of the Rings in New Zealand
plan wheelchair accessible vacations to many of the scenic film
locations used in Lord of the Rings.
a visit to a small area of farmland outside the small town of
Matamata, near Hamilton (a couple of hours drive south of Auckland)
that was transformed by The Lord of the Rings crew into the peaceful
hobbit village of Hobbiton, (image on right)
When The Lord of the Rings producers and artists walked around
the farmland of the region, they instantly knew they had found
a place perfectly fitting Tolkien's description of The Shire,
the homeland of the hobbits.
rolling hills gently undulated over the landscape, there were
trees in all the right places even a lake to place the
The Southern Alps (above) stretch 550 km's from Blenheim to Fiordland
were the obvious choice to portray the Misty Mountains in Lord
of the Rings. image credit Peter
Lord of the Rings was filmed over 274 days, using 350 purpose-built
sets in more than 150 locations all over New Zealand (including
30 Department of Conservation sites). Filming in National Parks
meant plants were uprooted to make room for the set, temporarily
housed in big custom-made nurseries, then replanted at the end of
the shoot. In Queenstown, the site of heavy battle scenes in The
Lord of the Rings, up to 1100 people were on set each day. To protect
plants from foot traffic, a massive amount of red carpet was laid.
people also had to make sure they didn't destroy cultural symbols. Mount
Ruapehu is sacred to local Maori and traditionally Maori don't look
at the peaks of the mountains. Its also considered offensive to
draw or photograph them. So Jackson and the tribal elders agreed The
Lord of the Rings could film the mountain but use digital effects (such
as adding lava) to make it unrecognisable.
of the Rings Film Locations by City
The Farmland outside the small town of Matamata, near Hamilton, was
transformed by The Lord of the Rings crews into the peaceful village
of Hobbiton. Nelson Nelson's wild and beautiful mountains provided memorable
locations for The Lord of the Rings while local artisans supplied all
manner of props.
The legendary Volcanic Plateau in New Zealand's central North Island
was home to the most sinister of The Lord of the Rings locales; Mordor,
the stronghold of the dark lord Sauron.
Zealand Home of Middle-earth
Why New Zealand truly is the Home of Middle-earth. Details and maps
about the stunning and diverse locations used for The Lord of the Rings
trilogy in New Zealand are here
The spectacular adventure resort town of Queenstown in New Zealand's
lower South Island was the base for several Lord of the Rings filming
New Zealand's capital city Wellington was the production base for The
Lord of the Rings. Many local sites were used for the large outdoor
sets of Rivendell and Minas Tirith.
Mount Potts, situated on a high country station in Canterbury New Zealand,
became Edoras, the fortress city of the Rohan people (The Lord of the
Rings: The Two Towers).
Ideas near Hobbiton
of Waikatos main center, Hamilton, are the famous Waitomo Caves
massive subterranean caverns adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.
Visitors can take in the eerie beauty
of the glow-worms overhead, gliding through the silent darkness on a
barge. The more adventurous can explore the caves with a black water
rafting trip, or even abseil (rappel) 100m into the Lost World cave
before taking 'the wet way out' walking, swimming and climbing.