Lord of the rings


Lord of the Rings filming locations

Planning your holiday in New Zealand around the many Lord of the Rings movie locations will give you a excellent starting point for your itinerary, incorporating a fantastic mix of all that New Zealand has to offer. As well as Lord of the Rings filming locations and scenery, each destination offers a wide range of other interesting experiences.

The Waikato Region

Hobbiton tours New Zealand

The town of Matamata in the Waikato with it’s rolling hills and emerald green grass was the perfect setting for the peaceful Shire region of Middle-earth, the home of the village of Hobbiton. This area of New Zealand is one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas in the world and is characterised as a large fertile basin through which the Waikato River flows.

The Hobbiton movie set has primarily been returned to its natural state, however hobbit holes and other distinctive land marks such as ‘the party tree’ still remain and can be viewed as part of a Hobbiton tour. The Waikato region also offers superb caving and black water rafting.

Tours and activities

14 day Lord of the Rings group tour
Ultimate North Island adventure self-drive tour
7 day bike the North Island tour
8 day Northern experience escorted group tour
Caving in Waitomo


Taupo Region

Visit Mount Doom - The Tongariro Crossing

The Taupo region was the filming location for Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mt Doom. In Return of the King, Frodo and Sam climbed Mt Doom. You can do the same while walking the Tongariro crossing, often described as the best 1-day walk in New Zealand. It’s a challenging walk taking 7-8 hours, taking you past volcanoes, steaming fumaroles, jagged lava flows, the red Crater and Emerald Lakes.

The Taupo region does however have more to offer than lakes and volcanoes, the region is also known for its fantastic trout fishing, world-class luxury lodges and ski fields.

Tours and activities

14 day Lord of the Rings group tour
Attractions in Rotorua
River drift diving
Walk the Tongariro crossing
10 day Auckland to Wellington self drive adventure package


Wellington Region

Wellington was the LOTR filming location for Rivendell

Wellington was recently named Best Little Capital in the World by Lonely Planet, and we’d have to agree. Besides being New Zealand’s capital city Wellington is also known as the cultural capital of New Zealand due to its excellent bars, restaurants and art galleries.

The Wellington region provided the locations for Rivendell, the Auduin River, The Gardens of Isengard and Lothlorein in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The most accessible filming location in Wellington is Mount Victoria, which is within walking distance of the city. The forested areas of Mount Victoria were used to depict Hobbiton Woods, where the hobbits hid from the black riders, all of the other film locations are within an hours drive of the city.

Tours and activities

14 day Lord of the Rings group tour
18 day escourted New Zealand Adventure group tour
10 days self drive Auckland to Wellington package
The Royal tour


Nelson Region

Chetwood Forest, Rivendell and Dimrill Dale filming locations

The Nelson region is known for its wide-open spaces, beaches, lakes, spectacular national parks, unique land forms, vineyards, gourmet cafes, artists, galleries, boutique shopping and more recently for providing locations for Chetwood Forest, Rivendell and Dimrill Dale. Takaka Hill is the location for Chetwood Forest and can be found at the entrance to Abel Tasman National Park, it is the only place besides Italy where rocky marble outcrops exist. Mount Owen at the Southern end of the Kahurangi National Park was the setting for Drimdale. Mount Owen is located near Nelson, a small arty town home to many of the craftspeople who helped make props the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Tours and activities

Attractions in Nelson
Abel Tasman kayaking and walking tours
Sail Abel Tasman National Park - 4 Days


Canterbury Region

Visit Edoras filming location

Canterbury is an alpine region containing New Zealand’s largest peaks and glaciers, the perfect location for alpine fortresses and Middle-earth battle scenes.

Mount Sunday was the location for Edoras and Meduseld. Nestled in the Ashburton high country is Mount Sunday, a rocky outcrop on the Canterbury plains next to the Southern Alps – around 2.5 hours drive from Christchurch City. The Canturbury plains are the largest plains in New Zealand and the Southern Alps are the biggest mountain chain in Australasia, even bigger in area than the European Alps. Christchurch City and the Canterbury region is vibrant and picturesque, a region of remarkable contrasts with much to offer.

Tours and activities

Attractions in Christchurch
Attractions in Akaroa
Wine regions in Canterbury



Pelennor Field LOTR location tours

Near Twizel in the MacKenzie country the epic battle at Pelennor Field and scenes involving the Eastemnet Gullies were filmed on the spectacular. Twizel lies just down the road from Mt Cook/Aoraki National Park, where the breath taking opening scenes of The Two Towers were filmed. The location itself is on private land but tours are run out of the town of Twizel.

Tours and activities

11 day Southern Experience small group tour


Wanaka & Queenstown Regions

Rohan, River Anduin, Lothlorien filming locations

Wanaka is a picturesque resort town located in South Island’s Central Otago region.

From Lake Wanaka in the heart of New Zealand’s southern lakes region, you can see the backdrop used for Gandalf’s flight to Rohan with Gwaihir after his rescue from Orthanc. Wanaka was also the film location for the River Anduin, Golden Plain, Lothlorien, Pillars of the Argonath, and Dimrill Dale. Built on the road between Queenstown and Wanaka back in 1892 is the ‘Prancing Pony’ actually called the ‘Cardrona Hotel’. The pub brews its own beer, offers excellent pub meals and has a large open fire. Queenstown, Wanaka’s close neighbour has long been known as New Zealand’s adventure capital and the original home of commercial bungy jumping. Queenstown offers dramatic views from every vantage point and has many Lord of the Ring’s based activities as well as world-class spas, wineries and fine dining.

Tours and activities

14 day Lord of the Rings group tour
Attractions in Queenstown
Wine regions in Queenstown
Walk the Milford track
Golfing at Millbrook


Te Anau & Milford Sound

Fangorn Forest filming location

Gateway to massive Fiordland National Park, the township of Te Anau sits at the edge one of the most picturesque lakes in New Zealand. Te Anau was a base for a number of The Two Towers locations including the Great River Anduin, Fangorn Forest and The Dead Marshes. Milford Sound was the film location for Fangorn Forest, with its beautiful beech trees it’s a stunning place to visit.

Tours and activities

14 day Lord of the Rings group tour
3 day guided walk the Hollyford Track
5 day tour walk the Milford Track
Diving in Fiordland
18 day rail spectacular Auckland to Christchurch


Southern Alps

The Misty Mountains

Stretching across the central and southern parts of the South Island of New Zealand, the mighty chain of mountains named the Southern Alps was used extensively in filming The Lord of the Rings. The majestic peaks, with their exquisite glacier carved lakes and rivers depicted the Misty Mountains of Tolkien’s Middle Earth. This striking part of New Zealand is known for its stunning alpine scenery and Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak.

Lindis Pass, a 63km scenic reserve, was also featured as part of Fangorn Forest, and is one of the routes that traverse the Southern Alps. Driving through the spectacular Lindis Pass that links the Mackenzie Basin with Central Otago is considered a must do when visiting New Zealand.

Tours and activities

3 day Lake Tekapo guided walk
11 day Southern Experience small group tour