7 Best Hikes in New Zealand for Lord of The Rings Fans — Where to seek out The Loneliest Mountain, Mount Doom, Chetwood Forest and More


Recreate your favorite LOTR scenes on these beautiful hikes in New Zealand!

If you’re studying this text, you’d in all probability already know that the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy was filmed solely in New Zealand

And upon listening to information concerning the new Amazon collection The Rings of Power, we couldn’t assist however reminisce traditional scenes from the franchise. But as an alternative of merely fantasising over Middle-earth, why not dive straight into the film set to expertise some LOTR magic for your self?

Milford Sound Cruise Ship - New Zealand South Island Guide

From The Lonely Mountain and Mount Doom to Chetwood Forest, we’ve collated a listing of seven hikes throughout iconic LOTR filming places in New Zealand you’ll be able to add to your subsequent New Zealand itinerary.

Read additionally: 12D New Zealand South Island Itinerary Under S$2.8k

1) Hooker Valley Track, Mount Cook

Hooker Valley Track - LOTR Hikes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: Miles Holden

The tallest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook is solely beautiful. It’s pure alpine surroundings at its best — surrounded by many different skyscraper mountains and pristine glaciers. There’s no marvel it was director Peter Jackson’s prime choose to symbolize The Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit Trilogy.

The Hooker Valley monitor is a well-liked hike to catch the mountain in its full glory. Snow-studded all yr spherical, cross the Hooker Valley and hike alongside the Hooker River, earlier than ending at a crystal-blue glacier lake. Along this thrilling hike, you’ll additionally cross suspension bridges and catch floating icebergs alongside the way in which!

Hooker Valley Track Mount Cook - LOTR Hikes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: Miles Holden

It might sound robust, however the Hooker Valley monitor is a comparatively simple hike with not plenty of elevation positive factors. Suitable for hikers of all ages, it’s well-maintained and simple to comply with.

*Note: Weather situations can change shortly — put together for sturdy winds, sudden rainfall, drops in temperature and so on.

Distance: 10km (round-trip)
Duration: 3-4 hours (round-trip)
Nearest city: Aoraki/ Mount Cook
Starting level: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park 227 Hooker Valley Road, Canterbury 7999, New Zealand (a brief stroll to the start line)

2) Anawhata Beach, Auckland

Anawhata Beach - LOTR Hikes

Photo credit score: Torpedo7.co.nz

This movie website comes up within the newest collection The Rings of Power, the place Lady Galadriel rides throughout Anawhata Beach. According to government producer Callum Greene, this spot is so spectacular that the crew left it “very untouched”.

This beautiful seaside is just about a hidden gem. Only accessible by foot, this makes the seaside quieter and way more unique. Apart from the superb views you get of the Hauraki Gulf, take pleasure in a calming swim or play a recreation of frisbee!

Distance: ~2km (one-way from the carpark to the seaside)
Duration: 20min
Nearest city: Auckland
Starting level: 103/75 Anawhata Road, Anawhata 0772, New Zealand (carpark)

3) Putangirua Pinnacles Track, Wairarapa

Putangirua Pinncales - LOTR Hikes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: bennyjain

Find these towering pinnacles considerably acquainted? Just an hour’s drive south of Martinborough, the Putangirua Pinnacles shaped the set of Dimholt Road — the trail Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli took seeking the doorway to the Paths of the Dead.

The pinnacles have been shaped attributable to years of abrasion by rain and flood, and are certainly one of New Zealand’s most stunning badlands (a dry terrain involving erosion of softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils).

Putangirua Pinnacles - LOTR Hikes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: not_your_type1cal_adventurer by way of Instagram

It’s a fairly manageable strolling path, however you’re going to wish good mountaineering boots because the gravel is gentle and damp. While the film was filmed close to the valley, avid hikers can try the steeper climb to the Pinnacles lookout or go additional for superb views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke.

*Pro-tip: Avoid mountaineering throughout wet climate as you’ll be crossing streams alongside the way in which, making floods a possible hazard.

Distance: 3km (round-trip)
Duration: 2-3 hours (to the Pinnacles lookout)
Nearest city: Wellington
Starting level: Pinnacles Track, Cape Palliser 5772, New Zealand

4) Lake Gunn Nature Walk, Fiordland National Park

Lake Gunn - LOTR Hikes

Photo credit score: NZ Department of Conservation

LOTR followers might discover pictures of Fiordland National Park strikingly acquainted, and it’s because it’s used time and time once more all through the collection. A brief and simple hike to soak up these scenic landscapes are by way of the Lake Gunn Nature Walk.

Witness a number of the franchise’s most well-known mountainous landscapes and luxuriate in glimpses of birdlife amidst panoramic views at Eglinton Valley. While it’s unlikely you’ll see dwarves or elves right here, you may spot New Zealand’s resident alpine parrots — the cheeky Kea!

Kea Bird in Milford Sound - New Zealand South Island Itinerary

Located alongside Milford Road (it’s critically one of the crucial stunning highways we’ve been on), Lake Gunn Nature Walk makes for an important stroll amidst contemporary morning dew. Wander alongside the purple beech forest and make stops at a number of stony lake seashores alongside the way in which.

Distance: 1.4km (loop)
Duration: 45min
Nearest city: Te Anau
Starting level: Lake Gunn Nature Walk, Southland 9679, New Zealand

5) Tongariro Crossing, Ruapehu

Tongariro Crossing - LOTR Hikes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: Camilla Ruther-ford

LOTR followers might recall Boromir’s iconic warning — “One does not simply walk into Mordor.” Well, right here’s how one can.

To go to Mordor, one should first cross the Tongariro Crossing, named one of many 10 New Zealand Great Hikes for good motive. Catch Mount Doom (Mt Ngauruhoe) for your self, the famed historic volcano residence to Mordor and Dark Lord Sauron. Here’s a sneak peek of the volcano’s eruption in Rings of Power:


Credits: For Frodo

As you sort out the fearful Devil’s Staircase to Mordor, don’t overlook to cease by the gorgeous emerald crater lakes scattered throughout the rugged terrain.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing Emerald Lakes - LOTR HIkes in New Zealand

Photo credit score: Graeme Murray

To traverse the beautiful sweeping landscapes, you’ll require a primary degree of health. Extreme climate and alpine terrains make it a more durable hike, however skilled hikers can go for an extra 3hr climb to summit the majestic Mount Doom.

Distance: 19.4km
Duration: 8hrs
Nearest city: Tongariro
Starting level: Tongariro National Park, Manawatu-Wanganui 4691, New Zealand

6) Takaka Hill Walkway, Takaka Hill

Takaka Hill Walkway - LOTR Hikes

Photo credit score: Ghislane Mary

Step into the (tiny) sneakers of hobbits as they flee from nazguls in Bree and into Chetwood Forest, filmed alongside these historic marble outcrops on the Takaka Hill Walkway. Unlike the desolate plains portrayed in Fellowship of the Ring, Takaka Hill is way more scenic in actual life.

Apart from these distinctive rock formations, the hike takes you thru fascinating karst landscapes, scrubs, and beech forests, earlier than revealing unbelievable views of Kahurangi National Park and Takaka Valley.

Distance: 3km (half loop), 5.1km (full loop)
Duration: 1-2 hrs (half loop), 2-3 hrs (full loop)
Nearest city: Takaka
Starting level: 1147 Takaka Hill Highway, Takaka Hill 7198, New Zealand

7) Milford Sound Lookout Track, Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lookout Track - LOTR Hikes

Photo credit score: NZ Department of Conservation

The charming great thing about Milford Sound is well-known to most — mountainous peaks, misty fiord cliffs, and mild cascading waterfalls full its ethereal surroundings. The distant landscapes naturally caught the eye of director Peter Jackson as properly, with the scenic Fiordland making numerous options all through the collection.

Girl sitting on Milford Sound Swing - New Zealand South Island Itinerary

While the cruises provide superb excursions across the Fiordland, the Milford Sound Lookout Track shouldn’t be neglected as properly. As you stroll alongside the fiord, go for a brief detour to the well-known Milford Sound Swing for a romantic shot with this iconic New Zealand backdrop.

Distance: 400m
Duration: 20min
Nearest city: Milford Sound
Starting Point: 147/157 Milford Sound Highway, Milford Sound 9679, New Zealand (carpark)

Hike throughout your favorite LOTR filmsites in New Zealand

Roys Peak Viewpoint

Hikes are an effective way to soak up one of the best sights and sounds of New Zealand. And the truth that one of many largest blockbuster franchises was shot on-site makes all of them the extra price visiting!

For these planning your personal New Zealand itinerary, right here’s what you are able to do at the South Island — from hikes, wildlife sightings to excessive sports activities! And if you happen to’re an adrenaline junkie seeking to get your blood speeding, there’s a ton of excessive thrills accessible in Queenstown, the journey capital of the world.

Based on our 12D journey to the South Island, we’ve additionally compiled a listing of FAQs that can assist you out in your personal planning! Now, if you happen to’d excuse us we’ll be busy binging on The Rings of Power

Featured picture credit score: Miles Holden

Which of those LOTR hikes in New Zealand are you most excited for? Share them within the feedback under!

This publish was dropped at you by New Zealand Tourism Board.

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