Matamata Gun Club

Opal Hot Springs

 Firth Tower Museum

Piako Gliding Club

If you indulge in some of the town’s evening sightseeing tours, you’ll be lucky enough to indulge in a sumptuous feast fit for the hungriest hobbits. You can even visit the Green Dragon Inn and get your very own pint! While in Matamata, be sure to visit the Wairere Falls, some of the tallest waterfalls on the North Island of New Zealand. 

Port Waikato, Waikato, New Zealand

Along with being a popular local surfing spot, Port Wakaito is also home to Weathertop, the impressive limestone outcropping in Lord of the Rings where Frodo and company first confront the Ring Wraiths. 

This area of New Zealand also features Nikau Cave, where sightseers can take personal tours to see glowworms, interesting cave formations, and more. This region also features some of the best river fishing in New Zealand. 

Be sure while you’re in Port Waikato that you eat a big steaming plate of whitebait, or battered herring fry. It’s a local delicacy. 

Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand

Queenstown is where the locations of Amon Hen, the River Anduin, and the Ford of Bruinen were shot for the Lord of the Rings films.  It’s where Arwen called down a cascading herd of water horses to stop the Ring Wraiths in their pursuit of Frodo.

Queenstown features full day and half day tours that immerse visitors in Middle Earth, allowing them to take in the diverse vistas of New Zealand’s immense valleys, winding rivers, and ancient beech forests. 

In these tours, guides who know everything about The Lord of the Rings will help bring the books and films to life, and visitors are allowed to handle and photograph over fifteen thousand dollars worth of costumes and weapons. 

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand

The surreal, epic beauty of Lake Wakatipu cannot be overstated, and many tourists enjoy just taking a lake cruise or biking along the lake’s vast shoreline trails. This is the location where Amon Hen was filmed for The Lord of the Rings, where Merry and Pippin were taken prisoner by the orcs of Saruman. 

Activities to do at Lake Wakatipu include the following:

Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise

Kjet jet boating

Queenstown Paraflights

Hydro Attack

Paddle boarding rentals

Dozens of eateries and bars line the shores of this iconic lake, and the lake also features a number of ferries and water taxis that make it easy for tourists to get around this area. 

Lake Alta, The Remarkables, Nelson, South Island, New Zealand

Unlike Lake Wakatipu, Lake Alta is the location where The Lord of the Rings movies filmed Dimrill Dale, the resting place of the Fellowship after losing Gandalf in the Mines of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring. 

Lake Alta features day-long hikes with awe-inspiring views of nearby Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu. This family-friendly hike, while over some rough terrain, is rewarding and leads to a natural waterfall at Wye Creek Saddle. 

Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, Southland, New Zealand

Milford Sound is a large oceanic inlet that is home to Fiordland National Park, and is known as the Eighth Wonder of the World for its breaktaking splendor and beautiful landscapes. This area is best known for the filming locations of Fangorn Forest and the Dead Marshes. 

Milford Sound has several Lord of the Rings themed tours available that take you to the locations where the films were made, and also point out the locations of other films that have been filmed in the area. You can also visit the nearby lakeside village of Te Anau. 

At the Sound, you can go on hiking and safari tours, water cruises, and even flying tours via helicopter that allow you to get an eagle-eyes view of the entire area. 

Milford Sound also features rainforests and waterfalls along with boisterous colonies of fur seals. While visiting, be sure to check out the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory, which allows tourists to view rare black coral and other marine life such as penguins and dolphins. 

Abel Tasman National Park, South Island, Tasman Region, New Zealand

Along with being the location where Peter Jackson filmed the exteriors of the Mines of Moria, Abel Tasman National Park is a famous sea kayaking getaway with water taxis, helicopter tours, and even sailing catamarans. 

Along with being the original location of the creation of many handcrafted pieces of memorabilia of The Lord of the Rings films, including the One Ring, Abel Tasman National Park features 37-mile long track to hike some of the most epic coastlines in all of New Zealand. 

Tongariro National Park, Central Plateau, New Zealand

One does not simply walk through Mordor, but one can walk through the next best thing–Tongariro National Park on the Central Plateau. This volcanic plateau is the oldest national park in all of New Zealand, and it is where Peter Jackson filmed scenes from Mordor for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

While visiting, be sure to check out the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, famous as one of the world’s most beautiful and epic day hikes.

There is not an official tour through the national park to visit the scenes where the films were shot, but the Department of Conservation has helpfully put together a list of coordinates within the park where the scenes were shot so you can do a scavenger hike and visit them all yourself.  

Wellington, New Zealand

No Lord of the Rings-themed trip to New Zealand would be complete without a trip to Wellington. Along with being the central filming hub for the entire trilogy, Wellington is also only thirty minutes from Pukerua Bay, where LOTR film director Peter Jackson grew up.

Here visitors can check out the WETA Cave and Workshop, a museum of props, costumes, and special effects used in all three of The Lord of the Rings films. Not only can visitors check out props from the films, they can also watch WETA technicians hard at work, creating creature effects for upcoming movies. Here are some of the other highlights of the WETA Cave:

Dinner tours

Hands-on workshops

Guided tours

Unique photo opportunities with some of the world’s most famous movie props

The best part about visiting the WETA Cave and Workshop is that many unguided tours are free to the public, though there is plenty of souvenirs to be had for even the most discerning hobbits. 

Wellington is full of entertaining and knowledgeable tour guides that can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the behind-the-scenes action of filming this famous fantasy epic.