This is the first of our top 10 series about New Zealand. With so many traveller’s visiting our fine land to see where and why Peter Jackson chose to film here, we thought we would kick it off with the…
” Top 10 destinations for Hobbit Fans”
10 – The Rings, Chetwood Forest, Mt. Olympus & Mt. Owen – Nelson
Nelson is home to Jens Hansen, the goldsmith who created the 40 different rings used in production. One of the original rings is on display and copies can be bought in 9 and 18ct gold.
From Nelson drive west over Takaka Hill, which was the filming site for Chetwood Forest. Here the Ranger ‘Strider’ led the hobbits in an attempt to escape the Black Riders.
In the Nelson area , you can also view the location where the fellowship hid from Samuran’s black crows, but you will need to take a helicopter. Ask the pilot to show you Dimrill Dale , Mount Olympus and Mount Owen.
9 – Pelennor Fields – Canterbury
Not far from the town of Twizel Peter Jackson filmed the epic battle of the Pelennor Fields, where thousands of orcs led 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.You can arrange a tour in the town of Twizel.
Search for Nearby Accommodation here
8 – River Anduin & Fangorn Forest – Fiordland
Four different rivers in different regions were in fact used to depict the River Anduin. There are two more featured in this list.
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.
Fangorn Forest can be found on Takaro Road, which 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
See What Else Is In The Area Here
7 – Mount Sunday – Canterbury
Nestled in the Ashburton District’s high country sits – a sheer-sided hill that was the set for Edoras, the main city of the Rohan people.
Nothing remains of this set, which took nine months to build, however the location still has a powerful magic. You can park your vehicle on Hakatere Potts Road and walk to the site.
6 – Hobbiton Woods, River Anduin, Gardens Of Isengard – Wellington
The most accessible filming location in Wellington is Mount Victoria, which is within walking distance of the central city. The forested areas of the mountain were used to depict Hobbiton Woods, where the hobbits hid from the black riders. Other Wellington locations include the Hutt River between Moonshine and Totara Park, which played the part of the River Anduin, and Harcourt Park, which was transformed into the Gardens of Isengard.
Wellington’s Kaitoke Regional Park became Rivendell, where Frodo recovered from the knife attack. The exact location – a grassy area surrounded by native forest – is signposted from the carpark.
5 – Mt. Earnslaw , Lothlerien – Otago
From the village of Glenorchy, 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 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.
Drive over the Crown Range Road and you’ll find yourself in the Cardrona Valley.You can then drive to the summit of Mount Cardrona for a panoramic view of Middle-earth. To the left are the River Anduin and the Pillars of the Argonath. From here you can view the Dimrill Dale, and Amon Hen on the shore of Nen Hithoel.
Pure Glenorchy Scenic Tours have a LOTR tour here
4 – The Props – Wellington
The Weta Workshop in Miramar, Wellington were responsible for creating props and special effects for the LOTR and hobbit trilogies. Go behind the scenes and experience the work created within, on a guided Weta Cave Workshop Tour. You’ll see some of the props and models they’ve created over the years and learn about the processes they use to make it all happen.
Check out the behind-the-scenes video of Weta including interviews with Weta co-founders Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk.
Come face to face with some of the characters, props and displays from your favourite movies in their mini-museum, and read the stories of how they were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them.
Weta Cave tour starts from $24 available here
3 – Mt. Doom – Tongariro National Park
Mt Ngauruhoe is one of the most striking features in the Tongariro National Park with an almost perfect cone rising to 2287m.Some come just to climb this mountain and others will include it as part of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Check Guides and Transport options to the Tongariro crossing here
2 – Staddle Farm, Trollshaws, “Sting” – Waitomo
Visit Hairy Feet Waitomo, in its stunning farm location at Piopio, near Waitomo, where the troll and campfire scenes in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” were filmed.
Towering limestone cliffs, massive rock formations and a primeval forest on the Denize family farm became the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaws… and the home of “Sting”!
See More About The Tours here
1 – The Shire – Waikato
Experience the real Middle-Earth with a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, the setting for The Shire that featured in the The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.
Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie set was created.
The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth.