When Peter Jackson released The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001, the film put New Zealand on the map. Stunning vistas that seemed otherworldly was reality on a little island in the South Pacific. Since the release of the Middle Earth films, fans from all over the world have made pilgrimages to visit and experience the wonder. We’re going to talk about 5 places you need to visit on your trip.
Nestled in the town of Twizel, one of the greatest battle scenes was ever filmed. Located on a privately owned piece of land lies Pelennor Fields, the place where the War of the Ring reached it’s climax. The men of Gondor and Rohan fought off the orcs of Mordor in an epic clash, giving way to the defeat of the dark lord. In addition to Pelennor Fields, the location of Laketown is a stones throw away so you can visit two big sites in one town! The vistas are, of course, stunning. So it’s worth the trip alone. Fans can book a tour through Lord of the Rings Tour with many different touring options.
A must for all fans includes Weta Workshop. Located in Wellington, this was the birth place of the creatures, costumes and props used throughout the films. Since their work on the trilogies, they’ve rocketed into prominence and worked on many other blockbuster films. If taking selfies with their life-sized sculptures wasn’t enough, you can tour through their ‘Weta Cave‘ for free! It contains high-end sculptures, prop replicas, art prints and even apparel. Fans looking for more of an in-depth experience can book one of the many tours they offer to get a better look at what the studio is all about. Honestly, taking a picture of the giant troll outside the Cave is worth the trip alone!
Tucked away in Hakatere Conservation Park lies a quiet mountain with a lot of wonder inside of it. Mount Sunday was the location of Edoras, one of the largest populations of man in Middle Earth. The set took production 9 months to build! While there’s nothing left of the set now, fans can journey into the mountains to see (and even climb) the steep hill that once sat the capital city of Rohan. The mountain range is a sight to behold. Be sure to bring a jacket though – it’s just as windy as the film depicted it to be.
Kaitoke Regional Park
Located inside Wellington lies a magical kingdom. Filled with babbling brooks and ancient trees lies Kaitoke Regional Park, the location of Rivendell and the Fords of Isen. The tranquility of park will transport you to a distinctly elvish peace of mind. Some piece of set remain behind so you can take pictures of the woodland beauty. Just be sure to bring your walking shoes because it can be an easy few hours of exploring the park.
We saved the best for last. You can actually visit Hobbiton! Kept in near perfect condition, the set from the films has been taken care of by the owners of Alexander farms, where it was built. Fan can visit Hobbit holes, explore the market place, pull up a chair at the Green Dragon Inn, maybe talk shop with fellow fans and end up giving tips for slots players. You never know what could happen in The Shire! You can even host your wedding there. It’s the quintessential spot for all fans.