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New Zealand Lord of the Rings


New Zealand Lord of the Rings

New Zealand Lord of the Rings

New Zealand is well known by Lord of the Rings fans as Middle Earth because it was the setting for the trilogy. Peter Jackson, New Zealand born and the director of the trilogy, filmed all three films in several locations all over New Zealand.
This trilogy of movies is Academy Award winning, having garnered 4 Oscars for The Fellowship of the Ring, 2 for The Two Towers, and 11 for The Return of the King which includes Best Director and Best Film awards. It demonstrated the skills of the crew and the cast. However, one of the big victors is New Zealand. The Lord of the Rings trilogy took 2 years to film but the set took millions of years to build.


The decision to film the 3 Tolkien-based movies in New Zealand was, for director Peter Jackson, logical. It was not just due to the fact that he resides there, and the nation’s capital city of Wellington (also known as “Wellywood”) is the location of his state-of-the-art digital studios, Weta Digital and Three Foot Six (his film studio).


It was also because he knew what other film-makers on the international scene have been finding out in the last few years: that New Zealand is the world’s best country to shoot the trilogy, due to the diversity of locations the country has.

Jackson, along with his team, searched New Zealand for the scenic and diverse regions. “Hobbiton” was set in Matamata’s rolling hills, “Mt. Doom” (where Sauron created the Ring) was set in Mt. Ruapehu’s volcanic region, and the “Pillars of Argonath” and the “Eregion Hills” were set in the nation’s adventure capital, Queenstown.

The special effects team of Jackson transformed the already spectacular landscape of New Zealand into a mystical Middle Earth with the aid of state-of-the-art digital computer genius, adding mountains and buildings where none existed. Filmed for a little less than 300 days, the Lord of the Rings made use of 350 sets which were purposely built in over 150 locations throughout New Zealand.


This included 30 sites of the Department of Conservation. The usage of national parks and conservation sites entailed the employment by Jackson of a lawyer specialist to acquire consent to shoot in protected locations.

Shooting in National Parks entailed the uprooting of plants to accommodate the set. These plants were temporarily put up in large specially made nurseries then returned at the end of filming.
In Queenstown, the location of arduous battle scenes in the film, approximately one thousand people were each day on set. A large amount if red carpet was laid out to protect flora from being trampled on. People on location also had to make it a point that they didn't ruin cultural symbols. The Lord of the Rings popularity has witnessed tourism companies in New Zealand offer a wide array of tours that showcase filming sites and adventure activities or general places of interest.

Lord of the Rings NZ

For fans Tolkien novels and those who are just mildly curious, these tours change in length with several personalized Lord of the Rings choices available.



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