New Zealand was Sir Peter Jackson’s choice for filming both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy and it’s easy to see why the director thought that New Zealand could bring Middle Earth to life. Even without knowledge of the specific filming locations one can identify probable Middle Earth hot spots. Any self-respecting fan will have their own list of locations to visit but if you’re at a loss of where to start try these top 10 Hobbit and Lord Of the Rings Destinations:
10) The land of Mordor and Mount Doom -Tongariro National Park, North Island.
The harsh landscape of Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe are aptly the location of Mordor and Mount Doom. Confident hikers can easily explore these Middle Earth locations themselves, or if you prefer to learn a bit more about the filming book a tour.
9) Pelennor Fields-Twizel, South Island.
This is the location of the LOTR’s biggest scenes, the Battle of Pelennor Fields. You’ll need to join a tour to access the actual site as it’s on private land, however once you are there, it’ll be easy to imagine the unspoilt landscape invaded by orcs and trolls. The stunning scenery makes the perfect photo opportunity, you may even want to don a cape and sword for the occasion. Consider a locally operated tour
8) Isengard -Mt Aspiring National Park, South Island
Isengard is a prominent fortress in the LOTR trilogy, so it is somewhat amusing that the actual filming location is marked by a sign that says “Dan’s Paddock” (you can’t get more Kiwi than that!). This location can be found on the Glenorchy Paradise Road about 30 minutes from Glenorchy.
7) Forest of Lothlorien, Glenorchy, South Island.
Glenorchy is a village town close to Queenstown and makes a good base for exploring a few locations. One of those is the beech forest on the way to Paradise, which perfectly translated Tolkien’s Forest of Lothlorien. From the the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, you can see Mt Earnslaw which helps set the scene for The Two Towers when it was featured in the opening sequence of the movie. For more information click here.
6) Misty Mountains, Southern Alps , South Island.
The Southern Alps is an exquisite mountain range in New Zealand’s South Island which made it the ideal location for the Misty Mountains. To get the most out of this location it’s worth spending a little extra and booking a tour. Try Eco Wanaka Adventures