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Lord of the Rings Filming Locations in New Zealand

(Photo: James Fisher/Warner Bros. Pictures)

“Not all those who wander are lost,” wrote J.R.R. Tolkien in his fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings. The same could be said of Tolkien’s fans, who, in response to the December 2003 release of New Line Cinema’s The Return of the King, practically overran New Zealand (where the films were produced) and accounted for fully six percent of the country’s visitors the following year.

New Zealand is once again seeing large crowds of Tolkien enthusiasts upon the release of its new prequel trilogy based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Here’s a primer on the top can’t-miss filming locations for enthusiasts of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our New Zealand Travel Guide, which includes information about the best places to go in New Zealand, when to visit New Zealand, what to eat in New Zealand, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations in New Zealand, and unique adventure activities in New Zealand.

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