Here Are The Lord Of The Rings’ Real-Life Filming Locations

Lord of the Rings is undeniably one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time. The universe that J. R. R. Tolkien has created is filled with fantastic creatures, other-worldly incantations and above all, landscapes that will blow your mind. For those who fell in love with the movies too, don’t miss the following list. These are the 21 Lord of the Rings locations you fell in love with during the trilogy.

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#21. Mt. Doom

Mount Doom is a place we know only too well. This was the terrifying destination Sam and Frodo had to reach in order to destroy the ring. In the movies, this volcanic fearful sight was located in Mordor, a realm where only evil creatures lived. For the curious ones out there, plenty of tours are organized to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

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While I wouldn’t want to pay a visit to this place in the fictional universe of Tolkien, in reality, it’s actually quite nice. The Tongariro Crossing is a fantastic challenge for those who enjoy trekking and it leads to the mountain itself. Who is brave enough to venture into the depths of this iconic place?

#20. The Dimholt Roads

Whenever I think of the first encounter between the Fellowship of the Ring and the Army of the Undead, my hands get sweaty. The scene was so tense, and the cold stone-like surrounding just made the situation worse. This memorable scene took place in a real place in New Zealand, which can obviously be visited.

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For those who can’t help but visit every single one of the movie’s locations, then head directly to the Putangirua Pinnacles. These tall natural formations will definitely make for some interesting photos. A fair warning though, try not to stay after dark cause things might get scary.

#19. Arwen Defeats The Ringwraiths

Undeniably, one of the most badass female characters ever is Arwen. She was strong, intelligent, powerful yet sensitive. Plus, she had awesome superpowers and immortality. Our only regret is that the movies didn’t give her more screen time. Who wouldn’t enjoy more elf screen time?

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If you wish to relive one of her shining moments, then head to Skippers Canyon. Once you’re there, the bright blue water and the rocky formations will surely catch your eye immediately. If you think you’re as brave as Arwen then attempt to pur your feet in the icy cold water… or try to stop the ringwraiths!

#18. Gondor

If you’re the type of person who loves adventure and action, then check out Twizel. This location was home to one of the most epic battles in cinematic history: The Battle of Pelennor Fields, where Eowyn defeats the greatest ringwraith. The surroundings do make for an epic war, don’t they?

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Don’t miss the chance to sign up for sword fighting classes. Even if you’re no good, a fantastic time is guaranteed (as well as some bruises and laughter). A personal tip: bring your camera with you, you’ll want to show off this place when you get back home.

#17. Rohan

This is the second location set in Rohan that we picked and I just can’t get enough. Don’t hesitate another moment, and head directly towards Deer Park Heights. The landscape is heart-stopping, and people there are extremely warm and welcoming. While it is easy to get lost getting there, locals are super helpful when giving out directions.

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Even though a vast section of the actual park was closed off to visitors, the trip is worthwhile. Plus, the fact that locals take care of the landscape is great. We wouldn’t want to damage this beautiful scenery in any way. Helm’s Deep certainly is a journey you should make alongside the people of Rohan, and while you do it, try to take in all of nature’s glory!

#16. The Anduin River

In search of an exciting place to visit? One of the most mesmerizing scenes in the whole saga occurs in the first part of the trilogy. During the adventurous journey of the Fellowship of the Ring, they travel in canoes down the Anduin River. The crystalline blue water and the solitude the place conveyed seemed other-worldly. Who wouldn’t want to go there?

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As the crew reached the opening of the river, two huge statues loomed over them. The amazingly large god-like statues were a digital creation, of course, but the river was 100 percent real! Head to Kawarau Gorge if you’re ready to be blown away by nature. Check out slide #6 if you like canoeing!

#15. Dead Marshes

Desperation comes to mind when I think about that god-awful swamp that Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through. In the movies, the Dead Marshes where a forsaken place full of awful memories and if the characters stepped in the wrong place, they’d end up knee-deep in the mud.

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While this muddy nightmare held thousand of corpses in the fictional universe, the reality couldn’t be farther from that, since Kepler Mire is actually a great place to visit. Plus, the fact that it attracts fewer tourists than the rest of the places on the list is a perk. Take a break from the multitudes and make a great day trip out of it.

#14. Mt. Victoria

When Frodo and his hobbit friends first head off to the Prancing Pony to meet up with Gandalf, they travel through a beautiful forest. The lush green leaves tower over the heads of the boys, and the sound of cars (in the movies: carriages) and traffic gets lost here.

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While the movie takes a dark turn in this place, in reality you’ll find serene scenery. Mt Victoria is located in Central Wellington, north of the Island. If you want to visit, plenty of drivers and tour guides can take you there. If this is the type of place you’re fond of, then stay tuned for the next unbelievable Lord of the Rings location.

#13. Fangorn Forest

Once you watch The Lord of the Rings, you will never think of a Tree the same way as before. In the magical Fangorn Forest, huge and ancestral trees come to life. They talk, they walk, and they lead long lives. In fact, they are so important to the plot that they actually save the lives of two hobbits.

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Visit Snowdon Forest and see if the forest comes alive with Ents. If you listen closely you might also hear Gandalf calling for his white horse. Be warned though, people get easily lost here, so go with a tour guide or a local. The vegetation in the forest is thick and pretty amazing, just like the place in the next slide.

#12. Lothlorien

If you’re interested in the sceneries that the Mavora Lakes Park includes, then head north. Here, the vegetation grows thicker resembling an amazonian landscape. The labyrinth-like lake passages are great for canoeing and getting slightly lost. Don’t worry though, tourism agencies offer maps and other guides to help you in your journey.

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While this place is beautiful, in the movies we barely get a chance to admire its beauty. The thing is that we were too worked up watching Pippin and Merry escape the monstrous Uruk-hai. Be assured, no dark creatures will torment you in this lake other than bothersome mosquitoes.

#11. Edoras

Rohan, the Land of Free Men, was definitely one of the most beautiful landscapes in the trilogy. The few scenes we got to enjoy with the group of men riding horses was epic. Let’s face it, even while Sauron was poisoning the King and the land, Rohan was mesmerizing to watch.

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This surreal place is located in Canterbury and it is open for visitors. Don’t miss the tours that leave from Christchurch for an organized experience. If you’re up to the challenge, then head out on your own. Once you’re there, you won’t be able to help to picture the King and Strider galloping on Mt Sunday.

#10. Isengard

You know a place is destined for greatness when it’s called Paradise. Truly, its breathtaking views give tourists something to talk about. The place is relatively easy to access on your own, but there are also Nomad Safaris that will organize everything for you. Few visitors venture this way, so you’ll be able to take it all in practically on your own.

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Once you’re there, take a moment to sit back and relax. The place is so harmonious, it’s hard to think of it as Saruman’s home. In fact, the movies depicted this place as full of evil, as this is the place were Gandalf was imprisoned. Both wizards confronted each other and fought right here, surrounded by such imposing mountains.

#9. Lighting The Beacons Between Gondor And Rohan

If you’re visiting New Zealand and you’ve got limited time, then don’t hesitate a minute further. Mt Gunn is a top pick you won’t regret. The views from the Franz Josef Village are one of the most mesmerizing you’ll ever see in your life. Plus, the fact that such an important moment in the movie took place here, makes it more incredible.

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There are different ways you can visit the mountainside that connects Gondor and Rohan. If you’re fit, then this will make for a great challenge. Hike your way up for an unbelievable experience. If heights aren’t your thing but you still want to enjoy the scene, then take a flight and check out the views from the comfort of your seat.

#8. Mordor

If you enjoyed the previous slide then the Whakapapa Ski Field is an experience worth trying. Mt Ruapehu is a gorgeous site that people have been visiting for some years now. Depending on the season you might find snow or not. Either way, it’s a place to remember.

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In order to make the most out of your trip, make sure you visit during the right season. The fact that you’ll be visiting the iconic place where Isildur defeated Sauron will surely make for a great story back home. In fact, pay close attention, some visitors say you can still hear the shouting!

#7. Weta Cave & Workshop

While this isn’t a place or an actual scene in Lord of the Rings, we had to include it. The Weta Cave and Workshop houses many of the fantastical creatures that appear on your screen every time you watch this movie. That’s right, its doors are open for everyone, including you.

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From monsters to elves, this place is highly entertaining. Even if you don’t like the movie, learning about all the make-up and costumes is fascinating. Plus there is a hilarious gift shop you can visit and take home some unforgettable gifts. Learn how the magical creatures look so real in the movies and head down to Miramar. What are you waiting for?

#6. Anduin River

While we already included the Anduin River in this list, we simply can’t get enough. Plenty of adventurers head to the Waiau River in order to spend the day canoeing, rafting, or even having a picknick by the shore. The calm waters make it an ideal spot for water sports, even for inexperienced people.

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Take a good book, some food, fantastic company and let your mind wander in this amazing place, as few sites on earth are as beautiful as this one. However, be sure to check out the weather before you go; you wouldn’t want to catch a rainy day! For more lakes, go to #5!

#5. Mavora Lakes

For a breathtaking view, head towards Mavora Lakes. New Zealand is filled with these types of sceneries that combine bright blue water, mountainous landscapes and plenty of vegetation. There is something about this place that makes for the perfect recipe for a great time.

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The good thing about this place is that the river extends a great deal of distance, so if you feel bothered by the crowds, just walk in another direction and you’ll find yourself alone with nature. Spending the day here is pretty fantastic, but be sure you don’t litter! Let’s help maintain the habitat beautiful.

#4. Gollum’s Pool

The Ruapehu area provides plenty of sceneries worth checking out. It is home to the Tawhai Falls, one of nature’s greatest creations, and the best part is that it is available for you to visit. I bet you’ll fall in love instantly with this hidden waterfall.

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Depending on the season and weather, you might see different versions of the falls. In any case, they are beautiful and every single visitor has confessed this amazing spot reminds them a lot of The Lord of the Rings saga. If you concentrate you might just spot Gollum in the distance.

#3. Gollum Feasts On Fish

The Mangawhero River is located near the Ohakune Mountain Road and it is breathtaking. The scenery looks surreal during sunset. Make sure you plan ahead and pack food unless you’re willing to catch wild fish as Gollum did. However, be sure not to leave any trash behind.

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Nature lovers will feel elated at this spot. You’ll find plenty of hills and rocks you can climb easily enough and catch a great view. Take a book, a blanket and make the most of your visit, and just disconnect from the world for a while. If this is your type of place, then don’t miss the next spot.

#2. The Battle Of Faramir

For a day trip, you can’t miss the Twelve Mile Delta Campsite. If you’re into adventure then stay over the night. There are plenty of things to do at the campsite, including stargazing, singing by the campfire and getting lost in the wilderness.

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Several scenes in the movies take place at this campsite. Remember the battle with the Oliphaunts? Or the legendary discussion about Potatoes between Sam and Gollum? Well, it all took place near this campsite! Don’t forget your camera, as the unique views are priceless. If you find this place appealing, don’t miss the next slide.

#1. Hobbiton

When the opening scenes in the Lord of The Rings trilogy hit the big screens, we knew that was what paradise looked like. Frodo’s amazing home town caught our attention right away and we just knew we had to lay our eyes on the real place. Hobbiton is not only the home of Sam and his friends, but it is also a real place in New Zealand.

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In this wonderful place, nature and man-made creations live in harmony. The fantastic and fairytale-like houses seem as if they grew out of the earth. What I would give to take a cup of tea with Gandalf and Bilbo in one of those cottages! The Shire is definitely a place every LOTR fan must see for themselves!

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