fanatic, copies can be brought in both 9ct and 18ct gold. We recommend a visit to the rocky slopes of Mt Owen (Dimrill Dale), where the fellowship escape Moira. Another must see filming location is Canterbury’s Mt Sunday, the capital of Rohan and home to Meduseld, the hall of King Theoden. This set took over nine months to build exclusively by helicopter, and although very little of it remains, it boasts soaring views of the countryside below.
Further South, head into Skippers Canyon to view the site where Arwen summoned a magical, flood. In nearby Glenorchy, much of filming for Lothlorien and Parth Galen was done and you’ll also have a chance to see the misty mountains and the Ithilien Camp. Hop aboard a helicopter to view the snowy slopes of Dimrill Dale, the gates of Khazad-dum and the forest of Fanghorn.