Apart from its storyline and cast, the Lord of the Rings trilogy was a huge hit thanks to its beautiful sceneries. From the town where the Hobbits lived to the mountains where Frodo and Sam travelled, the entire set was in New Zealand. If you’re planning to visit, ask your travel agent or tour guide to include the following in your itinerary:
Hobbiton Movie Set
The Hobbiton (or The Shire, as what they call it in the movie) is the film set location for Frodo’s hometown. Located in Matamata, Hamilton, you can explore up to 44 Hobbit Holes with bluebell flowers and smoking chimneys and experience the real Middle-earth. Daily tours are available with a price range of $75 to $195 for adults, while infants aged zero to four years old are free to enter.
This coastline located on the north of Wellington has been popular for its beachside communities. Thanks to the movie, it became the East Road from Hobbiton and the home of the Elves (Rivendell). The Waitarere Forest on the south of Foxton became the film location for the upland woods of Trollshaws and Osgiliath, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor, as well. Most Kapiti Island Tours in NZ have these places in their program, but it’s best to double check with your agent or guide to be sure.
This area is home to Mt Olympus (the south of Rivendell) and Mt Owen (Azanulbizar or Dimrill Dale, a valley below the Great Gates of Moria). Dimrill Dale is where the members of the Fellowship of the Ring briefly stayed and grieved after losing Gandalf when they tried to escape from Moria. Riding a helicopter is one of the ideal ways to see these iconic mountains.
These are only some of the most iconic locations in New Zealand where the Lord of the Rings was filmed. If you want to make the most of your visit, it’s best to plan your itinerary thoroughly.