Queenstown
Lord of the Rings

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Our most recommended Queenstown Lord of the Rings

Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

1. Glenorchy & Paradise Scenic Half-Day Tour from Queenstown

Just 45 minutes from Queenstown, Glenorchy is nestled on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu and is home to what many say is New Zealand's best scenery and a slice of Middle-Earth magic. View stunning scenery and alpine vistas as you are guided in style aboard a luxury Mercedes van. Enjoy an overload of sightseeing and views packed into a fun half-day adventure to Glenorchy and beyond. Upon arrival in Glenorchy, you will be awe struck as you gaze at the mountain ranges and native beech forest which set the backdrop for this rustic town. You will have some time to check out the town's local sites and hidden gems, while also learning about Glenorchy and its fascinating Maori history. After Glenorchy, visit Paradise, view Diamond Lake, and explore the surrounding areas. There’s endless natural beauty and scenic stops along the way, ensuring you’ll go home with some postcard-worthy photos. View multiple Lord of the Rings movie locations, such as Twelve Mile Delta, where the first fight between Faramir's Rangers and the Giant Oliphaunts took place. In a location called "Paradise," you will also get to see the famous locations of Isengard and Saruman's Tower. Costumes are available, so you can re-create scenes and dress as a character from the movie. Whether you are a Lord of the Ring’s fan or not, you will be impressed with the stunning scenery surrounding these locations. Taste a kiwi-style morning and afternoon tea with a spectacular back drop. Your guide will set up the ultimate picnic in one of a number of picturesque locations, consisting of classic, kiwi delights. With a stunning natural backdrop comprised of majestic mountain ranges and native beech forest, Glenorchy is sure to leave you speechless.

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Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

2. Queenstown Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Discovery Tour

Embark on an adventure safari packed with breathtaking scenery, thrilling 4WD action, and LOTR filming locations. Visit the filming locations of Minas Tirith, Misty Mountains, the Pillars of the Kings (Argonath), Gladden Fields, the Ford of Bruinen, and more.  After pick-up from your hotel, journey around the Wakatipu Basin to see The Remarkables, which were used as various mountains throughout the three movies. Travel part way up Queenstown Hill for a bird's-eye view onto Deer Park Heights, which was used for the refugees of Rohan and the Battle of the Wargs scenes. From the viewpoint, head to Kawarau Gorge where the filming took place for the Argonath - 'Pillars of the Kings'. After Kawarau Gorge, travel to Arrowtown where the loss of The One Ring scene at Gladden Fields was shot. Near Arrowtown, you will experience a true off-road adventure. Following a historic gold mining road up the Arrow River, cross the river many times to get to the Ford of Bruinen. Here you can indulge in a refreshing afternoon tea and try your hand at a spot of gold panning. From Arrowtown, travel to the entrance of Skippers Canyon for spectacular panoramic views of the Wakatipu Basin and into the Canyon.

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From Queenstown: Lord of the Rings Full-Day Tour

3. From Queenstown: Lord of the Rings Full-Day Tour

From Queenstown, outside the Station at the corner of Camp and Shotover streets, begins a full-day tour that takes you for a comprehensive and memorable Lord of the Rings experience. You’ll enjoy expert and entertaining commentary from your guide who has true passion for the books and the movie trilogy. You will travel in a small group to ensure that your experience is a personal and interactive one. The filming for all 3 movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was done in director Peter Jackson's native New Zealand. On this South Island tour you'll visit numerous locations, sights and scenes from the movies, while taking in some of the most spectacular scenery found anywhere in the world. During the day you’ll have the chance to see and touch countless weapons, costumes, and other items from the movie, taking as many photographs as you like. Lunch is included on the tour and is served in a restaurant.

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Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

4. Milford Sound & Te Anau 2-Day Small-Group Tour

Day 1: Leaving Queenstown, travel around Lake Wakatipu with amazing views of "The Remarkables" Mountain Range with some stops to take fantastic photos. Then, enter Fiordland National Park and visit Eglinton Valley, Mirror Lakes, Lake Gunn, Hollyford River, Falls Creek, the Darran Mountains, and Homer Tunnel. Next, board your cruise on a small boat for an informative and personal tour of Milford Sound. Get closer to the wildlife and nature, including the New Zealand fur seals basking on the rocks. See massive rock faces rising hundreds of meters out of the sea and waterfalls cascading from ancient rainforest high in the mountains. Marvel at the awe-inspiring Mitre Peak, an iconic steep triangular peak, rising high up above the reflective waters. As day 1 comes to a close, enjoy an overnight stay in Te Anau where you can have dinner at a local restaurant or take an evening stroll around the lake. Day 2: Start Day 2 with pickup from your hotel and first visit the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary. Take a guided tour of the sanctuary and see some of the rarest birds in the country, including the Takahe and Kaka. Visit your first Lord of the Rings attraction at the Dead Marshes and Rainbow Reach. Enjoy a viewpoint overlooking The Dead Marshes from an elevated position. At Rainbow Reach a cable bridge over the Waiau River, known as The River Anduin in the movie series leads you into the forest and Kepler Track. Next, explore the shores of Lake Manapouri and hear more about its history. Have a quick break at one of the local coffee shops before heading to the Mavora Lakes, which is one of the most famous LOTR sites in the region. After some free time here, continue back to Te Anau where you can take part in some more optional activities, with the final drop-off in Queenstown in the early evening.

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Queenstown & Skippers Canyon: Middle Earth Helicopter Tour

5. Queenstown & Skippers Canyon: Middle Earth Helicopter Tour

Enjoy a scenic 45-minute helicopter flight combining the best of Queenstown and Middle-Earth. Take flight with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, New Zealand aerial film specialists, who have provided the aerial filming for the 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' trilogies. Uncover special Middle Earth Locations with your pilot. Follow the path of the Fellowship as you explore the spectacular scenic highlights of Whakatipu Basin and the surrounding area. Discover many recognizable locations from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies including the rugged Remarkables, Lake Alta, and the crumbly schist slopes used to film Dimrill Dale in which the Fellowship fled towards Lothlórien. Fly over the historic gold mining valley of Skippers Canyon, landing high above the Shotover River which can be recognized as the Ford of Bruinen. Catch a glimpse of the mountain tarn which is featured alongside the Rohirrim Refugees and share the view Legolas had of the approaching Wargs.

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From Queenstown: Lord of the Rings Half Day in Middle Earth

6. From Queenstown: Lord of the Rings Half Day in Middle Earth

Your journey through Middle Earth starts from the station info building on the corner of Shotover Street and Camp Street at 10:00 AM. From there you will travel to Arrowtown, once a gold mining town (which you can still pan for gold and find some if you are lucky) passing Coronet Peak, one of the many ski fields in the area.  See The Ford of Bruinen where the Black Riders are swept down the river and then onto the Gladden Fields where Isildur is ambushed by Orcs. From Arrowtown you will travel towards the Kawarau river where you will see The Argonath (The Pillars of the King) Then its time for some fun handling and photographing weapons, such as Gimli's axe, Aduril and Narsil.  After spending time reenacting scenes with the weapons it's time to leave Middle Earth behind and return to Queenstown.

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From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

7. From Queenstown: Lord Of The Rings Tour to Glenorchy

Enjoy a small-group tour of the most iconic Lord of the Rings filming locations in New Zealand, specially designed for fans of the films. Within minutes of leaving Queenstown, reach the Glenorchy Road, which follows the edges of the Great Lake Wakatipu, and has been voted  one of the top 10 drives in the world. Admire snowcapped mountains that arise around every corner of the journey. Your first stop will be the 12 Mile Delta. Here, enjoy a short nature walk over the 12 Mile canyon footbridge and spot trout and salmon in the crystal-clear water below. Learn about the local flora and fauna and visit the locations, where scenes from the films were shot. Next, refuel with a delicious morning or afternoon tea picnic near the famous Glenorchy red shed and wharf. Once you have eaten enough to satisfy a Hobbit, adventure further into the World Heritage Mt. Aspiring National Park, home of Lothlorien Forest, where you will have the opportunity to snap some photographs dressed as your favorite Lord of the Rings character with replica swords from the trilogy. Next, head up the Dart Valley through "Paradise" to Isengard for some time to enjoy this amazing location in this spectacular glacier-carved valley. Stories and behind-the-scenes secrets will be shared by your passionate local guides on the way back to Queenstown.

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From Queenstown: VIP Glenorchy & Paradise Expedition

8. From Queenstown: VIP Glenorchy & Paradise Expedition

Depart Queenstown and travel along the shore of Lake Wakatipu on a scenic drive to Glenorchy. Listen to stories about farming and movie making as you head to Bennett’s Bluff to take souvenir photos. Watch a sheep shearing demonstration and interact with different farm animals before going deep into the forests of Mount Aspiring National Park on Paradise Road. Hear about some of the major film productions that have made use of the landscape, such as Lord of the Rings, X-Men Wolverine, and Narnia. Pass the historical Arcadia Homestead, and pull over at a scenic spot to enjoy afternoon tea and coffee. Take in the views of the beautiful countryside before going for a walk on the pier at Glenorchy. Listen to more amazing stories on the drive back to Queenstown.

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Glenorchy Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Tour

9. Glenorchy Half-Day 4WD Lord Of the Rings Tour

If your main focus is to see as many Lord of the Rings locations as possible, then this is the tour for you! Head to Glenorchy on a scenic drive toward Paradise Valley, where Lord of the Rings and other movies were filmed. After pick-up from your hotel, set off on an adventure safari packed with breathtaking scenery and Lord of the Rings filming locations. Journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy, stopping at breath-taking viewpoints for mountain and forest views along the shore of Lake Wakatipu towards Glenorchy and the Paradise Valley.  En route from Glenorchy, follow the Dart River to the spectacular filming location for Isengard, a location offering stunning views of Mt Earnslaw. Head to Paradise discover the location for the Forest of Lothlorien. Leaving Glenorchy and heading towards Queenstown, you will stop at 12 Mile Delta to explore the location of the Ithilien Camp. You'll also visit gorgeous locations from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

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Queenstown: Full-Day Lord of Rings Tour with Lunch

10. Queenstown: Full-Day Lord of Rings Tour with Lunch

Start with pickup from your hotel in Queenstown and travel west along Lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy and Paradise. Discover a wide variety of filming locations throughout the tour with your expert guide. Bring the films to life with a variety of movie props you can use to recreate movie scenes at the filming locations. Enjoy photo stops in the Paradise region of Mount Aspiring National Park, with some short walks on easy trails. Explore the Forest of Middle Earth and discover the settings for scenes of Lothlórien. Stand on the Isengard Lookout and admire the scenic views of the area. Return to Queenstown for lunch at a local café, before heading east of the city for the afternoon portion of the tour. Discover Gibbston and Arrowtown and visit the settings for Gladden Fields and The Pillars of the Kings. Pan for elven gold in the river, and journey along a portion of the scenic Skippers Canyon Road, which was the setting for scenes featuring The Ford of Bruinen. Enjoy the spectacular scenic views over the Wakatipu Basin throughout the tour, with drop-off back in Queenstown in the evening.

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What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 13 reviews

It’s well worth the 9 am start to experience the beautiful drive to Glenorchy & Paradise. Andy was a very informative guide and I appreciated his personal knowledge of the area. We enjoyed a simple but tasty morning tea before driving home after plenty of photo opportunities. If you are a LOTR movie buff, you’ll enjoy the experience even more.

Great half day tour and Aaliyah was an awesome tour guide, even bringing the bug spray! Free time in Glenorchy and awesome dressing up time in Paradise made it a memorable trip. Thanks!

Fantastic trip out to some LOTR locations despite poor weather. Our guide Meghan allowed us to have a great time even though the skies were gloomy. Great trip

Brilliant driver leader. Arils provided excellent commentary. Great information was very helpful and pleasant

Fantastic tour and the tour guide was amazing and so friendly and fun, highly recommend this tour