3 Most Photographed Lord of the Rings Locations

Visiting the key LOTR locations is on the bucket list of every Lord of the Rings fan.

Our top 3 most photographed and requested Lord of the Rings Locations from Queenstown to Glenorchy area are:

Isengard Lookout

Set in the majestic Dart Valley, located just north of the quaint township of Glenorchy lies this impressive location. The Dart Valley was used as the backdrop for the dramatic Wizards Vale.

Insengard itself is set in front of a craggy mountain range that seems to create a weather pattern of its own. Clouds and mist roll in without warning, creating a mystical yet sometimes imposing atmosphere. Peter Jackson chose this location for its untamed beauty and it depicts the sheer power that Isengard brings to us on the big screen. This region of the Dart valley is simply stunning.

Lothlorien Forest

Entering Mt Aspiring National park the first thing you notice is the incredible light. Golden hues that exaggerate the various shades of green created from the ancient Beech trees amongst other  unique flora.  In his novels ,Tolkien describes Lothlorien as a golden forest, ethereal and enchanted. The Elves originally fell in love with this golden forest and made homes in the boughs of the trees.  You too will fall in love with the magic and illusion that is created in this piece of Paradise.

The Paradise Valley is an absolute favourite location of the cast members of LOTR, this area is truly middle earth. It is easy to see why this area is known locally as Paradise.


Located at Twelve Mile Delta, just 20 minutes from vibrant Queenstown, we enter a diverse landscape of Manuka trees as well as  spindly Matagouri shrubs  bordering a Crystal blue stream.

This was the memorable scene of the battle between the Rangers of Gondor and the men of Harad.

Revisit the spot where Sam, Smeagal and Frodo lay in anticipation as they witness the appearance of the Oliphants . A 5m high scaffolding was used to create the space where Peter Jackson would go on to digitally impose the Oliphants, the part mammoth part elephant beasts, that enthralled the hobbits.

12 Mile Delta is also the location used in the scene where Sam and Smeagal debate the best way to cook the famous cooneys. “boil em, mash them stick them in a stew”…

This location transports you back in time to the excitement of this very recognised scene.

Take a step into several scenes by foot and relive the magic of the film and experience a knowledgeable journey of the films and the scenery that binds the epic LOTR trilogy together.

Posted in: Pure Glenorchy Blog