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LOTR destinations not to miss in New Zealand

If you’ve watched the LOTR films you’ll know how beautifully stunning the landscapes are. Any of the rolling hills in New Zealand could play host to The Shire, but some of the other landscapes are undeniably famed locations filmed across New Zealand.

LOTR showcased some of New Zealand’s sheer beauty to the world, and now you can even visit the locations in person. Die-hard fans might want to consider a Lord of the Rings tour, which often includes costumes to re-enact scenes. Get your LOTR geek on!

1. Hobbiton 

Hobbiton I hear you say! Yes Hobbiton is a real place! You can potter around the village in The Shire, have a cider in the Green Dragon pub, have a little dance under the Party Tree, and even visit Frodo at Bag End. Many of the tours from Rotorua and Auckland visit this iconic set so make it a must do on your list.

Location: Matamata, Waikato, North Island

2. Te Anu 

One of the more tense scenes from the films is set in the South Island’s Te Anu, close to Milford Sound. It is the location for the Dead Marshes that Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through where they see the faces in the water. Creepy! In reality however it is a really beautiful place!

Location: Fiordland National Park, South Island

3. Mt. Doom

A must do for many walkers, hikers and even backpackers is hiking the famous Tongariro Crossing. Experience what it would be like to be Frodo and Sam and climb even closer to the fiery depths of Mordor. If you are feeling extra fit, you can hike up Mt. Doom itself, though be prepared – it’s tough!

Location: Tongariro National Park, North Island

4. Milford Sound

Within the Fiordland National Park on the south island is the location of Fangorn Forest, known for the scene in LOTR where Gandalf whistles for his majestic horse Shaowfax. It is also where Aragorn tracks the Hobbits’ trail into the forest, and it is the home of the ents.

Location: Fiordland National Park, South Island

5. Putangirua Pinnacles 

Creepily tall and leaving a daunting shadow across the valley, there is no mistaking that these battered pillars make-up the Dimholt Road that Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli took when they first encountered the Army of the Undead. New Zealand is famous for some of the most amazing naturally sculpted rocks and these are just some of them!

Location: Aorangi Ranges, North Island

6. Mt. Victoria

Located just outside of Wellington on the North Island, Mt. Victoria is a beautiful area with winding tracks and impressive scenery. It is filmed in LOTR in The Fellowship of the Ring when the Hobbits hide from the ring wraiths on the walking track. It is also where Merry breaks his carrot!

Location: Wellington, North Island

7. Kawarua Gorge

The Kawarau Gorge is home to both bungee jumping and canyon swinging, but it was also the same gorge filmed in LOTR, known as the Anduin River. It is the river that the Fellowship of the Ring paddled down to be greeted by the two giant statues on either side on the river. Unfortunately the statues were added in postproduction so they aren’t there today, however, it is still pretty spectacular.

Location: Queenstown, South Island

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