Calling all Tolkien enthusiasts and fantasy lovers! If you’ve ever dreamed of stepping into the enchanting landscapes of Middle-earth, you’re in for a treat. New Zealand, with its breathtaking scenery, served as the real-life backdrop for Peter Jackson’s epic “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy. So if you’re feeling like going on an adventure across the land of hobbits, elves, and wizards you’re in the right place. Join us on this virtual tour of the must-visit locations in New Zealand for any Middle-earth fan.
Our voyage starts in the center of the Shire, where Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins started their legendary adventures. Trust me when I tell you that you will have the time of your life in Hobbiton, a real-life movie set in Matamata, North Island. Explore the lovely hobbit holes, have a beer at the Green Dragon Inn, and take in the undulating hills’ abundant greenery. As you stroll around this quaint area of Middle-earth, you’ll feel just like a hobbit yourself. Except maybe a few inches taller.
Tongariro National Park
Explore the North Island’s Tongariro National Park in the south to find the impressive Mount Ngauruhoe, which served as the movie’s massive Mount Doom. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a strenuous trek that leads through a volcanic terrain that feels as otherworldly as Mordor itself. Even though you can’t actually ascend the volcano, you will still be in awe of this area’s unreal beauty. The landscape, with its craggy hills, hot vents, and emerald lakes, is both fascinating and reminiscent of Frodo’s dangerous excursion.
Are you ready to discover Rivendell, the elves’ haven? Then your next location should be Kaitoke Regional Park, which is close to Wellington. With its verdant forest and calm river, this park’s soothing surroundings wonderfully capture the ethereal splendor of the Elven sanctuary. You’ll feel as though you’ve entered a magical universe that is totally different from the real world as you explore the Elven archways and spend some time in solitude by the river. Rivendell has been meticulously recreated, and it is a place where you may fully experience the wonder of Middle-earth.
For a taste of Rohan’s majesty, head to the remote Canterbury region of South Island. The place where Edoras, the capital of Rohan, was filmed is Mount Sunday. The stunning, secluded mountaintop offers sweeping views of the neighboring mountains and is enclosed by huge plains. You’ll realize why the Rohirrim made this wind-swept peak their capital as you stand atop it. The feeling of both splendor and isolation is given off by the immensity of the surroundings. The golden plains and the far-off mountains simply have to remind you of the kingdom of Rohan.
Fiordland National Park
For a glimpse of the rugged beauty of Middle-earth’s southern regions, why not also visit the Fiordland National Park on the South Island? Milford Sound, with its dramatic fjords, waterfalls, and towering peaks, is the real-life inspiration for the fjords of Middle-earth. You will have the chance to witness its breathtaking beauty up close. But also finally see why this place served as the backdrop for key scenes in the trilogy. The sheer cliffs, lush rainforests, and cascading waterfalls make you feel like you’re sailing through a world untouched by time and modern technology. Ah, how amazing would it be to live as a hobbit, right?