J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series takes place in an expansive and storied land called Middle Earth.
However, in Peter Jackson’s films, Middle Earth is actually composed of dozens of incredible locations around New Zealand.
While they might not be full of elves and hobbits, the natural beauty of New Zealand’s lush countryside and icy blue rivers is almost as magical as Tolkien’s fictional world.
Tourists regularly flock to these sites, but if a trip to New Zealand isn’t in the cards, you’re in luck. Thanks to Instagram’s location filter, it’s easy to see photos from other LOTR fans.
Check out some of the real-life places from “The Lord of the Rings” series.
In the opening scenes of 'The Fellowship of the Ring,' we see Samwise Gamgee gardening in front of his circular, yellow front door in the Shire.
On Instagram, you can find pictures of Sam's house, complete with yellow door, under the 'Hobbiton' location filter. The set is in Matamata, New Zealand.
In Middle-earth, these massive rock structures mark the 'Paths of the Dead,' a haunted trail leading through the White Mountains.
In the real world, they are known as the Putangirua Pinnacles, an eroded geological structure located in New Zealand dating back thousands of years.
The city of Edoras set was demolished after filming concluded, but you can still marvel at its setting atop New Zealand's Mount Sunday in Canterbury.
As Frodo, Gandalf, and the gang set out from the Elven city of Rivendell, they exit under this giant stone archway, which you can see on the left and right sides of this scene.
Tourists regularly take pictures in the exact same spot in the Kaitoke Regional Park in Wellington, New Zealand.
The park's lush wooded paths and beautiful waterways made for the perfect setting for Tolkien's Elven paradise.
In 'The Fellowship of the Ring,' Aragorn leads Frodo and the others towards the decimated watchtower of Amon Sul, better known as Weathertop.
Though the exact land used for the Weathertop scenes is on private land, you can see similar limestone structures in nearby areas of Port Waikato, New Zealand. Just be wary of running into any passing Nazgûl.
On their journey through Middle Earth, Aragorn, Frodo, and the others paddle past the massive Pillars of the Kings, or Argonath, which loom over the Anduin River.
While the statues were created digitally for the film, the Kawaru River in Otago, New Zealand is still a popular spot for Tolkien-loving Instagrammers.
Mount Doom is Frodo's destination on his perilous travels across Middle Earth. The fires there are the only way to destroy the ring.
Mount Ngauruhoe, a 2,500 year old active volcano was used for the Mount Doom scenes in the trilogy. Don't worry, the volcano hasn't erupted since 1975.
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