'Lord of the Rings' Filming Locations In New Zealand You Should Visit

New Zealand's varied terrain, from the gentle slopes of Hobbiton to the fiery heights of Mount Doom, offered an ideal canvas for Peter Jackson's film adaptation of "The Lord of the Rings"
The movie set for the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit."
The movie set for the "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit."Peter Gudella / Shutterstock

British actor Bernard Hill, known for his roles in various films, including "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, recently passed away at 79, upsetting fans worldwide. Best known for portraying King Théoden of Rohan in the film series by Peter Jackson, Hill's performance was widely acclaimed, bringing depth and gravitas to the character as he led his people against the forces of darkness. In a tribute to this exceptional actor, let's revisit some of the filming locations of the iconic trilogy.


Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand
Hobbiton in Matamata, New ZealandShutterstock

Step into the idyllic Shire at Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand. This charming village, with its hobbit holes in the hillsides, served as the primary filming location for the hobbits' homeland. Visitors can take guided tours of Hobbiton, wander past Bilbo and Frodo's homes, and enjoy quality time at the Green Dragon Inn.

Mount Ngauruhoe (Mount Doom)

Tongariro National Park, Mt Ngauruhoe
Tongariro National Park, Mt NgauruhoeShutterstock

For a taste of Mordor's volcanic landscapes, head to Mount Ngauruhoe in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand. This imposing peak was used to portray Mount Doom, where the One Ring was forged and ultimately destroyed. While climbing to the summit is reserved for experienced hikers, the surrounding area offers scenic views of the volcanic terrain.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Traverse the otherworldly landscapes of Tongariro National Park on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This challenging trek takes hikers through volcanic terrain, past emerald lakes, and beneath the imposing peak of Mount Doom. Along the way, you'll recognise the dramatic views that brought the land of Mordor to life on the big screen.

The Hobbiton movie set was created for filming the trilogy
The Hobbiton movie set was created for filming the trilogyTomas Bazant / Shutterstock

Edoras (Mount Sunday)

Ascend to the top of Mount Sunday in Canterbury, New Zealand, to discover the ruins of Edoras, the capital of Rohan. This remote location offers sweeping views of the surrounding plains, making it easy to imagine riders of Rohan galloping across the grassy expanse in defence of their homeland.


Explore the charming town of Matamata, the gateway to Hobbiton, and immerse yourself in the heart of Middle-earth. Stroll through the picturesque countryside, visit local attractions like the Matamata Museum, and indulge in Hobbit-themed treats at the Shire's Rest Cafe.


Discover the rugged beauty of Glenorchy, a small town on the shores of Lake Wakatipu that was used as a filming location for many scenes in the trilogy. Go on a scenic drive along the Glenorchy-Queenstown Road or explore nearby trails to experience the wild landscapes of Middle-earth up close.

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