Meander through Middle-Earth

Chase elves, follow in Gandalf 's footsteps and buy your very own Elven Cloak all in the Hutt Valley

Rivendell Kaitoke Hannah Indy CREDIT Alexanders Art Agency v2

Most know it as New Zealand or Aotearoa, but to some it’s called Middle-earth. Sir Peter Jackson’s much-loved Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in our fair nation, with many iconic scenes taking place in spots around the Wellington region.

While a huge amount of effort went into leaving the pristine environments untouched after filming was completed, there are still plenty of ways to follow in the footsteps of the Fellowship of the Ring in the Hutt Valley.

Rivendell Kaitoke Peter Jackson Signl CREDIT Alexanders Art Agency
kaitoke regional park middle earth archway v2
Rivendell Kaitoke Reading signl CREDIT Alexanders Art Agency

Rivendell

Kaitoke Regional Park is known for a few things - its ancient rainforest ripe for hiking and mountain biking, its hidden swimming spots in the river, and its Lord of the Rings filming locations. This park was transformed into the city of Rivendell, the refuge for the Elves and the place where the fellowship was formed, and a replica Elven archway still stands among the bush, making for the perfect photo op.

Rivendell is definitely a magical elf forest. A must-go place for LOTR fans. An area surrounded by huge big trees.

Safak A.

Harcourt Park

In a peaceful, pretty suburban park, eagle-eyed film buffs will spot the location where Gandalf the Grey rode to meet Saruman to discuss the predicament the ring posed. Upper Hutt’s Harcourt Park is a popular spot for family days out, bushwalks and discgolf, but it became the Gardens of Isengard for the trilogy’s first film. The films also transformed the Hutt River into the Great River Anduin, where the Fellowship set off to meet their destiny. Head to the area between Moonshine Bridge and Poet’s Park to recreate this moment for yourself.

hutt river totara park
Stansborough Jodie and Maria looking at product
Stansborough James with NZ Rugby Official All Blacks licenced scarf

Stansborough woollen mills

If you’ve ever admired the finely woven yet cosy-looking Elven cloaks donned by members of the Fellowship, it’s time to get your own. Renowned for their camouflaging colour, lightweight warmth and ability to hide hobbits in plain sight, creating the real-life versions of these mystical garments was no mean feat. Luckily Stansborough woollen mills were up to the task, and produced the exquisite capes from their home in Petone, a seaside town in Lower Hutt with an industrial history. This artisan producer boasts its own flock of rare-breed gray sheep, whose fine wool has made Stansborough famous among movie-makers and textile connoisseurs. You can now visit to tour the mills and pick up your own Tolkien-esque textiles, from modern accessories and homewares to those exquisite Fellowship cloaks.

GO GUIDED

Get more behind the scenes info by going on a guided tour

Day trips and tours

Gandolf on the Lord of the Rings Tour by Wellington Rover Tours

You might like