“It’s a dangerous business Frodo, going out your door.
“You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
So said Bilbo Baggins to Frodo…this weekend marks 20 years since the first Lord of the Rings movie was released – can you believe that?
And while CGI might have improved since then, New Zealand’s extraordinary Queenstown and Fiordland landscapes that featured in the films are still as majestic as they always were.
To celebrate the 20th birthday, we’ve counted down the top five LOTR experiences to be had across the ditch:
Walk the charming paths and green hills of The Shire, grab a pint at The Green Dragon Inn, get a photo in front of a hobbit hole and dance under the Party Tree like it’s your Eleventy-First birthday. You can also go behind the scenes tales from the filming, and feast like a hobbit on the Evening Banquet tour.
Walk around goblins, elves, orcs and Gollums at the Wellington-based studio that created the costumes for LOTR and The Hobbit. It’s pretty cool being up close to the real wizardry (move over Gandalf) behind filmmaking creativity and discovering the people, processes and props that bring these worlds to life.
The makers of the one ring to rule them all actually made quite a lot of rings to rule them all. Jens Hansen submitted 15 prototypes in a variety of weights and finishes, and from this extensive collection, the final movie ring design was selected. More than 40 variations were used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. One original ring is on display and for true fans, you can actually take home your very own ‘precious’ replica. Elvish engraving optional!
Soar into the air and over the famously majestic Queenstown and Fiordland landscapes that featured in the films, over the Shotover River gorge recognisable as the Ford of Bruinen as well as Isengard, Lothlorien and Dimrill Dale. Land high on a glacier alongside the Misty Mountains and get a sense of what it might be like to cross The Redhorn Pass.
Off-road advenutre meets Middle-earth magic as the films come to life on location around the dramatic scenery of Queenstown. Witness from a car the real life locations of the battle of the Wargs, Argonath (Pillars of the Kings), the Forrest of Lothlorien, and the loss of The One Ring at Gladden Fields.