A Wizard's Journey Through New Zealand

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Great wizards are also brave adventurers who travel far and wide. Embark on an epic journey throughout New Zealand to experience otherworldly landscapes and fascinating fiords in the real Middle‑earth.

How can New Zealand not bewitch anyone who visits?

Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf Discover The Hobbit Trilogy filming locations.
Dunedin
Hoopers Inlet, Dunedin

By Chris Stephenson

New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand

By Milford Sound

New Zealand
A Wizard's Packing List, New Zealand

By Tourism New Zealand

West Coast
Glacier heli flight, West Coast

By Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters

Wairarapa
Cape Palliser, Wairarapa

By Julian Apse

Christchurch - Canterbury
Arthur's Pass, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Julian Apse

Queenstown
Horse-riding at Cardrona, Queenstown

By TNZ

Christchurch - Canterbury
Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Tourism New Zealand

BUY WETA WORKSHOP COLLECTIBLES ONLINE

Discover a huge range of high-quality collectibles created by the very same artists who work on the films.

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PACK LIKE A WIZARD

What would you pack for your Wizard-inspired holiday? Get replicas from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies to take with you.

Feel the earth's power in Rotorua

As you approach Rotorua, you may notice a faint scent of sulphur and escaping curls of steam, the first hints of the region's dramatic geothermal character. Witness the earth's power at the famed Pohutu Geyser - the undisputed star of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. The geyser erupts up to 20 times a day to heights of 30 metres at Te Puia.

Rotorua
Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia, Rotorua

By Shaun Jeffers Photography

Visit Te Puia to experience the might of the iconic Pohutu Geyser that erupts up to 20 times a day, spurting hot water up to 30m skyward.

Rotorua

Rotorua

Discover more of Rotorua

Highlights

  • Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley
  • Maori Culture
  • Mountain biking in The Redwoods

Proximity

Explore ice worlds on the West Coast

Marvel at the huge valleys of ice that form Frans Josef and Fox Glaciers. Here the ice age is still underway. Enjoy an easy walk to the foot of glaciers, along ancient river valleys, or be whisked high above them by helicopter. These scenes will have you reaching for your camera at every turn. 

West Coast
West Coast Glaciers, West Coast

By Tourism New Zealand

Explore ice caves and canyons on Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

Highlights

  • Franz Josef and Fox glaciers
  • West Coast Treetop Walk
  • Pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki

Proximity

Journey on horseback

Imagine riding through the backcountry New Zealand, through tussocked plains, between soaring peaks, alongside sparkling alpine lakes and rivers. Channel the spirit of Shadowfax, the "Lord of all horses", and ride south with the wind in your hair. From Queenstown, travel to Glenorchy and trek the magnificent Paradise Valley, or cruise across Lake Wakatipu and ride through rolling farmland with Walter Peak Horse Treks.

Queenstown
Horse trekking in Glenorchy, Queenstown

By Miles Holden

Step back in time on a horse trek through the exceptional landscapes surrounding Glenorchy.

Queenstown

Queenstown

Discover experiences in Queenstown

Highlights

  • Horse riding
  • Valley of vines by bike
  • Kawarau Bridge Bungy

Proximity

Gaze at dazzling night skies

Brilliantly bright, the night sky here will cast its spell on you. See glittering constellations and shooting stars in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, free from light pollution. Head to Big Sky Stargazing at the foot of Mount Cook or join one of Earth & Sky's tours at Tekapo's Mount John Observatory, and see the stars through powerful telescopes.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Tourism New Zealand

Church of the Good Shepherd, Tekapo

Highlights

  • Mount John Observatory
  • UNESCO International Dark Sky Reserve

Proximity

Stand tall on alpine peaks

With more than 23 peaks over 3000 metres, New Zealand’s Southern Alps is a home of giants. Marvel at these snow-capped peaks that fill the horizon and explore the rugged landscape ice and rock. The Southern Alps starred in both Middle‑earth trilogies; locations include Mt Potts Station (Erewhon), Mount Sunday (Edoras), Treble Cone's Towers Ridge (Misty Mountains) and Twizel (Pelennor Fields).

 

Christchurch - Canterbury
Lake Pukaki, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Rob Suisted

Late autumn delivers some of Aoraki/ Mount Cook National Park's most dramatic scenery.

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Discover things to do in Canterbury

Highlights

  • Hooker Valley Track
  • Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail
  • TranzAlpine Rail Journey

Proximity

Experience the tranquility of Fiordland

Ancient rainforest clings to impossibly steep mountains, waterfalls tumble hundreds of metres into massive fiords, and the shimmering lakes and granite peaks look the same today as they did thousands of years ago. Fiordland National Park and the Mavora Lakes were the location for Fangorn Forest - take a moment to breath in here and enjoy the tranquility of nature.

This is the Middle‑earth I had always pictured.

Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf Discover The Hobbit Trilogy filming locations.
Fiordland
Milford Sound, Fiordland

By Tourism New Zealand

Highlights

  • Scenic cruises
  • Great walking and hiking
  • Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Proximity

  • By car: 2hr from Queenstown
  • By bus: 3hr from Queenstown
  • By car: 2hr from Invercargill

Take a stroll through Hobbiton

With your adventure nearly over, you can afford to slow down and reflect. Take a gentle stroll through the homely village of Hobbiton, past hobbit holes and the Party Tree. Wander across the bridge to the Green Dragon Inn and enjoy a relaxing ale among friends. If you choose an evening visit, you will be treated to a banquet fit for a hobbit.

Hamilton - Waikato
Hobbiton™ Movie Set, Hamilton - Waikato

By Hobbiton™ Movie Set

The Hobbiton™ Movie Set in the lush countryside setting of Matamata is a spectacular sight at sunrise or sunset.

Highlights

  • Bag End
  • The Party Tree
  • The Green Dragon Inn

Proximity

You're at the end of your journey, but not at the end of your quest. Learn more about New Zealand's journey as Middle‑earth here. Or look here to discover more film locations throughout the country.

For more inspiration check out #RealMiddleEarth

Journey as another character

A Hobbit's Journey Through New Zealand →

A Dwarf's Journey Through New Zealand →

An Elven Journey Through New Zealand →