We visited New Zealand in December-January 2012–2013 and went to see lots of Lord of the Rings related locations there. The photos here are from various locations around the country. Hobbiton will soon have its own photo story.
Dimholt is situated in Rohan, at the base of the Dwimorberg mountain. A road through Dimholt leads to the Paths of the Dead and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in the movies, plus the Grey Company in the book, travels the road.
The Dimholt Road is located in a valley near Wellington, a place called Putangirua Pinnacles. The Pinnacles are dozens of metres tall stone pillars left after erosion.
We spent a great day out walking the length of the dry riverbed from the sea shore to the Paths of the Dead.
There are several filming locations in and around Wellington. Our local guides showed us around almost all of them during the first days in Wellington and on our way to Putangirua Pinnacles.
Helm’s Deep scenes were filmed in a quarry near Wellington. The quarry is functional again and closed to general public but I snapped a photo over the fence. Gandalf, Éomer and Riders of Rohan ride down that hill in the relief of Helm’s Deep scene.
Orthanc filming location is also close to Wellington. The tower is generated with computer graphics, but the garden is “real”. In the photo below, the road can still be seen as a lighter green line. Gandalf rode that road to meet Saruman.
After Christmas we headed for the South Island, flew to Christchurch and rented a car. Our first stop was Mount Sunday, where Edoras was located. After a bit of trouble with the car we arrived in the valley and started our hike to the hilltop.
All the buildings had been removed from the hilltop, but the location was so majestic that it would have been a top attraction even without being a filming location. The mighty wind (which was quite peaceful that evening) swept over the valley and all the tourist buses were already gone.
From the hill there were magnificent views around the valley.
We visited the Blackpool area near Queenstown where some scenes from Rohan in LotR and Rhudaur in the Hobbit were filmed.
Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were hiding behind this rock when they met Éomer and his Riders.
This view is from the rock above towards the direction where Éomer approached the Three Hunters. The Hobbit scene in which Radagast escapes from the Wargs is also filmed in this rocky plain.
This fishing village was the location of the Rohan village burnt by Saruman’s troops. The story goes that they also torched one of the fishing huts and had to re-build it.
These bushes are the edge of the Fangorn forest. This is the place where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli found the bodies of the orcs that had captured Merry and Pippin.
Arrowtown is an old mining town near Queenstown. It’s quite charming village and also hosts two LotR filming locations.
We visited the Fords of Bruinen, but in the ten years the riverside bushes had grown so much that it was hard to find the correct location. Bruinen was a pretty little river in any case.
In a few hundred metres Bruinen transmorphed into Anduin and Gladden Fields. I dropped my glasses in Anduin there, but I was luckier than Isildur. Or my glasses were not Glasses of Doom. This was the place where Isildur’s troops were ambushed in Fellowship.
We visited several Anduin river locations both in the North and South Islands. These photos are from the south.
This is where Frodo and Sam paddled across the river when Frodo decided to continue his quest alone. The clouds creeping down the hillsides on the misty day were really nice.
This photo is from the same location as the one above. Here at the end of the lake there is a tall, narrow hill and behind it the Falls of Rauros.
The Fields of Pelennor were located near the town of Twizel in the South Island.
Mount Doom was played by Mount Ngauruhoe located in the Taupo volcanic area of the North Island. There are several volcanoes clustered together and three of them are visible in the photo below.
The steaming crater is probably Mount Tongariro. We couldn’t get much closer because the national park was closed due to volcanic activity. Damn hobbitses! Ngauruhoe would look a lot more like Mount Doom from the other side. I’m not even quite sure which of the mountain tops it is in the photo, because we were on the wrong side of the complex.
To be continued with loads of photos from Hobbiton!