This month’s travels are dedicated to a well-known book-turned-movie. That’s right, it’s The Lord of the Rings. As some may know, The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed in New Zealand, the home of director of the films, Peter Jackson. Whether you’re a fan or not, the locations used in the movie are spectacular and a wonder to behold.
Mount Ruapehu is one of the three volcanoes in Tongariro National Park that was featured in the films. It is the largest volcano in the park and was the location for Mordor, the home of Sauron and Emyn Muil, the place where Frodo and Sam are lost before enlisting the help of Gollum.
Wellington is one of the easier locations to get to, with areas of Mount Victoria representing Hobbiton Woods and Harcourt Park, which was converted into the Gardens of Isengard. Kaitoke Regional Park was the site of Rivendell, the refuge of the elves and the exact location is marked, so you’ll be able to find it easily. The site of Helm’s Deep is also found in Wellington
At Matamata, you can visit the Hobbiton movie set from the films, as well as experience an intriguing 2 hour tour around the set. This is conveniently located on a farm, so meeting and feeding animals is also an option.
Each location is full of facts and interesting trivia about both, the films and the land itself and it will entertain you for hours. Don’t worry if you’re not all that into The Lord of the Rings (but you should be!), because there are plenty of other things to do; including bike riding and hiking. There are also many shops and cafes around to relax in. Water jet boating is another activity that is available for those who are looking for a bit of a thrill.
Various Lord of the Rings memorabilia and souvenirs are there for you to pick up as a memory, or as a gift for fans back at home. Be sure to visit the locations of your favourite scenes and if you’re really into the moment, why not re-enact a scene? If you have a quick look online, you will find many guided tours available for you to explore, but here are just some of the main places you may want to visit! (SY)