Film New Zealand*

  • Film New Zealand Websites (General Information)
  • Film New Zealand Middle-earth Website Resources
  • Film New Zealand Press Kit Map

Film New Zealand Websites (General Information)

The Film NZ Middle-earth site has some amazing features, including an interactive site map of New Zealand showing where various segments of the LOTR trilogy were filmed, as well as press information, production notes, stills, cast and crew bios, etc. etc. There is a wealth of wonderful information here – check it out!

Then go to the regular Film NZ website for additional galleries of location shoots, information on shooting your own film in New Zealand, etc.

The paper version of the interactive filming site map is profiled in a section below.

Film New Zealand Middle-earth Website Resources

The Film New Zealand Middle-earth site has many resource features that are helpful in getting to know the cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The Product Notes and Stills also offer some important information and insights into how the films were produced. Check the other sections of that site for partners, merchandise, etc.


The Filmmakers (brief bios)

  • Peter Jackson (Director, Writer, Producer)
  • Barrie M. Osborne (Producer)
  • Fran Walsh (Writer, Producer)
  • Tim Sanders (Producer)
  • Philippa Boyens (Writer)
  • Stephen Sinclair (Writer)
  • Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne (Executive Producers)
  • Mark Ordesky (Executive Producer)
  • Bob and Harvey Weinstein (Executive Producers)
  • Andrew Lesnie, ACS (Director of Photography)
  • Richard Taylor (Creature, Miniature, Armour, Special Make-Up Effects Supervisor)
  • Grant Major (Production Designer)
  • Michael Horton (Editor)
  • John Gilbert (Editor, The Fellowship of the Ring)
  • Rick Porras (Co-Producer)
  • Jamie Selkirk (Co-Producer)
  • Ellen M. Somers (Associate Producer)
  • Ngila Dickson (Costume Designer)
  • Howard Shore (Composer)
  • Jim Rygiel (Visual Effects Supervisor)
  • Alan Lee (Conceptual Artist Set Decorator)
  • John Howe (Conceptual Artist)
  • Dan Hennah (Supervising Art Director)
  • Peter Owen (Make-Up & Hair Design)
  • Peter King (Make-Up & Hair Design)
  • Enya (Composer & Performer of ‘May It Be’ & ‘Aniron’)

The Cast (brief bios, photos, and links to their official websites)

  • Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins)
  • Ian McKellen (Gandalf)
  • Liv Tyler (Arwen)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn aka Strider)
  • Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee)
  • Cate Blanchett (Galadriel)
  • John Rhys-Davies (Gimli)
  • Billy Boyd (Pippin)
  • Dominic Monaghan (Merry)
  • Orlando Bloom (Legolas)
  • Christopher Lee (Saruman)
  • Hugo Weaving (Elrond)
  • Sean Bean (Boromir)
  • Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins)
  • Andy Serkis (Gollum, Sméagol)

Additional Cast Members debuting in The Two Towers

  • Miranda Otto (Éowyn of Rohan)
  • Bernard Hill (King Théoden of Rohan)
  • Brad Dourif (Grima Wormtongue)
  • David Wenham (Faramir)
  • Karl Urban (Éomer)
  • Bruce Hopkins (Gamling)

Film New Zealand Press Kit Map

Film New Zealand Press Kit Map 1

Film New Zealand Press Kit Map 2

Where was the set for Hobbiton located?

What LOTR environments did they film in and around Wellington?

Where can I find the studios of some of the glassblowers, potters, and weavers?

The answers for these questions and more are on this oversized promotional map from the Film New Zealand board.  This map is relatively rare, and I can recall seeing it perhaps half a dozen times since 2001.  Sometimes these “Film NZ” press kits have just the promo map, and other times various brochures or press releases are packaged with it. (The one show here had only the map and matching envelope.)  The envelope is approximately 10″ x 14″ and the map is about 27″ x 39″.

The main side (brown-toned with map hand-drawn by LOTR calligrapher and cartographer Daniel Reeve) identifies and indexes 35 sites throughout the islands of New Zealand that were used in the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.  It also includes 27 “artisan icons” that show where various cultural arts and media were produced or used. (For instance, saddler, mouldmaker, carver, dyer, cooper, glassworker, propmaker, rugmaker.) For lists of sites and artisans, see below.

The reverse side (blue-toned with topographical map) gives a brief history of the New Zealand filmmaking industry, and profiles its possibilities for those considering production of a film there.  It pinpoints the key locales where various films were produced, for instance, Willow, Bad Blood, Scarflies, The Returning, Goodbye Pork Pie, Heavenly Creatures, The Piano, Bridge to Nowhere, Heart of the Stag, and many others.

The blue side also lists many of the key locations in New Zealand where there are substantial physical and personnel resources for filmmakers, such as studios, sound stages, managers, scouts, models, actors, video services, specialist location guides, vehicles, stunt performers, etc.

35 Site Locations

  1. Port Waikato
  2. Matamata
  3. Whakapapa Ski Area
  4. Tukino Ski Area
  5. Rancipo Desert
  6. Rancitikei River
  7. Waitarere Forest
  8. Otaki Totara Forest
  9. Otaki Gorge Road
  10. Rernside, Featherston
  11. Kaitoke Regional Park
  12. Keeling Farm, Manukau
  13. Wellington Region
  14. Makara, Wellington
  15. Harcourt Park, Upper Hutt
  16. Poet’s Corner, Upper Hutt
  17. Queen Elizabeth Park, Raumati South
  18. Putangirua Pinnacles
  19. Rocky Point, Cape Palliser
  20. Takaka Hill
  21. Mt. Olympus
  22. Mt. Owen, Nelson
  23. Mt. Gun, Franz Joseph
  24. Mt. Potts Station, Rancitata Valley
  25. Queenstown Region
  26. Paradise, Glenorchy
  27. Greenstone Station, Kinloch
  28. Lake Alta, Remarkables
  29. Arrowtown Recreational Reserve
  30. Mavora Lakes
  31. Norwest Lakes
  32. Kepler Mire, Bog Pine Paddock, Te Anau
  33. Poolburn Lake, Ida Valley
  34. Tarras, Wanaka
  35. Ben Ohau Station, Twizel

Types of Artisans

  1. Basketmaker
  2. Boat Builder
  3. Bootmaker
  4. Cabinetmaker
  5. Carver
  6. Cooper
  7. Costumemaker
  8. Dyer
  9. Glassblower
  10. Glassworker
  11. Illustrator
  12. Jeweler
  13. Leadlightmaker
  14. Metalcaster
  15. Milliner
  16. Mouldmaker
  17. Potter
  18. Propmaker
  19. Rugmaker
  20. Saddler
  21. Sculptor
  22. Slipcast Potter
  23. Steelworker
  24. Stone Wall Builder
  25. Tanner
  26. Thatched roofer
  27. Weaver