Discover the rugged charms that make New Zealand the "home of Middle-earth"
New Zealand's lakes, rivers, plains and mountains formed the magical landscape of JRR Tolkien's mythical Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings films. A decade after the first movie release and ahead of the upcoming The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, travellers and Hobbit-hunters continue to be inspired by the country's vast and varying landscapes.
Filmed at over 150 locations on both the North and South islands, the Lord of the Rings films capture the diversity of New Zealand's landscapes: the peaceful Shire in Matamata, the depths of Mount Doom in the volcanic region of Ruapehu and the glistening lakes of Edoras in the Canterbury plains. This extraordinary geography, in addition to New Zealand's adventurous culture, Maori history and lively cities, combine to offer an unforgettable journey right out of a story book.
The sleepy town is preparing for an influx of travellers who can enjoy not only Hobbiton, but a range of walking and tramping options, golf courses and cafés.
Rest up like a Hobbit and stay at the nearby YHA Hamilton.
National Park - Tongariro
Tongariro National Park is home to the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing and one of New Zealand's 9 Great Walks. Enjoy hiking, climbing, mountain biking, white water rafting in summer and skiing and snowboarding in winter.
Discovering the city on foot might be the best mode of transport, offering access to the stunning harbour and vibrant downtown. An easy stroll from the city centre is Mount Victoria, the forested hillsides of which transformed into Hobbiton Woods. Want to get out and about in the car? Many LOTR locations are within driving distance and will satisfy the Fellowship junkie in you.
Kick up your Hobbit feet at YHA Wellington.
Make YHA Nelson your home base for exploring these National Parks.
The nearby Canterbury plains and beautiful Mount Sunday are home to the Edoras filming location, the capital city of the Rohan people. See the sparkling lakes, glistening rivers and breathe the fresh mountain air. A local tour operator would be happy to take you.
Prepare for your journey by resting up in Christchurch's historic hostel, YHA Christchurch Rolleston House.
Queenstown's spectacular backdrops were used in all three LOTR movies including Lake Wakatipu which became Lothlorien. Discover the range of filming locations on a driving tour or with a guide. Whichever option you choose, be sure to head north to Glenorchy, used for Isengard, Lothlorien, Ithilien, among others.
Queenstown offers an incredible range of activities no matter the season. Dubbed the adrenaline capital of New Zealand with bungy jumping, canyon swinging and jet boating all on offer, no two days will be the same.Hostelling International offers hostels throughout New Zealand - check out our New Zealand page for a full list of hostels and make your booking today!
Each month Hostelling International focuses on a great travel destinations. Take a read and be inspired by our travel ideas.