Starring: Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Christopher Lee as Saruman the White, Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins, Andy Serkis as Gollum
The Hobbit was filmed exclusively in New Zealand. The country is renowned for some of the most beautiful and varied scenery on the planet, thanks to the natural landscapes of deep valleys, steep mountains, golden plains, majestic waterfalls, lush forests and ancient glaciers.
The Hobbiton set, built on the picturesque Alexander's sheep Farm in Matamata, was used in the Lord Of The Rings films and then dismantled. For The Hobbit, it was rebuilt permanently with actual wood and stone, no polystyrene and will serve as a permanent tourist attraction.
The Hobbiton movie set tour includes exploration of the 44 hobbit holes including the residence of Bilbo Baggins, Bag End, as well the famous Green Dragon Pub, the village mill and the legendary Party Tree.
Earnslaw Burn in Glenorchy, with its stark glaciers, steep waterfalls and valleys, proably is the most spectacular shooting location in this film as Bilbo and the Company of Dwarves continue their quest on foot after departing Rivendell. A sheer wall of granite rises 800 meters from the basin floor, a monumental glacier cascades from the top of the cliff to form ice caves below that melt during summer to create dozens of waterfalls.
Photograph: Chris McAuilffe on Panoramio
The looming cliffs, unusual limestone rock formations, and misty, moss-covered trees at the Mangaotaki valley (or Denize Bluffs) near Te Kuiti area of North Island were used as the setting for the Trollshaw Forest where Bilbo and company confront stone trolls.
The rapids of the Aratiatia Spillway in Taupo and the Pelorus River were used for a scene showing barrels plunging down the scenic waterway during a perilous journey undertaken by Bilbo Baggins and the dwarfs.
Photographer: RobiNZ on Flickr
Braemar Station at Lake Pukaki was used to portray the Company of Dwarves evade orcs and wargs.
Image courtesy of New Line Cinema
Rock and Pillar Range at Otago, a field of scattered, sharp boulders, has been used for the scene the company were pursuited by Oracs and Wargs and hide in a hole until Elves's help.
Photograher: wikimedia/Ulrich Lange
The Southern Island’s Queenstown, a short flight from Wellington, has been a base for filming many scenes in both LOTR and The Hobbit.
Nearby Paradise and Arcadia Station were used as film locations for the outskirts of Bree and Beorns. Speargrass Flat and Wanaka comprise the Lonelands.
Greenstone Valley, southwest of South Island, was shown as the foothills of the Misty Mountains where Thorin's company travels through the countryside on their way to the Misty Mountains.
Portions of the Remarkables, a spectacular mountain range overlooking Queenstown, were used in LOTR shots for both the Snowy Mountains and the landscapes of Mordor. They are used once again for the Misty Mountains in “The Hobbit.”
Tongariro National Park was used extensively in the triology for scenes of Mordor. In The Hobbit it makes a return, but this time the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is used for the Long Valley and Lonely Mountains.
In January 1991 Tongariro National Park was declared a World Heritage site, in recognition of its outstanding natural characteristics. In 1994 the Park was also granted Cultural World Heritage status, in recognition of its cultural significance and history.
Canaan Downs on Takaka Hill is also used in the movie. It is the location for New Zealand’s favourite New Years Festival.
Image by Four Footprints
Hidden in the limestone landscapes on Takaka Hill is a massive sinkhole 15m in diameter and dropping to a depth of 200m known as Harwoods Hole. A short half-day track leads from the boundary of Abel Tasman National Park to the edge of the hole. Cavers often abseil into its depths and emerge out from a cave system near Takaka. After checking out the sink hole, go to the lookout which overlooks The Gorge Creek, some 538m straight down.
Photographer: wikimedia/Dave Bunnell
David's Knoll in Fiordland National Park Provides the inspiration for Carrock, where the Eagles deposit the Company of Dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf.