A Ring around the City

I’m a nerd.  I admit that.  And few things can get my inner nerd excited like a Lord of the Rings tour around Wellington, the location of the main studios and where they filmed a number of scenes for the film.  Ever since the films made their debut, these types of tours have been sprouting up around Wellington.  We went with one of the tour companies that was recommended to us, which was quite conveniently named, Movie Tours.  Our guide, Ted, who is the owner/operator/guide, really puts together a great tour, and is generally just a really nice guy.

Can you see the Nazgul coming_1280_for_WebOur first location was at Mount Victoria, where the first filming for the films happened in October 1999, and where they filmed some scenes for Weathertop and the woods around Hobbiton.  First, we looked out at the plains near Weathertop where the Nazgul approached the hobbits.  In the movie, it’s there for about 2.5 seconds.  Of course, it doesn’t quite look like that now, but with a little imagination, you’re right there (or close enough).


We then walked through the park to visit more locations  One of the great things that Ted did, was to bring along some props so that we could really feed our inner nerds by recreating scenes from the films.  Below we have a nice scene with Frodo (played by myself) and Sam (played here by Naoko) take a rest for lunch on their way out of the shire.

Frodo (Aaron) and Sam (Naoko) enjoying a meal_1280_for_WebOr perhaps you would prefer to recreate a Shortcut to Mushrooms, just after the hobbits have tumbled down the hill while running away from farmer Maggot:

Four hobbits landed_1280_for_Web

Also filmed here, though somewhat more professionally than below, is the scener where Frodo orders the Hobbits to get off the road as he senses the Nazgul is drawing near.  Of course, the log and tree were fake so are no longer here, but it looked something like this:

The black rider draws nigh_1280_for_Web

Then the highlight would probably be scene in which the hobbits are running away from the Nazgul as it chases them towards Buckleberry Ferry.  There is a particular scene in which the rider appears at the top of the hill, looking for the hobbits.  Something like this:

The black rider atop the hill_1280_for_WebThe black rider approaches_1280_for_Web

Now for a little behind the scenes.  This is what we are pretty sure the horse was made of:

Can you see the black rider_1280_for_Web

It was a really good time, though not for those who are afraid of making a fool out of themselves.

Weta Cave_1280_for_WebWe also drove by the studios and the Weta workshop, where work on the LotR films (and many others) was done.  Additionally, we stopped by the Weta cave, a museum / gift shop that they have set up to allow people to see what they do, and of course purchase those memories for later.  It was very cool to see a lot of the props and items from the movies, not to mention hold the one ring in your hand.  You forget that Weta has been involved in quite a few movies since LotR, such as Avatar, King Kong, District 9, and others. Of course, LotR will probably what they will always be most known for.

My Precious_1280_for_WebThose hobits are tricksy_1280_for_Web

Our big thanks to Ted, for the great tour.  It was actually more fun than I thought it would be, and that’s thanks to all of the prep and knowledge that he put into it.  It really makes a difference when people make the extra effort, and it shows.

Posted on by Aaron in Aaron's Blog

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