Lord of the Rings in South Canterbury NZ
Right here in South Canterbury NZ, middle Earth is alive and well. Our Central South Island "high country" (alpine and sub alpine country) contains some of New Zealand's most spectacular peaks, glaciers and stunning scenic backdrops. No wonder then, that Peter Jackson chose South Canterbury for his alpine fortresses and fierce Middle Earth battle scenes.
Nestled in Rangitata, in the northwest of South Canterbury NZ and alongside neighbouring Mid Canterbury, sits the famous Mount Sunday - a sheer-sided hill in the middle of an expansive plain in the Rangitata River Valley - a hill made famous by Peter Jackson's Oscar winning trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
Mount Sunday was the set for Edoras, the valley of Helm’s Deep, and the fortress city of the Rohan people in The Two Towers and The Return of the King movies. The production crew took nine months to build the set at the top of sheer cliffs, building Golden Hall and surrounding buildings at the top of the Mount, with the gatehouse and more buildings at its foot. Many local people had roles in the movies as extras or support crew - even local animals played a part with several South Canterbury horses used in the movie trilogy.
At the end of filming the set was dismantled and the area returned to its natural state. Although none of the actual set remains, the spectacular views of Mount Sunday sitting amongst the expansive river plain surrounded by the Southern Alps are well worth a sightseeing trip and South Canterbury's Lord of the Rings Tours remain popular with visitors from all around the world.
For Tolkien fans and those simply with an interest in dramatic scenic vistas, local tourism operators offer several tour options varying in length and accompanied by excellent commentary. Enjoy your own personal Lord of the Rings experience, travelling by luxury 4WD, beyond the end of the road and deep into the film locations in the upper Rangitata Valley of South Canterbury NZ.
Browse our business listings or talk to the friendly team at the Timaru or Geraldine i-SITEs for more information.
For a full selection of South Canterbury NZ accommodation options, click here
To view other Central South Island Regional Highlights click here