There are many ways to dive deep into the fantasy world of Lord of the Rings. Viewers can experience more of J.R.R Tolkien’s books and the films adapted from his writing, However, nothing is so immersive as a visit to the locations where the movies were shot.
The set of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films were based in New Zealand. The producer chose its wild and deserted environments to shoot battle scenes and journeys. He decided to move all the cast and crew to his native country.
New Zealand’s famous locations and attractions from The South Island are featured prominently in the film. One of the most visited is Hobbiton, where the low and round houses of the Shire were built. They are located 150 km South from Auckland in Matamata. This sight can be visited through a guided tour which explains some facts about filming in the area.
In the middle of North Island, there is Tongariro National Park, alias Mordor in the trilogy. It is the biggest National Park in New Zealand and includes the volcano named Mount Doom in the films. Walking South in the same park brings people to Ithilien, the famous set for the scene where Smeagol catches his fish. When reaching Mangawhero Falls, the scene where Sauron has his ring finger cut off seems to take shape before the visitor’s eyes.
The Weta Cave, close to Wellington can be visited for an inner view of the set. It consists of a museum with some of the creatures and creations of the movie. A visit can be extended by vising the studios. In Wellington there is another interested spot to be seen at Mount Victoria Lookout. Many scenes were shot at this location, including the escape from the Nazgul.
A lot of landscapes and wide overviews have been shot in the South Island. This journey isn’t just a drive from one end to the other of New Zealand. It is driving through the fantastic world of The Lord of the Rings.