9 Must-see Lord of the Rings Filming Locations

Middle Earth does exist for real, and thank heavens, it's not an elaborate Hollywood studio set. Buzzle is taking you to New Zealand, to witness the breathtaking 'Lord of the Rings' filming locations.
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Lord of the Rings filming location - Mount Ngauruhoe
Here's what the cast members had to say about the LOTR locations in New Zealand:

"New Zealand is Middle Earth. It has every geological formation and geographical landscape you can imagine, and some you can't."
―Elijah Wood

"I recall sitting in Queenstown against the mountain range aptly titled the Remarkables and feeling I was actually living the books. It was like Tolkien had walked across New Zealand."
―Sean Astin

Well, where to begin? New Zealand's spectacular landscape leaves you agape as your plane descends―none of your endless rows of blingy skyscrapers here, thank you. Instead, you see mountains, lots of them, and a whole lot of greenery too. Whether you're coming here in the quest to find Middle Earth or not, New Zealand will have you falling hopelessly in love. Summertime in the southern hemisphere falls during the months of December to February, which is the best season to be here.

But for now, we give you 9 bizarre and beautiful locations where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was shot.

Mordor
Tongariro National Park
Mordor in Tongariro National Park
We've got to begin where it all began and that place is Mordor, where Sauron secretly forged the One Ring in the volcanic Mount Doom. Tongariro National Park provides the perfect backdrop for Mordor, with its varied topography which includes turquoise lakes, arid deserts, herb fields, forests, and yes, active volcanoes.

Getting there:
Tongariro National Park is situated close to Auckland, in the central North Island of New Zealand. Driving along State Highway 1 from Auckland takes you to the park. Smaller towns Turangi and Ohakune are also close to the park.

Mount Doom
Mount Ngauruhoe, Tongariro National Park
Mt Ngauruhoe as Mt Doom
Mount Doom is the godforsaken place where the One Ring was forged, and this is where Frodo and Sam bring it, in order to destroy it. Situated in the heart of the dark land of Modor, this volcano is where the epic culminates. Tongariro National Park is home to not one, but three active volcanoes―Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro. It was Mount Ngauruhoe which was ultimately chosen to play Mount Doom onscreen.

Getting there:
Mount Ngauruhoe is located in the center of the Tongariro National Park. Although it is an active volcano, it has been known to have stabilized since its previous eruption in 1975. There are several hiking trails throughout the park which take you to the site.

Dimholt Road
Aorangi Forest Park
Dimholt Road in Aorangi Forest Park
In the third installment of the series, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli made their way through the Paths of the Dead to reach Gondor in time. These imposing formations are Putangirua Pinnacles, which were so formed by the erosive forces of rain and floods. These unique pillars are among the highlights of the Aorangi Forest Park, along with Kupe's Sail, which are towering slabs of rock, and Cape Palliser, the southern coastal boundary of the park, where you'll find a fur seal colony, a historic lighthouse and other archaeological sites.

Getting there:
Aorangi Forest Park lies about 60 miles east of Wellington, on the North Island. It has Martinborough in the north, and Cape Palliser in the south, covering a large part of the Aorangi mountains.

Edoras
Canterbury Plains
Edoras in Hakatere Conservation Park
Edoras, the capital of the kingdom of Rohan also includes Meduseld, the Hall of King Theoden, located on Mount Sunday in the Hakatere Conservation Park. It took the crew nine months to build a massive set here, which was removed following the end of filming. Nevertheless, the scenery here is simply astounding, as the moment you get here do you realize that Tolkien had this very visual in mind when he wrote about Edoras.

Getting there:
Hakatere Conservation Park is further inland from the town of Ashburton, located in the Canterbury Plains on the South Island. The closest airport is in Christchurch; you need to drive down south for about two hours to get here.

Argonath/Anduin River
Queenstown
Argonath near Queenstown
Argonath was the place where the Anduin River flowed, on which the Pillars of the Kings were located. Of course, the Pillars were added digitally, but that doesn't take anything away from the region, which is nothing short of stupendous. Queenstown, on the South Island, is a region of extreme beauty. The gorgeous water body in question happens to be the Kawarau River.

Getting there:
Queenstown, of course, is a major tourist magnet here on the South Island. Once you're here, get to the Chard Farm Winery to take in the aforementioned scenery through your own eyes. The river is sure to be there, but don't expect to see the Pillars!

Misty Mountains
Southern Alps
Misty Mountains in the Southern Alps
The Southern Alps were a perfect match for the rather overwhelming Misty Mountains. The Fellowship had to pass through these very mountains in order to reach Mordor to destroy the Ring.

Getting there:
The actual location of filming was in the mountains close to Glenorchy, a village that lies in the vicinity of Queenstown, about 28 miles away. You can get here by road or even by taking a boat through Lake Wakatipu.

Isengard and Lothlórien
Mt. Aspiring National Park
Isengard in Mt Aspiring National Park
Isengard was Rohan's protective fortress, and was quite literally, iron-clad, and of course, digitally created on screen. Along with Isengard, Lothlórien, and Amon Hen were used as the location of the Tower of Orthanc nestled in Nan Curunír.

Getting there:
The Mt. Aspiring National Park sits on the southern end of the Alps, and is a short drive past Paradise, a small village north of Glenorchy on the South Island.

Ithilien
Twelve Mile Delta, Mt. Aspiring National Park
Ithilien in Twelve Mile Delta
Ithilien was actually shot on two locations, but the one we've featured here is the place from where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum watch the battle between Faramir's Rangers of Gondor and the men (and Oliphaunts) of Harad. The actual place is a lovely picnic spot called Twelve Mile Delta. You will find it along the way to Bob's Cove Track, along the shore of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown.

Getting there:
Take the Glenorchy Road, and head towards the Twelve Mile Delta Camping and Picnic Area. All you need to do then is follow the signs to the track which take you to the western end of the camping area.

Most of the places mentioned in the book were shot at multiple locations across New Zealand, all of which are supremely stunning. We've only managed to touch upon a few which stood out for their extraordinary scenic beauty.
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Published: May 30, 2014
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These are very fascinating to me because I luv learning about mountains because I want to learn how high they are! - WITECREAMCUPCAK [May 30, 2014]