The world's focus on New Zealand as the home of Middle Earth is enduring. Guests from across the globe keep coming here to see this mythical, magical place.
When you travel New Zealand you will pass by many areas where the trilogies of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit were filmed. Many activities and attractions allow you to see film locations for yourself.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy had a budget of 280 million dollars. The movie was shot entirely in New Zealand and parts of this were at the WETA Workshops in Wellington.
Filming locations included:
Lush Waikato farmlands became the peaceful Shire region of Middle-earth and Hobbiton was created here. This village was created in permanent materials and is an attraction today.
Home of the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin, Rivendell, Osgiliath Wood and Paths of the Dead.
The forested areas of Wellington City's Mt Victoria were used in the film as Hobbiton Woods where the Hobbits hid from the Black riders.
The Hutt River played as the River Anduin and Harcourt Park was transformed into Gardens of Isengard.
Wellington's Kaitoke Regional Park became Rivendell, where Frodo recovered from the knife attack.
Queen Elizabeth Park was used for filming the Nazgul and mumakil in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
Waitarere Forest became Osgiliath Wood, where Frodo, Sam and Smeagol walked after leaving Faramir.
Putangirua Pinnacles in the near-by Wairarapa, is where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli sought the Paths of the Dead.
Close to Wellington Airport in Mirimar is the Weta Workshop, Weta Digital and the Miramar film empire which created The Hobbit Trilogy production. Much of the movie production house and the Weta workshop is not open to public viewing but you can visit the Weta Cave and tour a section of the production workshop.
The rings, Chetwood Forest, Dimrill Dale
Jens Hansen lives in Nelson. He is the goldsmith who created 40 different rings used in production. One of the original rings is on display and copies can be bought in 9 and 18ct gold.
Takaka Hill was the filming site for Chetwood Forest. Here the Ranger 'Strider' led the hobbits into the rough country east of Bree in an attempt to escape the Black Riders.
We can helicopter you to see where the fellowship hid from Saruman's black crows. Ask the pilot to show you Dimrill Dale - Mount Olympus and Mount Owen. From the air, you'll get an eagle's view of the region's three national parks - Abel Tasman, Nelson Lakes and Kahurangi.
Mount Sunday is an almost cliff like hill that was the set for Edoras, the main city of the Rohan people. This place holds a powerful magic today although the set has been removed.
Near Twizel, Peter Jackson the epic battle of the Pelennor Fields was filmed, where thousands of orcs bred by Sauron clashed with the men of Gondor and Rohan. The grassy fields that stretch to the foothills of the mountains look exactly as described in The Lord of the Rings.
At the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, you can see the north-western slopes of Mount Earnslaw, which featured in the opening sequence of The Two Towers. From Glenorchy you can also discover Lothlorien - the beech forest on the road to Paradise.
Another memorable location can be found near Queenstown at Arrowtown where you can walk to the Ford of Bruinen on the Arrow River; you can also walk to Wilcox Green, where the Gladden Fields scenes were filmed.
From Chard Farm winery you can see a spectacular view of the Anduin and Argonath (Pillar of Kings). The Pillars were computer generated in the studio.
At the summit of Mount Cardona (1119m) in the Cardrona Valley you will have a panoramic view of Middle-earth. To the left are the River Anduin and the Pillars of the Argonath. In the hills straight ahead is the Dimrill Dale. In the distance is Amon Hen on the shore of Nen Hithoel.
The Waiau River between Te Anau and Manapouri represented the River Anduin as the Fellowship paddled south from Lothlórien. The surrounding high peaks were used to depict the rough country south of Rivendell.
Fanghorn Forest is near Te Anau. Both sides of the road were filmed as Fangorn Forest; remote cameras were strung from high wires to film Aragon moving through the trees.
We can provide you with directions to most of these filming locations or arrange knowledgeable guides to give you an in depth understanding of what you are looking at and how these sites fit into the movie.