Lord of the Rings Filming Locations Near Wellywood
Wellington is also fondly known as Wellywood because of the rise of movie filming in and around the around the area. There’s even talk of the city erecting a Wellywood sign similar to Hollywood’s (although many locals hate that idea so much they’ve taken to the streets with signs and banners in protest).
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a part of putting Wellington (OK-and all of New Zealand) on the map in the movie world. It’s become such a big tourist draw that our atlas even shows filming locations around the country! Using our atlas and referencing a book we found at the Weta Cave, we added a few filming locations to our travel itinerary over the past couple weeks.
The first stop was Kaitoke Regional Park to see the exact spot where movie sets were built for the Elven city of Rivendell. There’s even a sign there with information about the movie.
We had to walk carefully through some patches of snow that lingered after the big snow “storm” the week before. But we were just thankful the rain stopped by the time we reached the park.
During our stay with Duncan & Jan in the Wairarapa, we took a day trip to Cape Palliser–the southern most point of the north island. We stopped at the Putangirua Pinnacles to see where filming took place for the Dimholt Road featured in The Return of the King. Unfortunately we didn’t make it all the way to the Pinnacles due to ankle deep mud, but the hike was still beautiful!
This little guy greeted us near the remote fishing village of Ngawi. Drew woke him up from a nap, but managed to grab a great picture before he ran away.
Our next stop was outside of Featherston as we left the Wairarapa to head to Napier. We weren’t sure of the exact filming location here, but after driving through a few paddocks down a gravel road we came across a track and went for a walk.
Somewhere in this area, the Elven city of Lothlorien was filmed. We were so glad to see the sun that day since we had such amazing views!
These three sites are only a handful of the filming locations throughout New Zealand. If you own the extended version of the Lord of the Rings on DVD, it’s definitely worth checking out all the behind the scenes footage to see more of the crew’s work in New Zealand. What a massive project they undertook–and the results are really amazing.
Check out more pictures of LOTR filming locations in New Zealand on Facebook!