It’s worth watching these movies before you come as it;s fun recognising movie locations as you go.
Here we have some highlights of the movies when exploring the varied landscapes and spectacular scenery of New Zealand.
Hobbiton – Matamata
One of the best and most complete LOTR movie locations is Hobbiton in Matamata on North Island. You will recognise the rolling green hills of The Shire right away, and you can almost visualise Gandalf coming down the path in his horse cart and Frodo running to greet him. But that is all you have to visualise, because everything but the hobbits is actually still here.
Start at Shires Rest Café, followed by The Shire and its Hobbit holes, the Party Tree, the lake, the vegetable gardens, The Mill and The Green Dragon Inn, where we get a taste of the special hobbit brew.
The journey to Mordor and Mount Doom - Tongariro
Not to be missed is Tongariro National Park in the North Island. The park is a large, barren and inhospitable area enclosed by beautiful volcanic mountains. To Peter Jackson it was the perfect location for Mordor.
The best way to explore the park is to do the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a 20 kilometre one day hike to the saddle between Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe – also known as Mount Doom to LOTR fans.
Middle Earth – Queenstown
Queenstown apart from being New Zealand's adventure capital is also fondly known as Middle-earth. Many scenes from LOTR were filmed around Queenstown. Tour operator Pure Glenorchy takes a Lord of the Rings tour to the Glenorchy area outside Queenstown.
Even if you have never seen a LOTR movie, you will love this incredible area with some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. Take in the natural beauty and locations from Amon Hen, Isengard, The Wizard’s Vale, Lothlórien, Ithilien and The Hobbit .
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