If you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings series, New Zealand has 150 locations to offer as ‘Home of the Middle-earth’. Fifteen years on, the magic of Middle-earth still attracts people in big number. People flock to the Hobbiton movie set, dramatic mountains and enchanting landscape – and because it’s the ultimate green travel destination!
To celebrate 15 years as the real Middle-earth, Tourism New Zealand has launched a novel way to explore the destination like a Hobbit, Elf, Dwarf or Wizard. The campaign reimagines New Zealand experiences through the perspective of Middle-earth’s best loved characters.
Take a quiz to discover which character you would be – then you are offered a character inspired journey through New Zealand with an itinerary on Tourism New Zealand’s website. For Wizards, it’s about magical experiences – stargazing at the Dark Sky Reserve or discovering the wonders of the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. Dwarves will take a journey that connects to the land and culture.
As a Hobbit you will sample New Zealand’s finest food and wine. And for the Elf – it’s luxury all the way – spas, wine and sailing.
From a place that is really called ‘Paradise’, to Hobbiton nestled in the green rolling hills of Matamata– New Zealand is the real Middle-earth. Here are top five things a Hobbit would do in New Zealand.
How to travel like a hobbit in the home of the Middle-earth:
Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata
A hobbit’s favourite place is home. The Hobbiton Movie Set in the lush rural Waikato town of Matamata is a must-do New Zealand experience for Middle-earth fans. Return to the shire, have a beer at the Green Dragon Inn and finish the tour with a dance on the ‘party field’.
Paradise Safari, Queenstown
As a hobbit, go to Isengard… Wellington locations include Harcourt Park, which was transformed into the Gardens of Isengard. Then move on to discover the Forest of Lothlorien, in Paradise. Home to many of Middle-earth’s most recognisable scenes, Paradise is rather aptly named! Paradise is located at the end of the Queenstown-Glenorchy road in New Zealand’s Southern Lakes region. Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu and is the gateway to hiking trails and Middle‑earth magic.
Weta Cave Workshop tour, Wellington
The Weta Cave in Wellington is a mini-museum that showcases the props and characters that create the movie magic. Take an exclusive look behind the scenes of the fantastical world of the five-time Academy Award winning Weta Workshop, famous for their work on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. Filled with authentic film props, costumes, miniatures and creatures you’ll be closer to the films than ever.
The Food Foragers Picnic, Nelson
Nelson is home to Jens Hansen, the goldsmith responsible for creating the 40 different rings used in production. The perfect activity for a hobbit- spend four hours gathering all the local gourmet produce the Nelson region has to offer, then sit down to enjoy them with an idyllic Kiwi picnic. What could be better than dedicating your day to foraging food in the rolling green hills of Middle-earth?
Capital Craft Beer Tour, Wellington
Hobbit’s love their ale. On this tour you will travel to four separate venues, sampling the best craft beer New Zealand’s film capital Wellington has to offer. With tutored tastings and food platters of local delights, this experience promises to leave you full of food, beer and knowledge.
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Source: Tourism New Zealand quiz