Queenstown is one of New Zealand's most popular tourist destinations. Action packed, Queenstown lives up to its reputation as the adventure capital of the country. It is also renowned for its dramatic alpine scenery, great shopping, spas, restaurants and wineries. The surrounding landscape played a key role in the Middle earth films; based in Queenstown, you can discover a range of memorable sites where Lord of the Rings filmed including the Orc funeral pyre, Fangorn Forest, the calling up of Shadowfax, and the breaking of the Fellowship.
Closeburn, a little peninsula along the shores of Lake Wakatipu was the location of Amon Hen, where Frodo leaves the Fellowship. From Glenorchy further along Lake Wakatipu you can see Mt Earnslaw, a 2819m peak in Aspiring National Park which featured in the opening scene of The Two Towers. At the foot of Mt Earnslaw is the impressive hanging glacier and waterfalls of Earnslaw Burn, passed by the Fellowship as they left Rivendell to continue their quest.
In the opposite direction, a little beyond Lake Hayes is the charming historic settlement of Arrowtown. A half day tour can take you to the Arrow River, one of the locations where the Ford of Bruinen was filmed. As Arwen and Frodo cross, Arwen summons a powerful flood to sweep down the river, enabling them to escape the Black Riders. The Arrow River is a tributary of the Kawarau River, to The Pillars of Argonath, the gigantic statues of the two kings of Gondor and another great location where Sam and Frodo see the Oliphants at Ithilien.
It's a wonderful journey to get here and you'll be captivated by its breath-taking natural beauty.
Check out the other The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) film locations:
Experience Middle-earth for yourself. View our Lord of the Rings Tours.