The Lord of the Rings filming locations – incredible New Zealand beauty

New Zealand is a country of amazing natural landscapes. Their photos do not need graphic processing to impress with their beauty. That is why the country was chosen as the Lord of the Rings filming location.

With the release of the first movie part of the Lord of the Rings, New Zealand was hit by a real tourist madness. The film series was a great opportunity for New Zealanders to conduct various types of business related to the Tolkien trilogy.

The result of the marketing madness of Tolkien’s novels was the creation of a Hobbit market in the capital and the opportunity to travel the Air New Zeland line, covered with images of the characters that shows aircraft safety film with the actors. Many companies, such as the vineyard in Oakland, advertise themselves as the best vineyard in Middle-earth (the name of the continent on which the action takes place), not in New Zealand.

The most important Lord of the Rings filming location is the Hobbiton, also known as the Shire of the Lord of the rings, where the main characters lived. It is located near Matamata, on the North island.  There is a nice The Shire’s Rest™ Café there to taste incredible cuisine.

The North island is also place of the fourth oldest national Park in the world. It is Tongariro National Park, which is included in the UNESCO world heritage list. This is where the scenes for the Kingdom of darkness – Mordor were filmed. There is also the famous mountain where Frodo destroyed the ring. Going here for the first time, tourists certainly know that the area is devoid of vegetation, however, they are still amazed every time at how harsh is the landscape.

Landscapes depicted in the movie did not require the creation of completely new non-existent places. Travel through the lands that were used for filming is amazing and gives incredible impressions and emotions.


If you’re a fan of Tolkien’s work and his movies, be sure to check out the places Peter Jackson used to move the amazing story from books to screen.

Attention! In the descriptions below you can find spoilers for the movies, so if you haven’t watched Lord of the Rings yet, then you probably aren’t reading this article or got here by accident be careful.

The Lord of the Rings film locations in the South Island

The Pillars of Kings (Queenstown): giant monuments of the kings which are Isildur and Anarion, standing on both sides of the river Anduin. The statues, of course, were created by a computer, but the view of the river you can see the same as in the movie.

Pillars of Kings is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Skippers Canyon: the Lord of the Rings filming location where Arwen saved Frodo and Sam on the way to Rivendell. She defeated the Nazguls by creating waves that washed them away.

skippers canyon is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Rohan (Devil’s staircase, Queenstown): the action in Rohan was often filmed in this place. For example, during the journey from Edoras to Hellmowy Jar, where in the background you can see the Remarkables overlooking Queenstown.

Devil's Staircase to Lake Wakitipu the Lord of the Rings filming location

Ithilien is the Lord of the Rings filming locationIthilien (near the border of Queenstown). It is the Lord of the Rings filming location where Frodo, Sam and Gollum watched the battle between the forces of Gondor under the command of Faramir and the forces of evil from Harada (the scene oliphaunt). To feel the atmosphere of this place well enough, stay overnight at the campsite (there are the cheapest in the area).

The Gladden Fields (Arrowtown): the Lord of the Rings filming location where Isildur lost the Ring.Tha Gladden Fields (Arrowtown) is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Isengard (Glenorchy): Right behind Glenorchy there is the land which was used for filming of Isengard. Saruman’s castle, as in the case of statues of kings, of course, need to be imagined.

glenorchy is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Fangorn forest (near Te Anau): the Lord of the Rings filming location where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli met Gandalf the White after his resurrection through Galadriel.

The Dead Marshes (around Te-Anau): swamps through which Gollum led Frodo and Sam to Mordor. Not far away were also filmed the first shots of Anduin at the beginning of the film.

Te Anau is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Isengard and Lothlórien (Milford Sound and lake Wanaka): in both of the incredibly beautiful places (that worth visiting, even if you are not a fan of Tolkien), many scenes from Isengard and Lothlórien were filmed.

Milford Sound is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Pelennor fields, Rohan plains (Twizel): On the surrounding plains the scenes the battle on the fields of Pelennor and the plains of Rohan were filmed.

Twizel is the Lord of the Rings filming location

The Lord of the Rings film locations in the North Island

Tongariro National Park is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Mordor (Tongariro National Park): mount Ngauruhoe in particular. The Lord of the Rings filming location where Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum went on a mission to destroy the Ring.

Today, the Tongariro National Park (Mordor in the movie), where the mountain Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom), is one of the most popular places for hiking. Visitors can choose between one-, three- or four-days hiking in this volcanic land.


Shire (Hobbiton near the city of Matamata): the largest, most advertised and most visited tourist city left after the filming of the Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. A trip to Shire isn’t cheap, but if you’re a fan, it’s definitely worth it.

Hobbiton near the city of Matamata is the Lord of the Rings filming location

Rivendell (the forest, between Upper Hutt and Featherston): one of the most well-preserved and attractive the Lord of the Rings filming locations in New Zealand. There is a parking next to the forest, and nearby you will find several hiking trails and camping. On the route marked as the road to Rivendell, we will find a couple of columns with the photos where you can compare your height with the growth of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Sauron. On the route there is the real gate to Rivendell! In fact, of course, plastic, but looks like a stone.

Upper Hutt and Featherston is

The Weta Cave (Wellington, Miramar): a film studio where movie effects were created, costumes and props were prepared. Currently, for a certain price you can go on the excursion and see the layouts to creating effects and part of the props and costumes.

The Weta Cave is the Lord of the Rings filming location

On the Internet you will find more the Lord of the Rings filming location, but, unfortunately, most of them are located on remote mountain trails or in private areas. And the places described above are the most interesting and rather easy to get. Some of them are also the greatest attractions of the country, for which other tourists come, not only Tolkien’s fans.

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