What better way to celebrate two decades of The Lord of the Rings than by visiting the franchise’s most stunning locations – from the mountains of Mordor to the charming Hobbiton village.
Discover the 8 must-visit The Lord of the Ring’s filming locations in New Zealand.
1. Hobbiton – Matamata
Perhaps the most famous of The Lord of the Ring’s filming locations, the official Hobbiton Movie Set is nestled in the small farming community of Matamata in the North Island’s Waikato region. Discover the lush green pastures on a guided tour, where you’ll visit the famous Hobbit holes and even get a chance to enjoy a beverage at the Green Dragon Inn. To mark the 20 year anniversary, the Hobbiton Movie Set is offering a special openair screening of The Fellowship of the Ring on 10 December 2021 and 14 January 2022, which includes a tour of the set.
2. Pelennor Fields – Mackenzie Country
The Mackenzie Country in the South Island is known for its vast, rugged landscapes and proved the ideal location for the epic battle of the Pelennor Fields. While the actualy filming location is on private land, tours can be arranged in the nearby town of Twizel.
3. Isengard – Southern Lakes
Otago’s village of Glenorchy was where some of the most famous scenes at Isengard were filmed. The slopes of nearby Mount Earnslaw feature in the opening scene of The Two Towers. Head to nearby Cardrona Valley and drive up to the summit of the Crown Range where you’ll see stunning views of Middle Earth, featuring the iconic locations of Dimrill Dale, the Pillars of the Argonath and Amon Hen.
4. Fangorn Forest – Fiordland
The mystical Fangorn Forest, where the mighty Ents from The Lord of the Rings live, can be found along Takaro Road in Fiordland.
5. Edoras – Canterbury
The high country of Ashburton was the film location for Edoras, the city where the people of Rohan live. While the set has since been dismantled, you can still discover the magic of Mount Sunday, a dramatic hillside with spectacular views of the open plains.
6. Chetwood Forest – Nelson Tasman
Nelson Tasman at the top of the South Island is not only home to the goldsmith who created the rings in the films, but the film location for Chetwood Forest (Takaka Hill), where Aragon’s ‘Strider’ leads the hobbits into the countryside to escape the Black Riders in The Fellowship of the Ring.
7. Rivendell – Wellington
The beautiful Kaitoke Regional Park in Wellington was a major Lord of the Rings filming location, depicting the Elven city of Rivendell. Follow the sign posts from the main car park to find the grassy area and native forest where filming took place.
8. Mount Doom – Mount Ngauruhoe
Another one of the must-see Lord of the Rings filming locations, Mount Ngauruhoe in Tongariro National Park (central North Island) is the famous Mount Doom. The best way to see the film location is on the full-day Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand’s best day walks.