The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is a global phenomenon, having made over $2.9 billion in the worldwide box office. It is also the best advertisement that New Zealand’s tourism industry could have ever asked for. Everyone knows that the Lord of the Rings was filmed entirely in New Zealand.
The spectacular landscapes and picturesque sceneries witnessed in the Lord of the Rings reflect New Zealand at its very best. There is a large Lord of the Rings tourism industry in New Zealand that serves millions of foreign tourists who visit New Zealand for no other reason but to revisit the Middle Earth.
Remember the South of Rivendell and the Flight of the Ford scene in the Fellowship of the Ring? Yes, that’s the one where Arwen tries to desperately save Frodo from the Black Riders – the entire sequence was shot at the stunning Northwest Lakes. The opening shot in that sequence was shot at the Te Anau Lake, which is a thing of real beauty.
Or do you remember the scene where the Hobbits are captured by the orcs, with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli going on an epic chase trying to rescue them? That was shot at the very remote Ida Valley. The Ida Valley is just perfect for the chase sequence because of its rocky areas, rolling hills and the sheer size of everything here.
And Remember Edoras, the capital of Rohan? That’s Mt Potts. Mt Potts is a spectacular place with towering mountains, vast glaciers and sharp rocky edges. You will find a delightful restaurant here which serves the greatest of home cooked food. It’s a great place to go fishing, tramping or to read a book.
The Lord of the Rings – What Is It?
We expect most people to know about the Lord of the Rings, even if you do, here’s a quick refresher. Lord of the Rings was a series of novels written by the great J.R.R. Tolkien between 1937 and 1949. It is a good versus evil story at its core, as remember those were the days when Hitler and the Nazis dominated the discourse in much of the world. The dark realm of the Mordor is obviously modelled after Hitler and Nazi Germany while the Shire is taken to mean a typical, peaceful English countryside. You have human-like creatures such as Hobbits, Elves, Wizards, Men, Dwarves and Orcs, and more, all living in an expansive world called the Middle Earth. The Lord of the Rings is essentially the young Hobbit, Frodo Baggins journey to get rid of the ring, the source of all evil.
Peter Jackson and the Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogy
Peter Jackson was a young director from New Zealand who was virtually unknown at that time. He hit upon the idea of creating the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and filming all the scenes in his home country of New Zealand. While everybody knew that New Zealand was one of the most beautiful countries in the world, nobody had yet captured the spectacular sights of New Zealand on camera. Jackson wanted to change that.
After a lot of hard work, and amazing persistence, Jackson was able to make the trilogy with the backing of New Lines Cinema. Three movies were released, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of The King, each of which went to achieve extraordinary financial success and won great critical acclaim, winning a total of 17 Academy Awards, including Best Director for Peter Jackson himself.
New Zealand Lord of the Rings and the Middle Earth
The tourism industry was quick to seize the opportunity and capitalize on the great success of the Lord of the Rings. New Zealand was quickly branded as the “Middle Earth”. There are the Lord of the Rings tour groups that take tourists to Wellington, Christchurch, the lower North Island, the Canterbury Plains, Mt Potts, Southern Alps and other beautiful areas to see the various locations where the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy was filmed.
Since the Lord of the Rings, there have been a plenty of Hollywood movies that have been shot in New Zealand, such as the Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong and the Hobbit movie trilogy, also directed by Peter Jackson. The Lord of the Rings is a gift that keeps giving as far as the tourism industry in New Zealand is concerned.