Embark on your own Middle-earth adventure in New Zealand

Discover the reason why New Zealand is considered the real Middle‑earth as you explore the dramatic, contrasting landscapes that have inspired the world's best filmmakers. 

International Hobbit Day annually falls on September 22nd and this day is dedicated to two fictional characters: Frodo Baggins and Bilbo Baggins, two hobbits from the fantasy books "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" written by J.R.R Tolkien. 

"The Hobbit" filming locations you can't miss!


The rolling hills of The Shire were once again brought to life near Matamata, where Hobbiton was re-built for The Hobbit Trilogy. Also used in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hobbiton has remained open as an attraction for Middle‑earth fans. Enjoy peering over a Hobbit's front gate, dancing under the party tree or swigging back a beer at The Green Dragon Inn. Learn more


The rocky slopes and grassy tussock of Turoa in Ruapehu was the setting for Hidden Bay, the entrance to the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Turoa is a must-go ski field on Mt Ruapehu during winter and the Tongariro Crossing in the area is considered one of the best one day walks in the world. 


New Zealand's sunniest region, Nelson Tasman, provided the backdrop for several locations in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The exact locations were filmed on private property, but visitors can get a good feel for these locations with a horse trek. Ride across neighbouring private farmland to the dramatic cliff drop which offers spectacular coastal views over Golden Bay.  Learn more

Lake Pukaki, Mount Cook

Stunning Lake Pukaki was chosen as the location for Laketown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Glacial lakes feed into Lake Pukaki giving the water its vibrant blue colour. The lake is also a favourite fishing, walking and cycling spot, while the snowcapped Mt Cook overlooking the lake is busy with skiers during the winter months. Braemar Station at Lake Pukaki was used in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to portray epic scenic shots. 

Pelorus River, Marlborough

Peter Jackson chose the Pelorus River to film the dwarves in barrels scene that appears in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Stephen Hunter, who played dwarf Bombur, called this experience 'his favourite day on set'. You can experience this exact location for yourself with an easy riverside walk, or take a guided kayak tour. Don't miss a tour to the wineries in Marlborough for its renowned Chardonnay. Learn more

The most epic safety video ever made #AirNZSafetyVideo

As the official airline of Middle-earth in 2012-2014, Air New Zealand has gone all out to celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Starring Elijah Wood and Sir Peter Jackson; we're thrilled to unveil The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made. 
Check out this epic safety video now! 

 Source: Tourism New Zealand

Hiking at Turoa image courtesy of mtruapehu.com; Abel Tasman Coastal Track image courtesy abeltasman.com; Lake Pukaki image courtesy of Tourism New Zealand; © MarlboroughNZ