Hobbit-fever has created a new kind of travel in New Zealand: Tolkien Tourism. MarketMAPS looks at how New Zealand has embraced its identity as “Middle Earth.”
Director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies were famously shot on location in New Zealand’s countrysides, valleys, mountains, and rivers. Fans have begun to think of New Zealand’s landscape as synonymous with that of Middle Earth, the setting of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings book series. With the release of the Hobbit, audiences and travelers are eager to revisit Middle Earth, and New Zealand has embraced its identity by offering a plethora of Tolkien tourism destinations.
The Wellington Airport, located on the southern tip of New Zealand’s North Island, recently unveiled its giant Gollum sculpture, which greets passengers in the waiting area. The sculpture was created by the same studio that designed many of the special effects seen in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.
The next stop on the Tolkien tour of New Zealand is the rolling hills of the Matamata countryside. This countryside served as Hobbiton in the films. Fans can visit Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, where a Middle Earth expert will guide you through the famous film set.
Visit the Chateau Tongariro, the 89-year-old hotel that served as “base-camp” for Peter Jackson and his crew during filming in New Zealand. Jackson used the basement theater of this hotel, located near the volcanic Mount Ruapehu, for screenings of daily footage.
Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand’s South Island, within Fiordland National Park. It is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist sights, but has increased in popularity since its cameo appearance in the Lord of the Rings movies.
New Zealand is a great place for a relaxed vacation, or an adventurous tour. Wherever you may be going for your next vacation, start the right way—with the right map. You can use maps to plan road trips, pick the perfect destinations, and organize your travels. MarketMAPS publishes the most complete selection of maps of anywhere in the US and worldwide. Choose our maps for their complete street detail and custom coverage.
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