A Dwarf's Journey Through New Zealand

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Many people only dream of exploring the rolling countryside of Middle‑earth. Follow in the footsteps of Fili & Kili and take a trip to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim treasures from Smaug. Or journey through the vast Canterbury plains, along alpine peaks and rocky outcrops before descending into the depths of the New Zealand underground.

I was taken to Paradise, to the peak of a mountain and dropped off by a helicopter and left to shoot 360 degree angles in this landscape where there were no footprints and clearly no-one had ever trod there – it is literally beyond the imagination.

Richard Armitage Thorin Discover The Hobbit Trilogy filming locations.
Hamilton - Waikato
Waitomo Caves, Hamilton - Waikato

By Fraser Clements

Clutha
Nugget Point, Clutha

By Miles Holden

Wairarapa
Castle Point, Wairarapa

By Mike Heydon

Rotorua
Te Puia, Rotorua

By Chris McLennan

Christchurch - Canterbury
Hooker Valley Track, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Miles Holden

Northland & Bay of Islands
Poor Knights Islands, Northland & Bay of Islands

By Fraser Clements

New Zealand
Dwarf packing items, New Zealand

By Tourism New Zealand

Christchurch - Canterbury
Dwarves at Braemar Station, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Warner Bros.

Buy Weta Workshop collectibles online

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

Find out more

Pack like a Dwarf

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

Seek out the secret entrance to Rivendell

Pure distinctive light reflects off the alpine tussocks and grasses, the lake shines an amazing turquoise blue and sharp alpine landscapes rise from the distant horizon. It's no wonder that Braemar Station at Lake Pukaki was chosen as the location for the 'Warg Chase' and approach to Rivendell. Take a moment to imagine yourself discovering the secret entrance to Rivendell before immersing yourself in the depths of Middle‑earth.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Dwarves at Braemar Station, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Warner Bros.

Seeking the entrance to Rivendell at Braemar Station in the Canterbury region.

Christchurch - Canterbury

Christchurch - Canterbury

Discover great activities in Christchurch.

Highlights

  • Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
  • UNESCO International Dark Sky Reserve

Proximity

Explore ancient bluffs in Piopio

The looming cliffs, unusual limestone rock formations and prehistoric forests at Mangaotaki Rocks in Piopio look as though they've been created especially as a backdrop for Middle‑earth. Explore below the Denize Bluffs with a guided walk and keep your eyes peeled for the Stone Trolls.

Hamilton - Waikato
Piopio, Hamilton - Waikato

By Tourism NZ

Mangaotaki Rocks provide an eerie limestone backdrop for the company as they traveled towards Rivendell.

Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

Find out more about visiting Piopio

Highlights

  • Guided walk to Denize Bluffs
  • Mangaotaki Scenic Reserve

Proximity

  • By car: 1hr 40min from Hobbiton
  • By car: 2hr 45min from Auckland

An underground like the Glittering Caves of Algarond

Waitomo Caves offer underground caverns so surreal they rival the Glittering Caves of Aglarond. Discover immeasureable halls, filled with the everlasting music of water that tinkles into distant pools. Or explore pitch-back caverns only lit by the glittering rooftop stars of glowworms.

Hamilton - Waikato
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Hamilton - Waikato

By THL

Glittering rooftops above the Waitomo glow-worm caves.

Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

Learn more about the Waitomo Caves in the Waikato region.

Highlights

  • Glowworm cave tours
  • Blackwater rafting

Proximity

Stand on an active volcano

Get up close with roaring steam vents, bubbling pits of mud, hot volcanic streams and amazing lakes of steaming acid. See the wild side of White Island - an active marine volcano, as you take a guided tour with a local operator.

 

Bay of Plenty
White Island, Bay of Plenty

By Tourism New Zealand

Explore Whakaari or White Island, New Zealand's most active volcano.

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty

Discover more attractions in the Bay of Plenty.

Highlights

  • Scenic flights
  • Guided island tours
  • Walk up Mt Maunganui

Proximity

  • By plane: 12m from Whakatane Airport
  • By ferry: Guided boated tours depart from Whakatane.

Make like Dwarves in Barrels

Pelorus River, half way between Blenheim and Nelson in the north of the South Island, is the setting for the barrel escape scene in The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson chose the setting for its solid rock shoreline surrounded by native New Zealand forest, and a sandy beach for the barrels to come ashore. This is arguably one of New Zealand's most beautiful rivers. Visit the river as part of a guided tour.

Marlborough
Barrel Run - The Hobbit Trilogy, Marlborough

By Warner Bros.

The pure beauty of Pelorus River in Marlborough made the location the perfect choice for Forest River.

Marlborough

Marlborough

Discover more things to do in Marlborough.

Highlights

  • Kayaking the Pelorus River
  • Cycle the vineyards
  • Queen Charlotte Track

Proximity

Lead your company to Beorn's House

Paradise - a real town in New Zealand's Southern Lakes region is a picture of glorious isolation and natural grandeur. It's no wonder Peter Jackson chose this as the location for Beorn's House in The Hobbit Trilogy, as well as Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Come here to experience the giant snow-capped mountains, hanging alpine valleys and twisting braided rivers!

This is the Middle‑earth I had always pictured.

Sir Ian McKellen Gandalf
Queenstown

Queenstown

Find out more about Paradise and Glenorchy.

Highlights

  • Paradise Cycle Trail
  • The Lord of the Rings Filming Locations
  • Horse riding

Proximity

Or have an ale at the Green Dragon Inn

Meet your Hobbit friends in the Green Dragon Inn and swap tales of your recent adventures. Gather in the warm surroundings with the rest of your company and reflect on a journey through the real Middle‑earth.

 

Hamilton - Waikato
Green Dragon Inn, Hamilton - Waikato

By Sara Orme

Hobbiton's Green Dragon Inn is a venue that nobody will ever forget. The interior is just as you've seen it in the movies.

Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

Find out more about Hobbiton in the Waikato Region.

Highlights

  • Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata
  • Surfing in Raglan
  • Visit kiwi at the Otorohanga Kiwi House

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 Wizard's Journey Through New Zealand →

An Elven Journey Through New Zealand →

A Hobbit's Journey Through New Zealand →