Lord of the Rings

Matamata, New Zealand


New Zealand Movie Notoriety

lord of the rings

New Zealand is known as Middle Earth for its Lord of the Rings trilogy. New Zealand born Peter Jackson filmed the entire three films in various locations around the country.

This Academy Award winning trilogy of films (4 Oscars for The Fellowship of the Ring, 2 Oscars for The Two Towers and 11 Oscars for The Return of the King - including Best Film and Best Director awards) showcased the skills of the cast and crew.

New Zealand has been a beneficiary of the films as people worldwide have become aware of the diversity and dramatic scenery that New Zealand has to offer.

Middle Earth is New Zealand

For Peter Jackson, choosing New Zealand to shoot his three films was logical. It was because Jackson knew what other international film-makers have been discovering in the last few years, that "New Zealand is the best country in the world to shoot this film, because of the variety of locations we have". Jackson and his team scoured New Zealand for the most beautiful and diverse areas. The rolling hills of Matamata became Hobbiton, while the volcanic region of Mt. Ruapehu transformed into the fiery Mt. Doom where Sauron forged The Ring, and Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure capital, was the setting for numerous scenes including the Eregion Hills, and the Pillars of Argonath.

Stars in New Zealand


Thousands of extras were brought in to join the internationally- renowned cast of actors which includes Elijah Wood (Frodo), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Liv Tyler (Arwen) and Cate Blanchett (Galadriel).

With New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, home base for the stars for months on end, locals quickly got used to star spotting.

The sight of “surfing hobbits” wasn’t unusual with Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck), Sean Astin (Sam) and Billy Boyd (Pippin Took) among those who regularly took to New Zealand’s numerous quality surf breaks.

Lord of the Rings Tours in New Zealand

The popularity of Lord of the Rings has seen New Zealand tourism companies offer a wide range of tours that cover location sites and general sightseeing or adventure activities. For Tolkien fans and those with just a mild interest, these tours vary in length with many personalized Lord of the Rings options available. You will find details of these in many towns close to the filming areas.

New Zealand