Photo Essay: Tongariro, Middle-earth

Are you as excited about the latest The Hobbit trailer as I am? Five weeks from today I will sit in one of those wide and comfy cinema armchairs, glued to the screen, absorbing Peter Jackson’s latest visual tricks like a sponge, while marvelling at the Trilogy’s sceneries.

mt ngauruhoe new zealand tongariro mt. doom

Mt. Ngauruhoe aka Mt. Doom, in Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

Best thing about it: I have been there! Most outdoor scenes have been filmed in New Zealand, just like most scenes for The Lord of the Rings. New Zealand is officially Middle-earth; and Mt. Ngauruhoe in Tongariro National Park is the most popular location among orcs fans, as they can attempt to climb “Mt. Doom” and conquer Mordor.

One does not simply walk into Mordor? Oh well, I must have gotten lucky the last 6 times I visited. Yes — visited. I looked and behaved like a tourist in Mordor, and of course I captured it on film (in the form of a 16 GB memory card).

On a foggy day, the region is indeed all about doom and gloom (like in the movies). But on all other days, Tongariro is one surprisingly colourful place to discover. I have been lucky enough to visit the region during all 4 seasons. Each season is unique and totally worth it. But let’s allow some photos to talk for themselves.

Who else is looking forward to rediscover New Zealand in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies?

If you like this post you might also like Climbing Mount Taranaki from North Egmont

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8 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Tongariro, Middle-earth

    • Thanks Leya! Tongariro is the place to be if you’re Tolkien fan :) I hope you tried climbing Ngauruhoe and had better weather. I came to the top under hail storm and didn’t unpack my camera (well, I also didn’t see a thing)… Enjoy part 3!

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  1. How lucky are you! I watched those Special Features and they have that ‘in location’ feature. I am at awe watching it. It must be extremely awe-striking to see in pictures. Your images are whoa-incredible…. just like the movie. Truly an enchanted place.

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    • Thank you so much! The Tongariro Crossing is easily the most amazing day hike in New Zealand — I’m sure you’d still be in awe after climbing the altitude difference of 1000 m. I’m always impressed how the whole scenery doesn’t remind me at all of Mordor in LOTR though, especially on a sunny day :)

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