Travelling In The Footsteps Of The Lord Of The Rings.
Ok, I admit it: I’m a huge (!) Lord of the Rings fan. I’ve seen the trilogy (extended version only of course) about a billion times; I know the text, every sound effect, all the names & I also know the filming locations. And of course, it’s a must to follow into the footsteps of Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn while in New Zealand for one month.
But before I go into detail, I was ordered to clarify something though: Ulli would very much like to distance herself from this post. LOTR is not really her thing. I tried to convince her to watch the 12 hours with me before I leave (after all it’s almost a documentary film at this stage haha), but she wasn’t too amused about my suggestion after I showed her the trailers. So, this post is entirely on my head only…
The Shire – Hobbiton Set in Matamata.
The Shire is the home of the Hobbits and my real Middle-earth adventure stars right here!
A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set, featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, is a real must for every Lord of the Rings fan. It’s a picturesque 1.250 acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. You can look at Bag End, where Frodo and Bilbo’s adventures began and get lost among the hobbit holes and visit the Green Dragon Inn.
Mordor & Mount Doom – Mount Ruapehu & Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
Mordor was chosen to be Sauron’s fortress, creating a natural fortress against his enemies. During the War of the Ring, Sauron gathered all his forces to Mordor. The Battle of the Black Gate or Battle of the Morannon was the final major battle during the War of the Ring.
“Draw out Sauron’s armies. Empty his lands. We will march our full strength on the Black Gate” - Aragorn
Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Puapehu were digitally altered to appear as Mt Doom and is a feature of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. In 2012, the Tongariro National Park was again used as a backdrop for the prequel ‘The Hobbit‘.
Paths of the Dead – Putangirua Pinnacles, Aorangi Forest Park.
The Paths of the Dead is a haunted pass through the White Mountains. The Army of the Dead accompanied Aragorn to Minas Tirith to defeat Sauron’s orcs, after which Aragorn declared their curse lifted. Filmed was this at the Putangirua Pinnacles Scenic Reserve in the Aorangi Forest Park, where I will be at the beginning of March as part of my journey to Cape Palliser Lighthouse.
Paths of the Dead.
Rohan’s Capital Edoras – Mount Sunday, Rangitata Valley.
Edoras was the capital city of Rohan (The Kingdom of Men). The city was built on a hill in a valley of the White Mountains by Rohan’s second King. The city was built on Mount Sunday in the Rangitata Valley near Mt Potts Station and it took about 9 months to do so. Today, nothing remains of the set, yet the landscape in this area is supposed to be one of the most amazing in New Zealand. It will definitely be one of my highlights during this trip!
The Pillars of Argonath – Kawarau River, Queenstown.
The Argonath, also known as The Gates of Argonath or The Pillars of Kings, is a monument comprising of two enormous statues carved in the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, standing upon either side of the River Anduin at the northern approach to Nen Hithoel. It marked the northern border of Gondor, as nearby down south were previous outposts, the Amon Hen and the Amon Lhaw.
Ford of Bruinen – Arrowtown.
The Ford of Bruinen was a way of crossing the river Bruinen, which was located in Eriador. In the Fellowship of the Ring film, Arwen carries Frodo on her horse while the Nazgul follow her on an epic chase. She then summons the flood to get away. The Arrow River is located just upstream of Arrowtown and is easily accessible.
Different Scenes from Middle-Earth – Rockburn Chasm, Glenorchy.
The film industry has fallen in love with the landscapes surrounding Glenorchy. Locations for Isengard, Lothlorien and Amon Hen for The Lord of the Rings trilogy were all filmed nearby.
Isengard, Lothlorien & Rivendell – Milford Track.
Milford Track is considered on of the finest walks in the world. It’s a 53.5 km walk over 4 days in the beautiful Fiordland National Park. Several scenes from the Lord of the Rings films where shot here, including scenes involving Isengard, Lothlorien and Rivendell.
And for all you Lord of the Rings fans, here’s a little something to dive into: A journey through Middle Earth.