It may be 17 years since the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy hit our screens, but time has done nothing to wane enthusiasm for this fantasy epic. On the contrary, New Zealand, where much of the trilogy was filmed, continues to ride the wave of LOTR mania – reaping the benefit of increased visitor numbers to areas where the films were made.
On reflection, the decision to film the trilogy in New Zealand was a wise one. Few countries on Earth emulate the wild beauty of Tolkien’s Middle Earth quite like this far-flung nation, whose soaring mountains, white-water rivers and desolate plains seem lifted from the pages of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King.
Lord of the Rings fan or not, there’s no denying the epic splendour of the films’ setting. Part of the trilogy’s success was in the use of real-life locations, many of which you can experience first-hand as part of an escorted tour in New Zealand with Scenic.
Here, we’ll be exploring the Lord of the Rings filming locations you’ll encounter in New Zealand, and providing information on a special Scenic Freechoice experience at the prestigious Weta Workshop – the studio behind LOTR’s award-winning special effects.