7 May 2021

Wellington, New Zealand


One of the filming locations of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, the first film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

Information board Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
South of the city centre Mount Victoria is located, a hill almost 200 meters (650 feet) high. Several scenes were filmed here that take place at the beginning of the hobbits' journey. We visited these locations on a tour, including a visit to the Weta Workshop. This company produced, amongst others, props, special costumes and sets for The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and many other films. At Mount Victoria is a Lord of the Rings car park with an information board. It shows only one location, 'Hobbit Hideaway'. From the car park it is a few minutes walk.

Along the way, there are poles that point in the right direction. Without a guide, it would probably have been difficult to find the other filming locations.

Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020

The hobbits Froddo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) are on their way to Bree. At the end of the day they spend the night in the forest and smoke a pipe. The tree that Frodo is lying on and Sam is sitting next to is not far from the 'Hobbit Hideaway'. The tree is not immediately visible because it requires leaving the footpath and walking down a smaller path.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:45:03
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:45:19
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020

The next day, Frodo and Sam meet two other hobbits on their way, Pippin Took (Billy Boyd) and Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan). They have stolen vegetables from a farmer. On the run, the foursome roll down a hill. This scene was shot on 11 October 1999 and was the first in which the four actors appeared together. According to our guide, Kate, director Andrew Jackson had thought that being this close would be a good way to get to know each other. Kate had also brought a few props, including a broken carrot. The place where the hobbits are tumbling down is only a few metres from the 'Hobbit Hideaway'.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:52:44
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:52:57
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020

Frodo feels that danger is coming their way. The tree with the many branches behind him is easily recognisable. The sloping path that he sees and that looks distorted in the film is nearby but not as close as it appears to be. The tree that the hobbits are hiding under was a prop.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:54:23
This is the 'Hobbit Hideaway' indicated on the information board. Because the tree was not real there is not much to see, except for the trees in the background that are largely the same. Our guide told us that the huntsman spider that walks over Merijn's shoulder was brought over specially from Australia because there are no large spiders in New Zealand. It is not allowed to import non-indigenous species, therefore the spider had to be flown back to Australia after filming was completed.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:53:20
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:53:29
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:53:35
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:53:51
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:54:01
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020

At night, the hobbits are still in danger. This scene was filmed a little further away on 30 October 1999. According to our guide, this is a location that many other excursions skip, perhaps because the exact spot can no longer be found.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, 0:55:35
Mount Victoria, Wellington, 6 January 2020

The extended editions on dvd were used for the screenshots.

Screenshots © New Line Cinema/Wingnut Films
  

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