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The Hobbit & LOTR suggestion

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The Hobbit & LOTR

Looking to add a little Middle Earth flavour to your New Zealand experience? Whether you are a fervent fan planning a full New Zealand Lord of the Rings tour vacation or you simply want to see some film locations as part of your tour, we've selected activities that you should consider here.

Experience any of our selected activities and you'll understand why no one can deny the New Zealand was the perfect choice to make the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies -- see suggested Lord of the Rings themed New Zealand itineraries. Many locations used in the trilogies will be recognisable to fans as you tour the countryside. But there are also a great variety of attractions that allow you to immerse yourself much more deeply in the scenery and fantasy of the movies.

These activities represent the best Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy activities on offer ...

Activity ideas: Hobbiton tour from Matamata
Hobbiton tour from Matamata

Become immersed in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata - in the heart the lush Waikato farming region, your two hour tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and facinating insight into the making of the films. More »

Activity ideas: Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour
Middle Earth Film Locations Half Day Tour

On this half-day tour explore key Lord of the Rings filming locations all within an hour of central Wellington. Highlights include the outskirts of the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin and the sites of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith. Stroll where the hobbits raced to the Buckleberry Ferry and see where the infamous 'get off the road' scene was shot. You'll also stop and overlook the site of the Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment. More »

Activity ideas: Weta Cave and Workshop Tour
Weta Cave and Workshop Tour

Visit The Weta Cave, a mini-museum filled with props, characters and displays from well known movies including Avatar, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Hear stories of how these figures were brought to life and learn about the artists who created them. Watch behind-the-scenes interviews from Weta co-founders Sir Peter Jackson, Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk - and gain insight into the creativity and imagination that comes with crafting the art of Weta.

You'll also take a guided tour through the inner workings of Weta Workshop and learn about its processes and design elements. Please keep in mind that many of the projects Weta Workshop has been involved in contain graphic scenes and special effects that may not be suitable for everyone. More »

Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour
Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour

Journey to the remote and beautiful Mt Potts high country station, home of Mt Sunday. See how this spectacular mountain was transformed into Edoras - the capital city of the Rohan people from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Marvel at its rugged unspoilt beauty and breathe in the clear mountain air, while you indulge in a gourmet champagne picnic. More »

Activity ideas: Day tour to Hobbiton movie set
Day tour to Hobbiton movie set

Discover the real Middle-earth when you take this two hour guided tour of Hobbiton. Beginning with a drive through a picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm, you’ll experience stunning views over the Kaimai Ranges. You’ll then be escorted through the 12 acre movie set learning memorable anecdotes about the shooting of the films. You’ll see Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and The Party Tree, as well as learning how this piece of Waikato farmland was turned into the Shire. More »

Activity ideas: Nomad Safaris, Safari of the Scenes
Nomad Safaris, Safari of the Scenes

Are you interested in the epic Lord of the Rings films and Tolkien's books? Perhaps you just want to experience the type of stunning alpine scenery that is a feature of the films? This scenic adventure through the locations used in the filming near Queenstown is for you. Travel in safari-equipped 4WD vehicles for a true off-road adventure.

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Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings half day tour
Lord of the Rings half day tour

There are two main parts to this tour. The first is exploring the film locations used around Wellington City and then you get to see behind the scenes at Weta Workshop.  You'll start by heading down Courtenay Place, home to the Embassy Movie theatre where they had the world premier of LOTR: Return of the King and more recently The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. See where the stars walked & 100,000 people gathered to watch. Then it's up to Mt Victoria and after a quick stop at the lookout for fabulous views of the City and Harbor you'll drive down to the 'Green Belt'. Here you'll walk through the forest to stand where the actors stood while filming. You'll visit many different scenes here including "Shortcut to Mushrooms", " Get off the Road", "Race to the Ferry", "Dunharrow Plateau" and more. For the second part of the tour, it's off to 'Wellywood' the heart of the Wellington Film industry. At Weta Cave you'll visit the brand new 'Windows into Workshop' exhibition. This is a guided tour of the physical prop-making & make-up side of the Weta Studios. Then you'll see a short film about the Digital side of the productions. Afterwards there is time to allow you to see the mini-museum & souvenir shop. More »

Activity ideas: Hobbit Barrel Run Kayak Trip
Hobbit Barrel Run Kayak Trip

Immerse yourself in Sir Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit’ when you take this Hobbit Barrel Run River Kayaking trip. Journeying down the Beautiful Pelorus River you’ll see actual filming locations including the rocks where Bilbo Baggins stood, the place where the dwarfs exited the barrels and the exact location where Kili was shot. Not just for Lord of the Rings fans, this spectacular kayaking trip will enthral anyone wanting to experience the beauty of New Zealand’s rivers. More »

Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings day tour
Lord of the Rings day tour

One of the most comprehensive Lord of the Rings tours available the Wellington Rover day tour covers a lot of ground but with enough time to explore, recreate scenes (over 25 different ones) for yourself and work out how the movies were made. The morning is spent exploring the city locations of Mount Victoria (for spectacular views) and the 'greenbelt' with a 40 min walk through the 'outer shire'. This location includes 'get off the road' and 'shortcut to mushrooms' among others. Then drive the southern suburbs, including Seatoun and Miramar and the South Coast where many of the big name stars lived, looking at Bree and Dunharrow locations. A stop is included at the Weta Cave (except Public Holidays) and Scorch o Rama cafe (food at own expense) on the Wellywood Coast. We usually coffee with hoards of the hungry Weta crew. Knowledgeable guides will discuss past, current and future Peter Jackson/Weta creations including who is currently in town from Hollywood at the moment. The afternoon is spent exploring the Hutt Valley. Stops include the Hutt River (Great River Anduin) and Harcourt Park (Gardens of Isengard and the famous Orc trees). In Kaitoke Regional Park enjoy a picnic lunch under the elvish trees of the Rivendell location (and a 45min walk through the NZ native forest). More »

Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings 2 hour Gondor tour
Lord of the Rings 2 hour Gondor tour

This classic tour is the tour of choice whether you’re a LOTR fan or just want to learn more about movie making, from finding locations, setting up stunts, visual effects, and finding extras for large armies! This tour takes in all of the major scenes filmed in and around Twizel. Could you wear this Gondorian Helm all day? Find out on the LOTR tour.  Get behind the locked gates and stand in the footsteps of the actors surrounded by the stunning scenery of Middle-earth! Use official LOTR replica swords and wear a limited edition Gondorian helmet, experiencing for yourself the physical effort the actors went through while in costume.  Discover how the battle scene was created, turning Twizel into Middle Earth and experience for yourself the speed of the charge into battle as you're driven down the LOTR constructed film road.  You'll also learn all about the film making techniques, stunts and special effects and your guide will use your camera from their secret photo spot to get fantastic footage of you in Gondor.  This great value tour will give you an insight into making a motion picture. The tour is limited to 9 people for a personalised experience. More »

Activity ideas: Misty Mountains Traverse Heli-Hike
Misty Mountains Traverse Heli-Hike

Experience an exclusive 5 hour guided tour over Lord of the Rings country. Get an Eagle's eye view of Middle Earth! Your Helicopter follows the Eagles flight with a landing on glaciated Fog Peak, to admire Mt Aspiring (3033m) and its surrounding glacial panorama of the breath-taking Southern Alps. From this vantage point you’ll see 3 Trilogy film sites. Skimming the razor back ridges, you’ll fly and land on Treble Cone's "The Towers Ridge."   Soak in the view between the Towers and then walk the very footsteps that the legendary Dwarves, Wizard, and little heroic Ring carrier traversed in their quest over the top of the Misty Mountains, as seen in the Hobbiton movie. On your quest, you will descend 2 hours of guided hike from 2000m, traversing the ridge line, revealing huge rock pillars, canyons, cliffs and glaciers thundering into rivers which join the beautiful jewel blue Lake far below. This downhill walk has amazing diversity, revealing unexpected wonders and is home to the fearless Falcon, and the curious Kea, a unique and inquisitive mountain parrot.  Turn your fantasy into reality and traverse the Misty Mountains! This is a truly alpine experience made easily accessible, a real adventure! More »

Activity ideas: Hairy Feet Scenic Film Location Tour
Hairy Feet Scenic Film Location Tour

Visit the stunning farm location at Mangaotaki Rocks Piopio - near Waitomo - where the troll and campfire scenes in ‘The Hobbit’ were filmed. You’ll see the towering limestone cliffs, massive rock formations and primeval forest that make up the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaws. You can also have your photo taken in the exact spot where Bilbo received his magical sword ‘Sting,’ from Gandalf. You’ll join a personally guided tour of several key filming locations including the site where the Orcs and Wargs began attacking and the 'exit from the cave' containing the troll hoard. More »

Activity ideas: Hobbiton tour from Shires Rest
Hobbiton tour from Shires Rest

Become immersed in the The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films when you visit the actual Hobbiton movie set. Located just outside of Matamata - in the heart the lush Waikato farming region, your two hour tour will begin with a drive through a picturesque sheep farm. You'll then be taken through Hobbit Holes, The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and the Party Tree while your guide shares behind-the-scenes tales and facinating insight into the making of the films. More »

Activity ideas: Middle Earth Filming Locations Full Day Tour
Middle Earth Filming Locations Full Day Tour

This full day tour visits the Wellington film locations used for the Shire, the Gardens of Isengard, the River Anduin, Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith, and where the hobbits raced to the ferry and hid from the Nazgul. Be spellbound at the site of Lothlorien - the majestic Fernside Lodge. In 2000 Fernside’s lake was transformed into part of Lothlorien, and then to the Gladden fields. Fernside’s white bridge remains as a reminder of the bridge of Lothlorien. Explore Rivendell and the riverside spot where Aragorn was washed ashore. You'll also visit Miramar, home to the production studios and to many of the stars while they were filming and the new Weta Cave with souvenirs and a virtual tour of Weta Workshop. Includes lunch, morning and afternoon tea. More »

Activity ideas: Trails of Middle Earth Full day tour
Trails of Middle Earth Full day tour

This full day guided tour will take you deep into Lord of the Rings country to explore the sights and scenes at a number of key filming locations.  Along the way you’ll enjoy some of the finest scenery in the world and have fun acting out your favourite scenes from the movies.  Your guide will share their passion for the Lord of the Rings as well as the spectacular landscape you pass through.  You’ll also get to examine a range of fascinating weapons and costumes.   Lunch is included. More »

Activity ideas: Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour
Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour

Begin your Hobbiton evening experience with a enjoyable wonder through the twelve acre life-like Hobbiton Village set as you guide shares the fascinating details of how the village was created for the movies. Your walking tour finishes at The Green Dragon Inn where you can relax in front of the open fires enjoying a complimentary drink from the Hobbit Southfarthing range of unique beverages. After pre-dinner drinks you’re treated to a magnificent banquet feast fit for a Hobbit at the Green Dragon dining room. The tables will be laid out with everything a happy Hobbit would expect at a feast and as is the tradition in The Shire, second helpings are expected! After dinner you guide will take you on a magical walk back through the shire, holding your own lantern that helps light your way you’ll peak through windows of the living village as chimney smoke and light give the illusion of Hobbits tucked up inside More »

Activity ideas: Touching Middle Earth LOTR tour
Touching Middle Earth LOTR tour

The ultimate tour for those passionate about Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.  You will visit locations from the movies and handle rare weapons and costume items.  Learn the histories of the weapons from knowledgeable guides and take as many photos as you like. You’ll also travel through spectacular scenery with your knowledgeable guide providing fun facts and all the latest LOTR gossip and stories. More »

Activity ideas: Hobbiton Express Tour
Hobbiton Express Tour

Travel south from Auckland over the Bombay Hills to the rich farmland of the Waikato region.  On arrival at Shire’s Rest you embark on your Hobbiton movie set tour. This location is the largest “green set” in the world and the only place where you get an emotional response with a movie set in a natural setting. You see 44 hobbit holes, the Mill and double arch bridge, the party tree and visit the Green Dragon Inn. At this stunning location you can take a photo at the door of Bilbo’s house, “Bag End”, looking out over the whole set to the hills in the distance.  After the tour your lunch is included at Shire’s Rest Café before heading back to Auckland. More »

Activity ideas: Scenic Lord of the Rings Tour
Scenic Lord of the Rings Tour

This half-day Lord of the Rings tour starts from Queenstown and visits Glenorchy, Paradise, The Dart River Valley and Mt Aspiring World Heritage Area. Take a journey deep into Middle Earth and visit Lord of the Rings filming locations. On your scenic guided tour, you will explore Isengard, Amon Hen, Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains and Ithilien.  You will also visit a location from the recently filmed, The Hobbit! Stories and secrets will be shared by guides who have great insight into the filming. More »

Activity ideas: Private Hobbiton tour
Private Hobbiton tour

Join your private guide for an exclusive Middle-Earth encounter at Hobbiton Movie Set.  Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will escort you through the twelve acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie set was created for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbiton movies. The Hobbit holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can be viewed with some allowing you to enter this magical world.    With beautiful Hobbit gardens and laundry on the line, this life-like village is enchanting.  After the tour you can enjoy some Hobbiton brews in the Green Dragon Inn in front of a roaring fire. More »

Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings Great Forests Scenic Helicopter Flight
Lord of the Rings Great Forests Scenic Helicopter Flight

Today you’ll take a flight with the crew who were exclusively contracted for the filming of The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogies. Learn intimate knowledge about the area from your pilot and take in some of the most memorable sights of Middle-earth on this spectacular 75 minute flight. More »

Activity ideas: Lord of the Rings and Glacier Explorer Helicopter Flight
Lord of the Rings and Glacier Explorer Helicopter Flight

On this Lord of the Rings Glacier Explorers flight you’ll fly over many locations where The Lord of The Rings and Hobbit Trilogies were filmed. If you're really lucky you may even get to fly with Alfie Speight, who was the official pilot for the films.  
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Activity ideas: Middle Earth Scenic Helicopter Flight
Middle Earth Scenic Helicopter Flight

A fantastic scenic flight combining the best of Queenstown and Middle-earth. From Queenstown airport, like a giant eagle you'll fly over the rugged Remarkables to Lake Alta and the crumbly schist slopes used to film Dimrill Dale which the Fellowship fled down towards Lothlórien. As you continue across the Wakatipu basin you can glimpse the Kawarau River before crossing into the historic gold mining valley of Skippers Canyon. Here you land high above the Shotover River which can be recognised as the Ford of Bruinen, the site where Arwen conjured the magical flood to dispel the Nazgûl. You then return over Ben Lomond Saddle for magnificent views of Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu before passing over Deer Park Heights to view the mountain tarn which featured when the Rohirrim Refugees were led on a clear and pristine winter morning and the view Legolas had of the approaching Wargs. More »