The Lord of the Rings trilogy truly catapulted New Zealand onto the global stage, with enthusiasts itching to get a taste of what this beautiful country has to offer.
The next adaptation of The Hobbit further cemented Aotearoa’s status as a breathtakingly beautiful tourist destination, with filming locations spread across both islands.
Take time out to explore the locations where these beloved movies were filmed, learning more about New Zealand, The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings while you do it.
Set on a working sheep farm near the North Island’s town of Matamata in New Zealand, Hobbiton Movie Set invites Middle Earth fans to discover the fantasy world depicted in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.
The Waikato township of Matamata is the primary film location for both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. The town came alive with the Lord of the Rings in 1999, and has been an incredibly popular tourist destination since then thanks to Hobbiton Movie Set and farm tours, only 20 minutes drive out of Matamata.
Home to The Green Dragon Inn, The Mill, and dozens of picturesque hobbit holes, the outdoor film set — which has been completely rebuilt for The Hobbit — provides a captivating behind-the-scenes look at the details that have brought the hobbits’ world to life.
Take a two-hour guided tour through Hobbit Holes, The Mill and along the double arched bridge, all of which you will remember from the films. Head to The Green Dragon Inn, a replica of the building from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, and enjoy a complimentary beverage from the Southfarthing range, crafted exclusively for tours.
Get in touch with your inner hobbit and indulge in a beef and ale pie before heading to the Shire Store to stock up on some memorabilia.
Further attractions at the Hobbiton Movie Set include The Shires Rest Café, The Shire Store, and the farm itself, where guests can feed baby lambs and admire the lush green pastures and bucolic scenery that have made this remote farmland the perfect setting for Peter Jackson’s The Shire.
Already one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist locations, Queenstown has received a boost with its inclusion in the Hobbit film.
Bilbo and The Company continue their quest along the town’s Earnslaw Burn glacier after departing Rivendell. The glacier has a number of spectacular waterfalls that cascade down its stunning rock face, making it simply incredible with or without the Hobbit influence.