Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the 'Home of Middle-earth'.

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New Zealand’s dramatic scenery plays the mythical world of Middle-earth on the big screen in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy. Golden plains, towering mountains and enchanting valleys form the lands of Lake-town, Hobbiton, Rivendell and more with seamless magic.

The international spotlight is shining once again on New Zealand’s landscapes and film industry with the upcoming release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson. The third of a trilogy based on J.R.R Tolkien’s much-loved book The Hobbit, the film follows the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and a company of Dwarves. As the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance, Dwarves, Elves and Men must unite in the face of darkness or be destroyed, as the story hurtles toward its epic conclusion.

From scenery to set

The similarities between New Zealand and Middle-earth are remarkable. Bubbling brooks intersect with gentle waterfalls; snow-capped peaks cast shadows over lush forest valleys, and ancient glaciers – frozen in time – cascade almost to the sea.

More than 250 locations throughout the country were used to film The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy, after the filmmaking team scoured the country for the most stunningly beautiful destinations.

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.

Release dates of The Hobbit Trilogy:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,  December 14, 2012
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,  December 13, 2013
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,  December 17th, 2014
©2013 Warner Bros. Ent.
TM Saul Zaentz Co.

Middle-earth Itineraries

  • Explore the rolling hills and hobbit holes of magical Hobbiton.

    A Halfling's ramble

    Auckland Central to Wellington Central

    7 Days
    • Hobbiton
    • Waitomo Caves
    • Volcanic Ruapehu
  • There's plenty of places to have magical kayaking experiences during this 2-week itinerary.

    Elven Magic

    Auckland Central to Queenstown Central

    14 Days
    • Waitomo Caves
    • Wellington
    • Beorn's House
  • Aoraki Mount Cook

    The Great Wizard's Tour

    Auckland Central to Queenstown Central

    21 Days
    • Hobbiton
    • Lothlorien
    • Milford Sound