Searching For Lord Of The Rings In Queenstown

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Our guide the the best activities to see the film locations of Lord of The Rings and Hobbit movies

A trip to Queenstown takes you to the heart of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies.  Many of the dramatic scenes were filmed around the Queenstown region to take advantage of the mythical scenery that’s on display.  From towering mountains, glacier fed rivers, deep canyons and ancient beech forests, you’ll soon appreciate why Sir Peter Jackson shot many scenes here.

For both fans of the films and those who want to explore spectacular scenery, there are a number of guided tour options and different ways to visit the Lord of The Rings and Hobbit film locations.  We’ve picked out a number to choose from.

Pure Glenorchy

Venture deep into Middle Earth territory with the team at Pure Glenorchy and visit Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit and X-Men movies! Travelling in a small group  in a comfortable four-wheel-drive vehicle, film locations include Lothlorien Forest, The Misty Mountains and Isengard.   Insightful guides provide the background to the locations with stories about filming along with the local history. 

Tours include morning or afternoon tea depending on the tour time while fans will have the chance to dress up in costume for a memorable photo shot.  Tours depart from The Station Building in Queenstown. Pick-up from your accommodation can also be arranged.  More Info.

Discover Paradise

Private Discovery Tours are small group specialists that offer tours from the comfort of luxury four wheel drive vehicles. With groups of just four people in the car, discover hidden valleys, Lord of The Rings film locations, glacier lakes and the rugged South Island countryside.

The ‘Paradise Tour’ is a full day trip that takes in the Dart River Valley, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film locations, a High Country sheep station and lunch that's either a picnic on Mt Alfred or, a homestead meal at the Kinloch Lodge.  There is even the option to include a Dart River Jet boat ride.  More Info.

Misty Mountains Heli-Hike

From the team at Eco Wanaka Adventures, the 'Misty Mountains' Heli Hike is a must for Lord of the Rings fans, and anyone wanting to admire panoramic views of the stunning scenery around Wanaka.

This 4.5 hour guided tour features three helicopter flights. The first landing on Fog Peak gives you the chance to admire the views of Mount Aspiring and the Southern Alps plus several Lord of the Rings locations.  It’s then onto another helicopter landing at Treble Cone where film fans can walk in the footsteps of the characters through the 'Misty Mountains' during a two-hour hike back down towards Wanaka.  Glaciers, rock pillars and canyons can all be seen on the trek.

The tour runs from November to April with pick-ups at 8.30am and 1.30pm.  More Info
Jet Boat Tour

Explore Mount Aspiring National Park with a combination of jet boat ride and unique ‘Funyak’ inflatable canoes for an adventure packed tour   After being transferred to Glenorchy on one of the world’s great short drives, enjoy a 1 hour jet boat ride through the sparking waters of the Dart River.  It’s then time to paddle hidden side streams, rock pools, and dramatic chasms from your inflatable Funyak.

Back on dry land at Paradise, enjoy a back-country tour back to Glenorchy and the film locations of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. The tour includes a buffet lunch.  More Info.

4WD Tour

4WD action that visits the filming locations of the Ford of Bruinen, Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), Gladden Fields and more.  The tour takes you to see The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the three movies, Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath - 'Pillars of the Kings' and onto Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring scene at Gladden Fields was shot.

It’s at Arrowtown, that you’ll experience a true off-road adventure as you follow a historic gold mining road to get to the Ford of Bruinen. You’ll even have a chance to do a spot of gold panning.  More Info.