The Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in New Zealand, and although over 150 different filming locations were used, many of the major ones are located near to major landmarks and popular tourist centers. OROGOLD brings you some of the best Lord of the Rings travel destinations in New Zealand.
Tongariro National Park
The oldest national park in New Zealand, Tongariro National Park was the main setting for the land of Mordor, and is definitely the one location worth visiting if you are strapped for time on your vacation. The impressive 2000 year old Mount Ngauruhoe was used to represent Mount Doom in the movies, the location where one ring was forged but then later destroyed. The mountain is shaped like a cone, and is made primarily of ash, so while climbing to the peak and back can take about 6 hours, the views from the top are some of the best that you will find in the country. Tongariro National Park is also home to many other locations from the movie, including Emyn Muil, which was filmed on Mount Ruapehu, to the plains of Gogoroth, which were filmed at the Tukino ski field.
The Putangirua Pinnacles
Located near to Wellington, the Putangirua Pinnacles is a small national park consisting of strange rock pinnacles, formed by erosion over the past 120,000 years. The location is instantly recognizable as the roads of the dead from the movie, which were walked by Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas. Although this may only be a small part of the movie, the Putangirua Pinnacles are definitely worth a visit, simply due to how unusual they are, and for the haunting atmosphere that surrounds you when you are in the park. The park is worth visiting no matter what the weather may be, because even on a rainy day it is still able to retain its eerie aura. However, if you do visit during bad weather, OROGOLD advises that you take extra care, as falling rocks in the area can be dangerous.
Kaitoke Regional Park
The Kaitoke Regional Park was the filming location for Rivendell, and although the real-life destination lacks the digital elements that were added to the films, the beauty of the area still makes it a great experience. For fans of the trilogy, OROGOLD recommends visiting the special section of the park that explains the construction methods used in the movies, and how different aspects of this were achieved. During the rest of your visit, you can spend your time exploring the 2800 hectares of lush forest, enjoying a unique perspective from one of the two treetop walkways.
New Zealand is a land of immense natural beauty, and is a country that was hugely overlooked until its beauty was seen through the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There are plenty of other movie locations in New Zealand that you can visit, from taking a tour of Hobbiton to exploring Lothlorien, the home of Elven Queen Galadriel. No matter where you go in New Zealand, it is easy to see why it was picked as the location for the trilogy, as its spectacular landscapes and unique natural resources give it a truly unrivaled edge.