Lord of the Rings in New Zealand
|Date Added: December 17, 2014 06:01:48 AM|
|Lord of the Rings in New Zealand
If the temperate climate, friendly residents and beautiful, unspoiled scenery of New Zealand aren’t enough to entice you to visit, imagine spending several days wandering rolling green hills of The Shire or exploring the valley of Rivendell. Such travels are possible with the many Lord of the Rings tours available in New Zealand.
If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, you can’t go wrong with the many Middle Earth shooting locations found throughout New Zealand. Based on the popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and the subsequent Peter Jackson movies, the country has made many of these film locations available to you through a variety of tour companies and vacation packages.
Explore New Zealand
Both the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand were utilized throughout the filming of the trilogy. Many top travel companies that offer Rings-specific packages perfect for any hobbit devotee. Consider joining Discover New Zealand or Hassle Free Tours for the most comprehensive Lord of the Rings film experience. Other groups, such as the aptly named Lord of the Rings Tours, create their own complete experience by offering themed lodging and opportunities to interact with and photograph authentic film costumes and props.
No matter what group you choose to lead you through Middle Earth, there are a number of can’t-miss sights for any true Lord of the Rings fan, including expeditions that begin and end around Christchurch and Queenstown. Whether you consider yourself a Frodo, an Elrond or more like a Gollum, don’t miss any of these local New Zealand highlights:
Visit the North Island
Come to the Matamata countryside to see the area used for The Shire throughout the film series and again for The Hobbit trilogy. Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and the set designers worked to create Hobbiton, now a permanent attraction in Matamata. By choosing a vacation package with Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, you can see many of these existing set pieces up close and personal.
While you are in the North Island area, head to Wellington, where many of the forested areas around Mount Victoria were used as Hobbiton Woods. Imagine yourself as Legolas in Kaitoke Regional Park, one of Wellington’s premier nature preserves, which was transformed into the elfin Rivendell. If you’d prefer, battle imaginary orcs in the fields near Wellington that were used for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Paths of the Dead and Osgiliath Wood.
Travel the South Island
The town of Nelson is home to famed goldsmith Jens Hansen, the man responsible for designing and forging 40 different rings used throughout the production. Here you can purchase a copy of Frodo’s precious “one ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them” as a souvenir, or you can feel like Sauron as you charter a short helicopter ride to get an overhead view of Dimrill Dale and the surrounding natural landscape.
It’s just a short trek to Canterbury, the film home of the Rohan people and the city of Edoras. These scenes were shot along the steep inclines of Mount Sunday near the town. Although the film sets no longer exist at this location, the breathtaking views cast their own mystical spells.
You can also catch a panoramic glimpse of Middle Earth by renting a car and driving over the Crown Range Road and into the Cardrona Valley. Like Frodo and Samwise Gamgee climb to the top of Mordor, you can hike to the summit of Mount Cardona for the best views of the River Anduin, the Pillars of Argonath and the shore of Nene Hithoel.
Whether you choose to explore the North Island or the South Island, the beautiful and protected New Zealand countryside is at your fingertips. With the help of any of these tour companies, you can be there and in Middle Earth at the same time. Visit New Zealand today for the chance to experience many of the filming locations of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.