Planning your holiday in New Zealand around the many Lord of the Rings movie locations will set a wonderful itinerary in place, with a good mix of all that New Zealand has to offer.
As well as Lord of the Rings filming locations and scenery, each destination offers a wide range of other interesting experiences. If you have seen the trilogy, you will recognize all the locations as you visit the real version! These locations had no need to be digitally enhanced! The scenery is natural and magnificent.
Traveling South Starting the Tour from Auckland
Matamata – Hobbiton Tours – This was the set for much of the filming of the LOTR. Here you can do a guided tour over ten acres. While the set was mostly dismantled, you can see remnants of Hobbit holes and sets, and will be given a guided tour pointing out what was where. There is plenty here to jog the memory and envisage it as it was in the film.
Tongariro Alpine Crossing – National Park – (Just over an hour from Taupo) Mt Doom. in reality! Tongariro Crossing is New Zealand's most popular one day walk. Featuring 17 kilometers of panoramic views, incredible volcanic plains, steam vents, gorgeous Emerald Lakes and Mt Doom! It is well worth taking a day to do this magnificent walk if you are fit and able. You can well see why it was chosen as Mt Doom for the Lord of the Rings. The natural volcanic landscape is just perfect!
Wellington Region – Lord of the Rings home base! There are many different LOTR sites in and around Wellington. You can take a full day tour to nine filming locations, a half day tour to several, or a Deluxe All Day Tour by Helicopter! Wellington is home to Peter Jackson, and was the central location for the creation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As well as other popular movies including "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and King Kong.
Weta Cave – Weta Workshops – Wellington – You can now visit the Weta Cave – Mirimar -Opened in 2008. This is a shop associated with Weta Workshop who did all the animation, and created the Lord of the Rings characters. You can do a 15 minute "behind the scenes" tour as well as browse and buy Lord of the Rings merchandise. There is a display of costumes from LOTR, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and other movies Weta has worked on. You can also buy limited edition collectibles, books, DVD's and other souvenirs.
On to the Lord of the Rings South Island Locations
Nelson Region – Rivendall and Dimrill Dell can be reached by road, or for a special experience helicopter. The "ring" was crafted by Jens Hansen Gold and Silversmith workshop – a Nelson jeweler.
Canterbury – scene if the Middle Earth battles, and alpine fortresses. Take a one or two day tour, to Edoras on Mt Potts Station. Walk up Mt Sunday in the remote South Isalnd back country.
Twizel -is known in Lord of the Rings as Pelenor Fields
Queenstown – Recognize the mountains and rivers. Queenstown has many Lord of the Ring's based activities. Experience the same rivers as Frodo, do a 4WD drive into LOTR country, visiting some of the filming sites, or take a helicopter flight to remote LOTR's back country sets.
Wanaka – features The River Anduin, Golden Plain Lothlorien, Pillars of the Argonath, and Dimrill Dale.This beautiful area, will get you excited as you envisage the LOTR saga set here.
Milford Sound – scene of Fangorn Forest is a stunning place to visit whether you are a LOTR's fan or not!
Lindis Pass – was also part of Fangorn Forest One of the routes to travel the Southern Alps to and from the West Coast.