New Zealand has become internationally renowned for its incredible landscape, from snow-capped peaks to rushing rivers that carve their way through ancient valleys. New Zealand’s landscape has become a bucket-list attraction for millions of travellers around the world, and for some, there is an added layer to the stunning scenery. Since the release of the first Lord of the Rings film ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ in 2001, Lord of the Rings and Tolkien fans have been flocking to the island country to see the scenery depicted in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy. Many make a road trip of their adventure, passing through the country by car hire, stopping at the most famous locations. Some locations are famous landmarks, and others have been tracked down by dedicated fans, using the footage from the films as a reference point.
To start off this list, we’ll start with where the film begins, Hobbiton. The area in which Hobbiton was filmed is now called the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. Located between Auckland and Rotorua on the North Island, in an area known as the Waikato Region, Hobbiton offers a range of tours. From simple hikes around the village to a banquet meal fit for the King of Gondor (or those who skipped second breakfast). The attention to detail is incredible, and that’s because these are the same houses and sets that were built for the second Middle-Earth film trilogy, the Hobbit Trilogy. With colourful flowers, lush green hills and quaint Hobbit-holes (that’s the correct name for their dwellings). Take a look at the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours website to see if a unique festival is happening during your visit, with Christmas, a Beer Festival, Mid-Winter Festival and Summer Harvest Festival held throughout the year. For the price of a cool grand, you can book a private tour, complete with a guided tour of the 12-acre site, Green Dragon Inn, and Hobbit Holes.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was filmed all over New Zealand, covering both islands and many national parks. Hobbiton is the heart of the trilogy tour, with the rest dotted across the country. Certain areas of Middle-Earth were filmed in certain areas of New Zealand.