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When Peter Jackson set out on his search to find some of New Zealand's most extraordinary settings for filming the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, it's no wonder he stumbled upon Nelson Tasman.
Home to seven film locations used in these world-famous movies, the regions stunning natural landscapes are certainly popular amongst the trilogy fans, in the same way they were for Peter Jackson back then.
It wasn't just the scenery that attracted him to Nelson Tasman, but also the artisanal talent of Jens Hansen The Ringmaker. Jens designed and created more than 40 beautifully handcrafted pieces for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, including the renowned 'One Ring'. Situated in Nelson Central, right beside The Rutherford Hotel, you can witness the passion, dedication and craftsmanship of the jewellers first hand in their gallery and workshop and browse some of their unique pieces.
And if you're looking to do a tiki-tour of the New Zealand film sites, you've come to the right place. Tick them off using the list below to plan your visit to Nelson Tasman, or jump right in with our Lord of the Rings itinerary.
Visit the Film Locations
The ancient marble outcrops that rest at Canaan Downs on the Takaka Hill here were the site of Chetwood Forest in Lord of the Rings: An Unexpected Journey. Here, led by Aragon, the Hobbits fleed from Bree and the Black Riders into the forest.
A harsh alpine environment with a stunning landscape of glaciated marble karst, Mount Owen is the place where the fellowship escaped the Mines of Moria in the Fellowship of the Ring. Mount Owen and Olympus are nestled in the remote back-country and can be visited during a tour with Helicopters Nelson.
South of Rivendell
Whilst you're in the area, a visit to South of Rivendell at Mount Olympus is a must... here you can mimic the fellowship as they hid under the pinnacle rock formations from Saruman's black crows in an attempt to escape discovery. Mount Owen and Olympus are nestled in the remote back-country and can be visited during a tour with Helicopters Nelson.
Featuring in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Weatherhills, Kaihoka Station is the place of the destroyed farmhouse. Based on private land, it can only be visited on a trip with Cape Farewell Horse Treks, but is well worth the visit.
Salisbury Falls and Aorere River
The film site where Tauriel and Legolas meet before heading into Lake-town in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is truly picturesque and the perfect place for a quick dip and a visit to the falls.
Halfway between Blenheim and Nelson on State Highway 6 is the recreational paradise handpicked by Sir Peter Jackson himself. A river valley tucked into one corner of a forested conservation area is now world-famous as the setting for the dwarves escaping in barrels scene from The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.