For fans of the Lord of the Rings movies, New Zealand is a dream destination. With its rolling green landscapes, high mountains and lush valleys, the country bears a deep resemblance to the fictional Middle Earth in the movies. Over 150 locations in New Zealand were used to film the fantasy trilogy. Here are the best locations to visit if you are looking for an authentic Lord of the Rings experience.
Hobbiton has been used as the filming location for both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. Located in the Waikato district, the set is situated on a private farm. Today, it has become a popular tourist destination for Tolkien fans and you can even get guided tours around the set.
Although the set was torn down after The Lord of the Rings movie, it was rebuilt during filming of The Hobbit movies. The set includes a visitor centre, a merchandise store selling movie memorabilia, a café and genuine representations from Middle Earth. Even for non-fans, this is still a place you will enjoy visiting. The scenery is breathtaking and the attention to detail is truly amazing.
2. Paths of the Dead
Paths of the Dead are featured prominently in Return of the King, where Aragorn walks among the White Mountains. You can visit the actual location in the Wairarapa district. The towering rocky mountains known locally as The Pinnacles create a serene landscape that will appeal to anyone, whether you are a fan of the movies or not.
This is the perfect place for a hiking adventure. Climb up the pinnacles for the best views from above.
3. Hobbiton Woods
Mount Victoria in Wellington is another easily recognizable filming location. In the Lord of the Rings movies, it is depicted as Hobbiton Woods where the hobbits hide from black riders. There are many other filming locations in Wellington including River Anduin (Hutt River), the Gardens of Isengard (Harcourt Park), Rivendell (Kaitoke Regional Park) and Pelennor Fields (Queen Elizabeth Park).
In the movies, Edoras is the capital of Rohan. In the movies, the scenery is nothing short of epic. A wide lush valley is dotted with snow capped peaks. The scenery is exactly the same in real life. The set itself was built on Mount Sunday, just two hours from Christchurch. There is a nice lodge where you can stay overnight.
Once you arrive at the parking lot, you will find a well-marked trail that leads upwards to the peak of Mount Sunday. Hiking to the top is a 30-minute journey with big scenery rewards once you reach the pinnacle. You can even enjoy a picnic while taking in the breathtaking landscape unfolding in front of you.
Bus tours to Middle Earth
To make your trip to Middle Earth a success, we recommend you take advantage of Kapiti Coach Tours services. We provide coach tours around Wellington to various popular locations used in filming The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.