Visiting NZ is like stepping into The Lord of the Rings. Joy and I I have both been a fan of the books long before the movies but when the story was shown using the stunning locations of New Zealand the magical world has come to life.
Hobbiton and Bag End, home of Bilbo Baggins
We spent the day exploring the movie set for all 3 LotR and the Hobbit followups. A huge sheep farm of over 1000 acres transformed into a town full of hobbit homes and the fields of the Shire.
Each home was unique with details for the hobbit who lived there. Some were bakers or gardeners or made cheese or practiced the brewing of ales. Unlike many movie sets the director, Peter Jackson, and crew had to come back for the hobbit movies and since LofR was so popular, the land owner was able to insure the set could be preserved.
Bilbo lived at the top of the hill and where the movie crew had to create a fake tree (the one on the left below ) to make sure it stayed the same through each of the movies.
During the movie Bilbo gives a speech at his 111 birthday party. The party tree was bigger than I expected but it has some time to grow since the movie.
The views were straight out of the movie and I kept trying to spot the hobbits going about there work.
The Green Dragon Inn and old Mill house and bridge are some of my favorite shots of the movie and we got to see almost exactly the camera view.
The movie ending is very sad I think with hobbits, elves and wizards sailing away from middle earth. The last scene however shows Sam and his family living their lives and as the big yellow door closes.
Home of Elrond and retreat of the elves. Some key shots were built in the woods and while the sets are nearly long gone the woods remain green and full of birds.
Left or right Gandalf?
Soon after the Shire and Rivendell we had a chance to take a 7 hour alpine hike across several volcanic areas on the north island. It was a tough hike with some big climbs but being in the shadow of Mount Doom and making our way across Mordor was not meant to be easy.
Dimhult Road – Paths of the dead
Weta Workshop – The start of the Magic
In downtown Wellington (capital of NZ) we visited a movie production and special effects shop called Weta. This was a great visit and I am glad Joy found it.
Actual props from the movies!!
Amazing collection of miniatures.
Making friends with the staff.
“Sting” the blade of the ring bearer.
One of those two was in the movie.
Proof that not everyone in NZ Was friendly but just about everyone else was
We did alot of walking while we were here.
I sure hope our new home has a disk player so we can watch the movies again and try to spot all the locations we visited.