The Lord of The Rings trilogy documented this country in ways that I, even as a local, had never seen before. And since then I’ve become entirely captivated with finding and visiting these entrancing spots.

The LOTR trilogy and The Hobbit were filmed all over New Zealand, featuring many shots of the cascading Southern Alps and wide-open spaces in the South Island. If you’re a fan of the movies, here are a few places worthy of a Lord of the Rings road trip:

Hobbiton Film Set

The Hobbiton Film Set in Matamata is one of the most charming and magical places in New Zealand. Peter Jackson scouted this location from a helicopter many years before filming began and knew as soon as he saw it that the location was perfect. During the two-hour guided tours, you’ll get to learn about the film set, the props and the filming process. Potter around the village in The Shire, have a drink in the Green Dragon, dance under the Party Tree and visit Bag End. Any true LOTR fan cannot come to New Zealand without visiting this iconic movie set.