Do you also always get butterflies in your stomach when seeing the beautiful images and landscapes in the Lord of the Rings films? For those who would like to see these beautiful landscapes in person, New Zealand is the place to go: the beautiful images shown in the film are all shot here. Take note: all British and Irish citizens need to apply for a visa for New Zealand (NZeTA) before departure.
Beautiful landscapes in New Zealand
New Zealand, also known as the "land of the long white cloud", is a country characterised by breathtakingly beautiful landscapes. There is a reason why many people, after seeing the Lord of the Rings films, put New Zealand at the top of their list of countries they would like to go to. New Zealand has something for everyone: glaciers, tempestuous rivers, clear lakes, geysers, nature reserves, beaches...you name it. This article will take a look at several of The Lord of the Rings film locations, but these are certainly not the only sights the country has to offer. If you want to go to the land of the kiwis, whether it is to visit the film locations or enjoy everything else New Zealand has to offer, you need to apply for a New Zealand visa (NZeTA) before departure.
Walk in the footsteps of Frodo and Bilbo
Not all film locations can be recognised at first glance, as special effects have been used in the films. However, the best-known film location, Hobbiton or The Shire, is easily recognisable. Hobbiton is located on the North Island, about 10 kilometres from Matamata. Situated between the green hills, one can see the cute little houses of the hobbits up close. Keep in mind that - especially in summer - it is wise to book a ticket in advance. Tours are very popular, and can get fully booked very quickly.
Hobbiton, New Zealand
It is also important to apply for a New Zealand visa before departure. The tourist visa for New Zealand, also called NZeTA, is valid for 2 years. The stay in New Zealand may last up to 3 consecutive months: more than enough to make a pleasant journey through this fantastical land!
The North Island
In addition to Hobbiton, Mount Doom (or Mount Ngauruhoe) and Mordor (Whakapapa) are also located on the North Island. Both locations can be found in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand's oldest national park, chosen as a film location for Mordor. There are three active volcanoes in the park, including Mount Ngauruhoe, which can be climbed. New Zealand's oldest national park is also home to Gollum's Pool: the iconic Tawhai Falls. Tongariro National Park is also well worth a visit for travellers who are not fans of the Lord of the Rings films: the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason.
While Tongariro National Park was chosen as the ideal film location for the dark Mordor, another park was chosen as the base for the magical Rivendell: Kaitoke Regional Park. With its centuries-old trees and babbling brooks, it is easy to understand why this location was chosen as the home of the elves.
The South Island
Film locations are not only to be found on the North Island. As the visa for New Zealand is valid for 2 years and each stay may last 3 months, it is possible to visit both the North and South Islands. On the South Island, near Queenstown, for example, is Lake Wakatipu. This is the lake that can be seen in the scenes of Lothlorien, the old forest of Middle-earth. It is New Zealand's third largest lake and is set in breathtaking scenery, surrounded by mountains and steep, rocky slopes.
Don't forget the New Zealand visa
In addition to the many locations used in the Lord of the Rings films, New Zealand has countless more beautiful landscapes and sights to offer. Travellers who want to visit the film locations would do well to book a tour before departure, especially for the popular Hobbiton. All travellers are also subject to a visa requirement, so remember to apply for a New Zealand visa before departure. Visa applications can be made quickly and easily via the online application form. The visa for New Zealand (NZeTA) costs £49.95 per person. This price already includes the cost of the mandatory International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy.