New Zealand: A Lord Of The Rings Guide

November 28, 2013

For any Lord of the Rings (LOTR) fanatic, New Zealand is a dream destination. Whether you want to explore the fortress of Isengard, Hobitton or even Mordor, there’s a tour to help you see it all. If you’re a wanderer and want to check out the sites without a guide, that is possible too.

Hobbitton, or Matamata

When you visit Matamata, you’ll be transported to Hobbitton. There, you’ll be able to explore 44 different hobbit holes, including the home of Bilbo Baggins – Bag End.  You’ll see several famous spots as you tour Matamata, from the hobbit holes to the Green Dragon Pub and the Party Tree. According to, this set will remain a permanent attraction.

Mordor, or the Tongaririo Crossing

In the Tongariro National Park, you’ll recognize some of the sights of Mordor while you explore the park’s alpine meadows and hot springs.  The Gates of Mordor were located in the Tukino skifield. Mordor itself was located in the Whakapapa Skifield. You can access the park from State Highway 48, while the Tukino skifield is accessible via the Tukino Skifield Road.


Known as the hub of filming for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wellington is where a lot of action took place. If you’re looking for Rivendell, your best bet is Kaitoke Regional Park. After a short walk, you’ll end up at Mount Victoria, where nearby forests became the hobbits’ hideaway from the black riders.

A trip to southern New Zealand community of Nelson can take you to the goldsmith responsible for the 40 rings used in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. There, you can purchase a replica ring and see one of the originals on display.

If you’re not afraid of flying, take a helicopter ride to over Dimrill Dale. That’s where the fellowship hid from Saruman’s black crows as the villain tried to capture them. Not only will you see that beautiful space, but you’ll get to see the area’s three national parks.

Ford of Bruinen, Gandalf’s ride, or the Southern Lakes

Near the village of Glenorchy, you’ll see Mount Earnslaw, the scenery featured in the first sequences of “The Two Towers.”  From there, you’ll also find Lothlorien. From Queenstown at Arrowtown, you can walk to the Ford of Bruinen or Wilcox Green, two prominent locations used in filming.

Edoras, or Canterbury

If you’re interested in the countryside where the people of Rohan lived in Edoras, visit Canterbury. The set has been destroyed, but the area is beautiful. Meduseld, King Theoden’s hall was constructed on Mount Sunday in Canterbury.

Dead Marshes, or Kepler Mire wetlands of Te Anau

Gollum guided Fodo and Sam through the Dead Marshes, which were set in Kepler Mire. Kepler Mire is located in Fiordland National Park.

Whether your plan is to explore the parks and beautiful natural areas where key scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy were filmed, or if you just want to see the Shire, New Zealand is the perfect place to explore. Sign up with Trekeffect to plan your perfect LOTR getaway with friends and family.

-April Bamburg

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

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April Bamburg
April Bamburg is a freelance writer specializing in community news, travel writing, press releases and other blog posts. She dreams of traveling the world and getting lost in Italy, Turkey or even Scotland.
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