A Visit to MiddleEarth : Chetwood Forest
Chetwood Forest – Middle-earth, in authors’ words, is an endless paradise that only exists in J.R.R Tolkein’s imagination. Yet, the truth is, the Middle-earth that you saw on the big screen can be found in different places in New Zealand.
The Middle-earth, real-world map
- Edora (Mount Sunday, Canterbury) – The Lord of the Ring movie creator, Peter Jackson chose the South Canterbury region in New Zealand for the fierce battle scenes on LOTR. Sunday, as Edoras in the film, took nine months for the LOTR crews to build. Locals had roles in the movies as support crews or extras. Even local animals played part in the trilogy. In realty, Canterbury region is where you can find scenic backdrops, peaks and stunning glaciers. Mount
- Hobbitton (Matamata, Waikato) – The region of Waikato is popular on dairying and their fine thoroughbred horses. No wonder why those rolling hills and green pastures in Matamata became the place of choice to portray Hobbiton and The Shire.
- Chetwood Forest (Takaka Hill, Nelson) – Rising about 800 meters above sea level is Takaka Hill composed of marbles in strange forms. Portraying as Chetwood Forest, the place is known for its remnant forest and marbled landscapes.
- Dead Marhses (Kepler Mire, Te Anau) – the largest wetland in Te Anao covering more than 900 ha is the Dead Marshes of the Middle-earth. Kepler Mire is named in honor after the astronomer Johannes Kepler. And since it’s the most extensive pool system in New Zealand, Kepler Mire is internationally biologically significant.
- The Anduin River (Kawarau River, Otago) – Located in New Zealand is the Anduin River, the longest river in the Third Age, in the Middle-earth settings. Here is where you can do numerous river activities such as jet boating, river boarding, white water rafting and even Bungy jumpy.
- Misty Mountains (Southern Alps, South Island) – What’s up at the Southern Alps? Well, aside from the fact that it is one of the best places to enjoy snow sports, it is also a significant place for the LOTR lovers. At the Rangitata Region of the Southern Alps is where Frodo dropped the Ring and it was were Gollum had lived in the first The Hobbit film!
The mountains in the Southern Alps are set between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates. These mountains are not static, but they continuously move both vertically and horizontally.
- White Mountains (Franz Josef Glacier, West Coast) – The White Mountains bore snow even in summer, is it the same in real life at the Franz Josef Glacier? Fortunately – it does! Gear up, for no trip to New Zealand is complete without experiencing a hike on the famed Franz Josef Glacier. Experience spectacular views and amazing snow trails here!
Other parts in New Zealand where the Lord of the Ring was filmed are in Skippers Canyon, Otago (Ford of Bruinen), Lake Wakatipu (Lothlorien), Twelve Mile Delta (Ithilien Camp), Aorangi Forst Park (Dimholt Road) and, Tongariro National Park (Mordor and, Mount Doom).
For tourists, realize that, aside from having a complete LOTR tour, New Zealand itself got a lot more for you. Visit Maori churches, other rugged mountains, scenic beaches, remote areas like Hicks Bay or simply experience New Zealand’s lifestyle!