New Zealand - Home of Middle-earth

Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released ten years ago, New Zealand has been known as the ‘Home of Middle-earth’.  Now, the country is set to reprise its leading role in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which has its world premiere in Wellington on 28 November 2012.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The second film will be The Hobbit: There and Back Again.  Both films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  

A decade after the release of Lord of the Rings, fans continue to travel to New Zealand to experience the mountains, lakes, rivers and plains that formed the magical landscape of Middle Earth in the Tolkien films. Now it’s your turn.

From scenery to set

More than 150 locations throughout New Zealand were used to film The Lord of the Rings trilogy, after our very own Peter Jackson and his team scoured the country for the most stunningly beautiful areas. 

The rolling hills of Matamata became Hobbiton, while the volcanic region of Ruapehu transformed into the fiery Mt. Doom where Sauron forged the ring. Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, was the setting for numerous scenes including Eregion Hills and the Pillars of Argonath.

There's no place like it

The diversity of the New Zealand landscape has been a draw for filmmakers and travelers from around the world.  Many activities and attractions offer the chance to see the film locations for yourself, as well as the many other experiences New Zealand is known for.

New Zealand’s mix of extraordinary geography, sense of adventure, Māori culture, and cosmopolitan cities all offer a hugely diverse range of unique experiences. New Zealand makes it easy for you to actively experience the breathtaking landscape in all its purity.

Explore, relax, rejuvenate

Be swept off your feet by chains of stunning alps, volcanoes, lakes, fiords, native forest and perfect beaches. From its breathtaking mountains and fascinating geothermal activity, to its award winning vineyards and cuisine, you’ll have plenty of unforgettable experiences on your next vacation.

Explore the articles below to learn where the movies were filmed, suggested itineraries to visit set locations, destination information and lots of fun activities to enjoy on your New Zealand vacation.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be released beginning December 14, 2012 (December 13 in NZ).  The second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is slated for release the following year, beginning December 13, 2013.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production.  Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit, and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein, are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.

© 2011 Warner Bros.  Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.