Hobbit Hunting in Queenstown

Queenstown is an incredibly scenic destination in New Zealand, and it serves as the holiday destination for thousands of travellers each year. Most people remember Queenstown for its water features, incredible mountain ranges and vibrant nightlife. Literary and film enthusiasts, on the other hand, might know of Queenstown since it was the place of filming for Lord of the Rings.

This incredible story involves fictional and fantastical figures as well as some remarkable scenery, and Queenstown was the perfect setting for such a film. Each year a number of tourists come to the area specifically to get a behind the scenes look as the backdrop for one of the most iconic films of all time. If you are planning to do the same, then use this guide to plan your own hobbit hunting travel itinerary in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Lake Wakatipu: Perhaps the number one attraction in Queenstown is Lake Wakatipu. This inland lake is one of the largest in New Zealand, but Lord of the Rings fans will know it best as being part of Lothlorien, an ancient forest that was featured in the film. Unlike many smaller landmarks used in the film, this is a public space and can be visited by anyone. Although you are more than welcome to join up with a Lord of the Rings tour, it can also be enjoyable to see Lake Wakatipu on your own. There are countless activities to enjoy on the lake itself including boat trips, fishing and hiking around the perimeter.

Gondor: Although it takes about two hours by car to travel from the heart of Queenstown to the town of Twizel in New Zealand, it is well worth the journey for true fans of Lord of the Rings. This is because Twizel is also known as Gondor, a key location in the film. Eight different scenes, taking together more than one month to complete, were all filmed in Twizel. Gondor is the film location where one of the most pivotal and inspiring moments took place, as King Théoden gave a rousing speech to the army of Rohirrim before their battle against the armies of Mordor. It is important to note that the area of Twizel where filming actually took place is private land, so tours are recommended for this part of your trip. With a tour, you can actually handle the weaponry used in the film, wear costumes, reenact key scenes and discover what it takes to film scenes of large armies charging.

Remarkables: This mountain range is more than just a scenic backdrop on New Zealand’s South Island. The Remarkables was also the site of an important scene in Lord of the Rings when Aragorn leads the fellowship over Dimrill Dale before heading to Lothlorien. If you are interested in seeing the mountains yourself, there are ample hiking opportunities that allow you to retrace the steps of the fellowship. In the winter months, between June and October in New Zealand, you can also go skiing or snowboarding on the majestic slopes.

Skipper’s Canyon: This enormous gorge was once the site of a gold mining operation, but today the bridge running across the canyon is the main attraction. Fans of Lord of the Rings will immediately recognize Skipper’s Canyon as the place where Arwen confronts Black Riders near the Ford of Bruinen. Skipper’s Canyon is easily accessible and makes a great morning or afternoon trip for anyone with an interest in the films.

Exploring Queenstown is enjoyable for anyone, but it holds special significant for those who are passionate about the Lord of the Rings films. If you are planning on going you will find that the town has a wide range of accommodation and you will find affordable and  budget friendly hotels right in the heart of the town centre which makes it very easy to explore the town by foot.

It is worth noting that all the places mentioned above need transport to get to, you can hire a car from the town centre but there are also a wealth of tour operators running bus tours to all the places the lord of the rings was filmed.

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