Organized tours where herds of people board a bus and listen to someone rattle on about sights has never been my thing. However, if you’re interested in seeing the Lord of the Rings filming locations and the studio where the FX props were designed, keep in mind these are spread out and occasionally difficult to find.
Wellington Rover did a good job with this tour, particularly our guide who was either a really good actor or a confirmed LOTR fanboy who had spent years digging into the minutiae of how, when and where LOTR was filmed; I’m leaning toward the latter. Our group was definitely LOTR savvy and fun, not missing an opportunity to wear fake Hobbit ears, don a cape or have a plastic sword fight.
Rivendell and the forest where Hobbitsus first encountered the Nazgul were the two big filming locations we explored. I have to say, post visit, this is a credit to Peter Jackson’s FX team since the sights are not at all recognizable. Touring Weta Workshop, where all of the FX characters were created, was truly enjoyable, particularly seeing and hearing about the process they used to create the characters, which you probably know, visually dominate LOTR.
UL | LOTR Fanboy Car
UR | Mt. Vic, LOTR filming location
Lower | Where Hobbits first encounter the Nazgul
Above | Weta Workshop characters
Above | Rivendell