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Our Experience on a Lord of the Rings Tour from Queenstown

queenstown lord of the rings tour

Any Lord of the Rings fan knows that the three-film series was all filmed here in New Zealand. Dan and I joined a Queenstown Lord of the Rings tour the other day to find out what it was all about and see hte film locations for oursleves!

Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tour

One of the most popular movie trilogies of all time was filmed here in New Zealand – The Lord of the Rings! Those who are huge fans of the movies and books often come to New Zealand purely for this purpose.

However, you don’t have to be a huge Lord of the Rings fan to be able to appreciate the beautiful locations they used in the film and the incredible facts about the movies as well as all of the work that went into making them.

I found this out first-hand the other day when Dan and I headed out with Pure Glenorchy on their Queenstown Lord of the Rings tour.

exploring Lothlorien on the glenorchy lord of the rings tour
Exploring Lothlorien
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Getting to Glenorchy

This Queenstown Lord of the Rings Scenic Tour begins in Queenstown but the adventure starts as you head towards Glenorchy. Glenorchy is a small town located about 40 minutes from Queenstown with only about 300 residents. Within Glenorchy itself, there are some beautiful views, but the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is known as one of the most scenic drives in all of New Zealand!

the windy road to glenorchy
The beautiful road to Glenorchy!

As you drive along the windy roads towards Glenorchy our guide started to tell us about how Peter Jackson (a Kiwi from Wellington) ended up getting the job as the director of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. We learned about the amount of money spent in the 7 years it took to plan, film, and edit all three films – $800 million!

We stopped at an incredible viewpoint along the road to Glenorchy and our guide explained about the surrounding mountains we were looking at. We were given some general knowledge but also we were told about some Lord of the Rings settings as well. The “Misty” mountains sat right in front of us and we could even see the snow-covered peak in which Boromir found the ring!

viewpoint along the road to glenrochy
The first stop was at this gorgeous viewpoint!

After that, we headed to Glenorchy where we had a quick tour of the town before we were off again, but this time we were headed to somewhere even more remote!

Scouting Out Filming Locations

We drove along gravel roads next to fields full of sheep. Luckily it is spring and we saw tons of the cutest baby lambs running around in the fields chasing one another and their mums. After another short drive, we stopped in a gorgeous valley to learn about a few more Lord of the Rings scene locations as well as play dress up and have a picnic!

dressing up as lord of the rings charaters
Dan and I…or should I say an Elf and Gandalf!!!

From this viewpoint, we saw the walking trees or Ents forest, the battle of Isengard, a scene from the hobbit, and lots more (that you’ll have to do the tour for yourself to find out!)

paradise on the glenorchy lord of the rings tour
I loved this spot in “paradise”

The next stop was in a forest within Mount Aspiring National Park, otherwise known as Lothlorien! After that, our final stop included a short ten-minute scenic walk to end on the exact location of the scene where Sméagol brings the rabbit back to Frodo and Sam cooked the rabbit and potatoes stew.

At each stop, our guide gave us some general knowledge of the area and then showed us pictures of the Lord of the Rings scenes so we could remember exactly what he was talking about.

listening to our guide on the lord of the rings tour
Our guide explaining the different filming locations.

A Scenic Tour

The Queenstown Lord of the Rings Tour was actually great for just sightseeing as well. I have never read the books and have only watched the movies once (years ago I might add!) I was a bit nervous that I would be out of place on this tour but soon after I got in the van the tour guide assured me that many people join this tour just for scenic views.

Even if you’ve never seen the movies this Queenstown Lord of the Rings tour will still be enjoyable! The scenery and breathtaking viewpoints are so worth it!

one of the views along the lord of the rings tour in glenorchy
One of the beautiful landscapes we saw on the tour!
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What’s included and what you need

Our tour with Pure Glenorchy included transport in a nice van, an amazing picnic lunch, water, informative guide, and costumes to dress up in. With all this, it’s not necessary for you to bring anything other than your camera and smile and some comfortable footwear!

picnic lunch on the lotr tour
Our picnic lunch!

The Tour Company

The Queenstown Lord of the Rings tour we went on was with the company Pure Glenorchy. We had a fantastic day and that was mostly due to the friendly guide with tons of interesting information and jokes to share, a well thought out tour with unique and beautiful stops, as well as a comfortable van and an awesome picnic lunch! We highly recommend Pure Glenorchy’s Scenic Lord of the rings tour.

To book or for more information check out Pure Glenorchy’s website here!

pure glenorchy tour bus

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After being in Queenstown for 6 months this tour actually took us to new places we hadn’t ever been (and trust us, we do a lot of exploring!)

This trip definitely gets my tick of approval and is something I surely won’t forget!

If you have any more questions about the tour or things to do in and around Queenstown then shoot us a message or email.

We lived in Queenstown for 6 months so we have a ton of information on what to do and see. Check out some of our other Queentown blogs: 


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