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New Zealand, the Land of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa). A country of breath-taking mountains, wide open plains, ominous volcano's and bubbling geothermal mud pools. For visitors to Aotearoa, the natural wonders of this country journey back to a landscape when the Earth was young – indeed in the time that was J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
It is no surprise that Sir Peter Jackson, one of New Zealand’s favourite sons, chose his motherland as the destination to film the critically acclaimed “The Hobbit” trilogy.
The Hobbit films and indeed, their predecessors, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, have been a major influence in the growth of New Zealand’s tourism industry and fanatics should not miss the opportunity to experience their own Fellowship on a Middle Earth campervan tour.
If you are planning your own journey to Middle Earth, you can pick up a campervan from the Britz Auckland Airport branch and check out some of the main filming destinations:
All three ‘The Hobbit’ films started filming at Wellington’s Stone Street Studios in 2011. The landscape scenes that portrayed the vast wilderness of Middle Earth were filmed in various locations across New Zealand in which one of those locations was an old sheep farm in Matamata.
The tranquil home of the two main characters, Bilbo Baggins and Frodo; Hobbiton, not only evokes the imagination of the world created by Tolkien, it also beautifully portrays the magic of the Trilogy.
The film set has been meticulously built by expert craftsmen and is populated by elves, orcs and Hobbits in Middle Earth attire. Taking a tour through the famous film location, you can soak up the experience of visiting landmarks such as Bag End, The Mill, The Green Dragon Inn and The Party Tree.
Considering camping near Hobbiton? Then check out Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park Pools. Just 6km from the Village, Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park Pools has up to 80 powered and non-powered sites to accommodate your campervan.
Waitomo Caves, Waitomo.
Just an hour and a half south of Hobbiton, along Cambridge Road and Otorohanga Road, you’ll discover one of New Zealand’s most spectacular and popular North Island destinations - the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were actually used to record the eerie sounds and echoes featured in The Hobbit films, so fans of the Trilogy with love the Middle-Earth Trilogy Supercharged tour, which includes a wild Black Water Rafting journey into the heart of the caves.
If you’re after a more ethereal experience, enjoy a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto and be awed by the exquisite display of glowworms suspended from the cave ceiling.
Campervan sites are accommodated by Top 10 Holiday Parks, Waitomo Caves, and have include communal kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Weta Cave and Workshop.
If you’re a Hobbit fan, then an absolute must-see is the multi-award winning Weta Cave and Workshop located in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington. This remarkable museum provides 45 minute tours of the workshop where you can see for yourself how prop designers crafted all characters and costumes from Trolls, to Orc’s armour to Gollum including The Ring itself. You can even pick up a replica of Bilbo’s ‘Sting’ sword!
If you’re looking for an ideal place to rest after a day of adventure, the Wellington Waterfront Motorhome Park is located in the heart of the city and is within walking distance to Wellington’s trendy cafes and bars. There are also 30 powered sites available (bookings are preferred).
The South Island of New Zealand was the filming location for many of Middle Earth’s dramatic landscapes. For example, Treble Cone Ski Resort and Mt Aspiring Road in Wanaka was the location of the Middle Earth kingdom of Rhudaur. The rugged tundra shows off some of New Zealand’s most spectacular landscapes, with the famous The Remarkables mountain range just an hours drive.
The Misty Mountains, Tolkien’s epic mountain range, is located just 10 minutes from Queenstown in The Remarkables. Here you can book a Lord of The Rings tour to the Remarkables, as well as the filming locations of Isengard, Ithilien Camp and the ‘Battle of the Wargs’.
Check out Queenstown Lake View Holiday Park, located just 500 metres from the shores of Lake Wakatipu. You’ll love the spectacular view of The Remarkables in all their glory.