Discover “The Hobbit” Filming Locations with a Britz Campervan Tour.
New Zealand is a country of towering mountains, wide plains, foreboding volcanos and steaming geothermal mud pools. For visitors to the Land of the Long White Cloud, the natural wonders of New Zealand hark back to a landscape when the Earth was very young – indeed the time of J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It is little wonder then that Sir Peter Jackson, one of New Zealand’s favourite sons, chose his homeland as the destination to film his “The Hobbit” trilogy.
For those unfamiliar with The Hobbit story, Bilbo, a hobbit, is recruited by dwarfs to help them steal treasure from a dragon, Smaug. They do, but then end up in a big battle with scary, evil orcs. This final battle is the premise behind Jackson’s final film in the trilogy - “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, which premiered in this month.
The Hobbit films and indeed, their predecessors, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, have been a major driving force behind the growth of New Zealand’s tourism industry and fans of the movies should not miss travelling their own Fellowship on a Middle Earth campervan tour.
If you are considering heading off on your own journey around Middle Earth, hire a Britz campervan from our Britz Auckland Airport branch and visit some of the main New Zealand filming destinations of the films:
Shooting for all three The Hobbit films began in 2011 at Wellington’s Stone Street Studios, while the landscape shots that portrayed the vastness of Middle Earth were shot in various locations across New Zealand. One of those locations was a disused sheep farm in Matamata, about an hour from Hamiliton.
The idyllic home of the two Trilogies main protagonists, Bilbo Baggins and Froddo; Hobbiton not only instils a sense of wonder at the world created by Tolkien, it also wonderfully portrays the magic of the movies. The film set has been beautifully constructed by expert craftsmen and is populated by elves, orcs and Hobbits in Middle Earth attire. Take a tour through the famous location and visit landmarks such as Bag End, the Mill, the Green Dragon Inn and the Party Tree.
If you are looking at camping near Hobbiton, Opal Hot Springs And Holiday Park Pools is just six kilometres from the Village and has up to 80 powered and non-powered sites for your Britz campervan.
Waitomo Caves, Waitomo
About an hour and a half south of Hobbiton along Cambridge Road and Otorohanga Road, you will come across one of New Zealand’s most spectacular North Island destinations – the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Used to record the eerie sounds and echoes featured in The Hobbit films, fans of the trilogy should consider taking the Experience the Trilogy Supercharged tour, which includes a wild Black Water Rafting journey into the heart of the caves.
For those after a more ethereal experience, take a boat trip through the Glowworm Grotto and stare in wonder at the amazing glowworms hanging from the cave ceiling. Top 10 Holiday Parks, Waitomo Caves have powered campervan sites as well as communal kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Weta Cave and Workshop
No Hobbit fan should miss a trip to the multi-award winning Weta Cave and Workshop in Wellington. A mecca for all things Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings, this amazing museum offers forty-five minute tours of the workshop where you can see how the film’s master prop designers created everything from the Trolls, to the Orc’s armor to Gollum and even The Ring itself. It is also the perfect place to pick up a replica of Bilbo’s ‘Sting’ sword.
New Zealand’s picturesque South Island was where many of Middle Earth’s dramatic landscapes were filmed.
For example, in Wanaka, discover the Middle Earth kingdom of Rhudaur, proudly portrayed by Treble Cone Ski Resort and the Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Road. The wild landscape showcases some of New Zealand’s most spectacular vistas, while just an hour south you will come across the famous The Remarkables mountain range.
Used in the films to portray Tolkien’s epic mountain range, The Misty Mountains, central to both the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit stories, The Remarkables are located about 10 minutes from Queenstown. It is here that fans can book a Lord of The Rings tours to the Remarkables as well as the filming locations of Isengard, Ithilien Camp and the ‘Battle of the Wargs’.
Queenstown Lake View Holiday Park is the perfect jump off point for your South Island Middle Earth adventure. Located just 500 metres from the shores of Lake Wakatipu, you will have a spectacular view of The Remarkables in all their glory.