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Tongariro National Park – Rings Filming Location

Mordor and Mount Doom

The Lord of the Ring location of Mordor, home to the Dark Lord Sauron was shot on location on and around the rocky slopes of the Tongariro National Park. The area’s jagged volcanic rock formations and eerie barren landscapes were ideal location for creating Mordor’s hissing wasteland.

The beautiful Mt Ngauruhoe was digitally transformed to create the fiery Mt Doom, the centre of Frodo’s quest to save Middle-Earth. Visitors have been known to trek to the summit and throw their ring into Mt Ngauruhoe to save middle-earth. The summits of the volcanoes were not filmed out of respect for the wishes of the Maori People towhom the peaks are sacred.

Special care was taken during filming to protect the sensitive ecological environment. While the locations can be visited independently, due to the difficulty in accessing and identifying some of the locations, guided tours to the film locations are recommended. Filming Location maps are available at Adventure Lodge.

To really immerse yourself in Mordor and feel the eerie barren landscape, trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The following are features of Tongariro National Park that were captured in the filming of scenes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Iwikau Village, Whakapapa Ski Area

The maze of razor-sharp rocks, cliffs and ravines of Emyn Muil is located behind Aorangi Lodge. Whakapapa Ski Area is also where Isildur cuts off Sauron’s finger and with it the ring. With jagged volcanic rock, steep bluffs and ash, little imagination is required to visualise Mordor.

Mangawhero River, Ohakune Mountain Road

The dramatic scenes of Gollum catching a fish.

Mangawhero Falls

Ithilien Camp was filmed near Mangawhero Falls.

Tukino Ski Area

Mordor/Door of Sammath Naur slopes of Mt Doom Barren Waste Lands Sea of Boulders.

Rangipo Desert

The Rangipo Desert provided the backdrop for the storming of the Black Gate when Gimli uttered his famous line “Certainty of death, small chance of success.. What are we waiting for?”

The Hobbit

In the summer of 2011-2012 scenes were filmed for the Hobbit alongside the Mangawhero River, below Turoa Ski Area and on farm land with scattered beech forest around Ohakune.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again” are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures handles world-wide theatrical distribution with select international territories. All international television licensing is handled by MGM.

“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” will be released on14 December 2012. The second film, “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is expected to be released the following year, beginning 13 December 2013.

The Trailer for the Hobbit