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Where Was The Hobbit Filmed? Locations Guide

Updated on April 26, 2012

On this page we are going to take a look at where the Hobbit was filmed. We will tell you all about where the Hobbit movie was filmed and fill you in on a few of the details surrounding the huge project taken on by film maker Peter Jackson. So if you are wondering about any of the film locations for the Hobbit then you need look no further.

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy brought Tolkien’s masterpiece to the masses. The three movies were viewed by millions of people and they really captured the imagination of a generation. The movies were filmed in New Zealand and the stunning landscapes found here really did suit the world Tolkien had envisioned years earlier. But what about the Hobbit? Would Jackson return to New Zealand for this long awaited prequel?

Hobbiton Location

Where Was The Hobbit Movie Filmed?

Well the short answer to the question is yes! After much debating and battling with various authorities, filming for the Hobbit finally got underway back in New Zealand. For months there had been speculation about the film being shot elsewhere, places such as Scotland, Romania, Ireland and even Canada were mentioned. But fans were keen on a return to the place where The Lord Of The Rings was filmed and so was Peter Jackson.

Some of the scenes in the Hobbit movie are shot in the same places as the LOTR. For instance Hobbiton is being filmed in the same place as the previous films. The location is around two hours south of Auckland on North Island near a small town called Matamata. Film crews were in there very early planning flowers and getting the set to look as similar as possible to the one used in LOTR.

There were various locations used to shoot the Hobbit and as you can imagine some of these were seriously spectacular. One such location was in the Nelson region, at a place called Canaan Downs. Another place where filming has taken place is Wharepapa South, Waikato a location seen as ideal for Middle Earth.

Much of the LOTR was done around Wellington, this is where the company WETA digital are based and they did much of the special effects on LOTR and the same will be true of the Hobbit. As you can see Jackson really has been looking far and wide to find ideal locations for filming the Hobbit. There have been locations on both North and South Island.

The Hobbit Movie

Problems With New Zealand Locations

Although the answer to where was the Hobbit filmed is now complete, this was not a smooth ride for the film makers and the films crews involved. Back when rumours of a Hobbit film first started, everyone assumed that Jackson would return to New Zealand, however things did not run quite as smoothly as the director was hoping.

The first major issue that Jackson came up against was a potential strike from New Zealand actors. The problem came when unions complained that home grown actors where not being paid as well as some of the imports that were coming in and taking part in the films. However, Peter Jackson called the bluff and told the unions that he would take his film elsewhere, possibly to Eastern Europe. At this point the New Zealand government got involved and passed a legislation to change labour laws, thus allowing people working on the film to be hired as contractors. This effectively gave everyone what they wanted and Jackson agreed to keep the movie in New Zealand.

One of the locations mentioned was the controversial Tar Sands. This is an area that has been basically torn to pieces by large machines and then all the rather unpleasant goop that is below rises to the surface and then is refined. There were rumours that this would be the location for filming Mordor scenes. The fact is though that this was a big hoax and filming was not ever going to happen in this area. But it does show how much interest surrounds the filming of the Hobbit, as literally thousands were taken in on this one and got involved in a massive debate as to whether it was right to use the location.

In the end it is no great surprise that the Hobbit was filmed in New Zealand. With the staggering success of The Lord Of The Rings films it made sense for the prequel to be shot in the same place. Although filming has taken a long time and there were various delays, the end product is sure to be stunning. Some of the locations used in the filming of the Hobbit really are wonderful and will once again make for a stunning movie.

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    • Dreamlin profile image

      Dreamlin 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

      I enjoy the stories behind the movie as much as the movie itself. I love to watch Peter Jackson’s the making of the trilogy. To me, they are as good as the film. Beautifully captures every detail and magic moment, full of humorous, heart, sweat and tears. And New Zealand, in my opinion, is the Middle Earth. Wish I can go there someday.

    • melbel profile image

      Melanie 5 years ago from New Buffalo, Michigan

      Oh wow! This is really awesome! I LOVE LOTR! I heard that you can take a tour of the set that was Hobbiton.. that it was never disassembled. That would be really cool to see! In that scene in one of the movies (I think the first) where Legolas and Aragorn are running on a green, rocky area (I think a cliff), I just want to be there with them running. It would be cool to see where that was filmed. Really fantastic locations used in the films, which really make me want to visit New Zealand. Fantastic hub! It makes me want to watch all three films all over again!

    • The Hobbit Hole profile image
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      The Hobbit Hole 5 years ago from Lancashire UK

      That's true about being able to take tours of Hobbiton. I assume it's no longer possible though with the filming of the Hobbit now. Maybe they will start it up again after the filming is all complete. I'm with you on wanting to visit NZ, looks a stunning country.

    • profile image

      Smaug 5 years ago

      Yeah I'm not sure whether you would be able to go now, with all of the filming going on, but you definitely can go after, I've been! Danced around the party tree and evrything

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