Since the release of the first ‘Lord of the Rings’ film back in 2001, the landscape and country of New Zealand has captured the hearts and minds of millions of budding travellers around the world. Whether you’re a fan of the Tolkien franchise or not, the landscape and scenery that New Zealand offers are out of this world. With snow-capped peaks, crystal clear lakes, ancient forests, and active and extinct volcanoes, New Zealand has one of the most picturesque landscapes on earth. Beyond the scenery, New Zealand’s cities offer a huge range of attractions and activities of their own, with museums, zoos, art galleries, heritage buildings and fantastic restaurants. New Zealand is home to some of the best and freshest food in the world, with a booming seafood and wine industry that dominates the culinary scene in the country.
If you are planning to visit the island nation, there are some cities and activities that are a must if you have the chance.
We will start things off for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans, as there are still millions of devoted fans out there - many of whom make the trek from overseas to visit famous locations from the films. Depending on how far you are travelling or if you see both islands, there are a number of Lord of the Rings locations to see. The first is Hobbiton Movie Set Tours on the North Island, or as we know it, ‘the Shire’. Built to last following the second Peter Jackson trilogy, here you can see the rolling green fields and Hobbit holes of the Shire complete with the Green Dragon Inn. There are various tours on offer, from the standard guided tour to food-based tours, providing guests with ‘second breakfast’ or a banquet fit for King Theoden himself. The second Lord of the Rings location is Mordor and Mount Doom, or as we know it, Tongariro National Park. With the iconic black sands, mountains and atmosphere of the realm of Sauron, coupled with fantastic walking trails and photo opportunities, this park is a win-win. See Mount Ngauruhoe, which was used as a stand-in for Mount Doom.