Last month, Middle-earth News gave tips to explore Middle-earth locations in New Zealand. These tips and were based on personal experiences. Of course, there are many other The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit locations to be explored.
Here is a brief list that will, hopefully, help those who plan to go to New Zealand (or maybe are already there).
Location: The Shire
Situated in rural Waikato region, Matamata became known for the Hobbiton movie location. For The Hobbit trilogy, Hobbiton has been rebuilt and will be a permanent attraction. If you fancy a nice pint after a long day of exploring Middle-earth, the Green Dragon Inn is the right place for you.
Daily tours are available.
Location: Trollshaw forest, Staddle farm
Near Waitomo, you can explore various Hobbit locations such as the attack of the Orcs and Wargs in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, or the arrival of Radagast. Located on a farm, there are several guided tours available throughout the day.
Location: Emyn Muil, Mount Doom
Also situated in the Waikato region, you can start your journey from Taupo to visit the Tongariro National Park where Mordor, Emyn Muil, and Mount Doom were shot.
Location: Gardens of Isengard, Weta Workshop, Park Road, Rivendell etc.
Upon arrival in Wellington, there are various LOTR and Hobbit locations you’re able to explore. The most accessible filming location is Mount Victoria known as Hobbiton Woods. Other Wellington locations include the Hutt River (River Anduin), Harcourt Park (Gardens of Isengard), Kaitoke Regional Park (Rivendell), Waitarere Forest (Osgiliath Wood), and Putangirua Pinnacles (Paths of the Dead).
Location: Chetwood Forest, Dimrill Dale
Near the Abel Tasman National Park in the Northwest of the South Island, Takaka Hill was the location for Chetwood Forest. You can start your journey from Nelson, a city known for its beaches, lakes, vineyards, cafes, shopping, and art. Mount Owen at the southern end of neighbouring Kahurangi National Park served as the setting for Dimrill Dale.
Location: Edoras, Misty Mountains
New Zealand’s Canterbury region features New Zealand’s largest peaks and glaciers, including Mount Sunday which was turned into Edoras. You can find Mount Sunday on the Canterbury plains next to the Southern Alps (shown as the Misty Mountains).
Location: Lothlorien, Parth Galen
The village provides a view of Mount Earnslaw, which you’ll remember from the first few scenes of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Also check out Parth Galen (where the breaking of the Fellowship of the Ring took place) and parts of Lothlorien (the forest realm of the Elves).
Location: River Anduin, Pillars of the Argonath, Lothlorien
With its world-class skiing, Treble Cone near Wanaka served as the film location for the River Anduin, the Golden Plains, Lothlorien, Pillars of the Argonath, and Dimrill Dale. Wanaka is a resort town in New Zealand’s southern lakes region.
Location: Pelennor Fields
In Twizel, you can re-visit the location of the Battle of the Pelennor fields. Twizel itself is a well-positioned base for mountain climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing, horse trekking, and hiking.
Location: Laketown’s riverside
Glacial lakes feed into Lake Pukaki, giving the water its vibrant blue colour. The lake was chosen as the location for Laketown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. The lake is also a favourite fishing, walking, and cycling spot, while the snow-capped Mt Cook overlooking the lake is busy with skiers during the winter months.
Location: River Anduin, Fangorn Forest
Te Anau is the gateway to Fiordland National Park and the base for several of The Two Towers locations, including the River Anduin and Fangorn Forest.
There are, of course, various other film locations that are not listed here, but this list can be a helpful start to explore New Zealand. Also, I cannot recommend often enough to take the time to explore all those facets of New Zealand that are not part of the Middle-earth franchise. While many come to New Zealand just to see Middle-earth, even more will fall in love with the great and diverse beauty of the country and its people.