Meander through Middle-earth

Several Hutt Valley locations were used for The Lord of the Rings - the epic movie trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.

Filmed entirely in New Zealand the movies take you through the wonderful world of Tolkein’s Middle-earth, with stunning landscape shots and haunting sites from throughout the country. Many of the locations in the movies are in our very own backyard, and even though they have been returned to their normal state after filming of the movies finished, they are still very recognisable.

Helm’s Deep

Helm’s Deep was a fortress built by the people of Gondor and used as a stronghold in times of conflict. It was chosen by King Theoden of Rohan as the place that the people of Rohan would make their great stand against the Uruk-Hai armies of Saruman.

The sets for Helms Deep were constructed at Dry Creek Quarry -  this is a working quarry and access is limited.

Minas Tirith

Minas Tirith is the heavily fortified capital of Gondor, depicted in the movies as a brilliant white city surrounding a hill. There were seven levels, each with a defensive wall. The seventh level held the White Tower of Ecthelion and the White Tree of Gondor, the symbol of the town.

The sets for Minas Tirith were constructed at Dry Creek Quarry - this is a working quarry and access is limited.

The Great River Anduin

The Great River Anduin flowed south from the Misty Mountains. This was the river Galadriel and the Elves launched the boats with the Fellowship in them, off to meet their destiny.

Some of the River Anduin scenes were filmed on the Hutt River, between Moonshine Bridge and Poet’s Park.

The Gardens of Isengard

Inside the ring of Isengard sat Orthanc, the fortress of Saruman. You can see the Gardens of Isengard in the Fellowship of the Ring, the first movie. Saruman and Gandalf stroll through them while talking about the predicament to come.

The Gardens of Isengard scenes were filmed at Harcourt Park in Upper Hutt.


The beautiful Elven city of Rivendell was built by Elrond as a refuge for elves. It was at Rivendell that the Fellowship was formed.

The Rivendell scenes were filmed in Kaitoke Regional Park.


Stansborough were tasked with creating many of the fine woollen cloaks and textiles seen throughout the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Their mill is in Petone and they offer tours of the facility so you can see how their products are made. They’ve also worked on films such as the Chronicles of Narnia and The Waterhorse.

Their shop boasts an impressive array of stock including baby clothing, blankets and wraps and, of course, replica Gandalf gloves.

Find out more about the Wellington region’s movie making stories and locations to visit.