If you're a fan of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy, don't miss these uniquely Middle-earth activities while you’re in New Zealand.
The idyllic village of Hobbiton is the ultimate place to experience Middle-earth magic at its best. Take a guided tour around all 44 Hobbit Holes that make up The Shire – with smoking chimneys and bluebell flowers, you’ll feel as if you have stumbled into Tolkien’s fantasy world. While you’re there, stop in at the Green Dragon Inn, where you can enjoy a light lunch and a handle of sobering thought ale.
Mangaotaki Farm in the Waikato, which you can visit with Hairy Feet Waitomo, was used extensively in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The pivotal troll campfire scenes were filmed in this single area - the biggest onscreen location in the film. Explore the secluded Mangaotaki Valley and its magnificent limestone cliffs and ancient forest.
The fascinating Waitomo Caves were used to record parts of the audio for The Hobbit Trilogy. A truly otherworldly experience; many of the caves have stalactites and stalagmites growing inside and their walls are covered by twinkling, glittering glow worms. Explore the caves with a tour on foot, or try black water rafting or abseiling in the darkness.
Interested in the movie-making geniuses that brought Middle-earth to life? Don’t miss the Weta Cave and Studio Tours. Weta is the Academy Award winning company behind the special effects of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy, and the Weta Cave is a mini-museum that showcases the props and characters that create movie magic.
The Nelson region is home to both Mt Olympus (South of Rivendell) & Mt Owen (Dimrill Dale). Reid Helicopters pilot Bill Reid personally flew location scouts to Mt Olympus, where they fell in love with the landscape. Dimrill Dale was where the members of the Fellowship of the Ring escaped Moria and grieved the loss of Gandalf.
Queenstown is home to some of Middle-earth’s most spectacular filming locations, including Isengard and Lothlorien. It’s a region known for its sky-scraping alpine peaks; turquoise blue lakes and fields of golden tussock. Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopter flights will take you on a Middle-earth inspired scenic flight above Queenstown and Fiordland. Pilot Alfie Speight did most of the aerial filming for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, so an authentic Middle-earth experience is guaranteed.
Combine off-road adventure with Middle-earth magic with a Nomads Safari in Queenstown. Experience various filming locations - including the battle of the Wargs, Argonath, the Ford of Bruinen, Isengard and the Forest of Lothlorien – amidst the stunning alpine beauty of the Queenstown region.
The glacier of Earnslaw Burn has created a number of waterfalls that cascade down an enormous rock face - this is where Bilbo and The Company were filmed continuing on their quest after departing Rivendell in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Heliworks is the only operator licensed to visit it.
Journey into the Misty Mountains with Eco Wanaka. Fly like the eagles and land on a glacial peak, then hike down through cliffs, canyons and rivers as Bilbo and the dwarves did.