Mangawhero River: Gollum goes fishing

New Zealand: The Lord of the RingsMangawhero River: Gollum goes fishing

Location

The Central Plateau on the North Island of New Zealand consists of three major volcanoes - dormant Mount Tongariro, the picture-perfect Mount Ngauruhoe and, the most active and largest of the peaks, Mount Ruapehu. On the southern side of the latter, a mountain road winds its way from the township of Ohakune up the mountain flank towards the Turoa skifield. About three-quarters from the town, the road passes the Mangawhero Falls.

Mangawhero Falls as seen from the roadside. The falls are one of two waterfalls depicting the Forbidden Pool in The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers. The other waterfall is the Tawhai Falls near Whakapapa Village. 

Mangawhero Falls as seen from the roadside. The falls are one of two waterfalls depicting the Forbidden Pool in The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers. The other waterfall is the Tawhai Falls near Whakapapa Village. 

Immediately above the falls is the spot where Gollum tries to catch some juicy fish in The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers. Park your car in the small gravelled carpark and face the Mangawhero River. The location is immediately recognisable (see the next Key Scenes tab above).

As this particular scene was filmed in winter, a layer of snow covered the river at the time of shooting. Peter Jackson had to bring in some volunteers from the Ohakune fire brigade to hose the snow. Actor Andy Serkins, who played the part of Gollum, then had to put on a wetsuit and crawl along the creek bed. Unfortunately, it took several takes before Peter Jackson was satisfied!

The view from the top of the waterfalls.

The view from the top of the waterfalls.

Key Scenes

Frodo, Sam and Gollum have left the Gates of Mordor and are passing through Ithilien, the Easternmost province of Gondor and the only part of the Kingdom on the Eastern side of the River Anduin. After a long day's journey, their bellies begin to rumble.

Gollum chases a fish.

Gollum chases a fish.

Videos

Map

The viewpoint of the Forbidden Pool is at S39° 19' 11.521" E175° 30' 8.132" or -39.319867 / 175.502259.

The viewpoint where Gollum chases the fish is at S39° 19' 9.17" E175° 30' 9.976" or -39.319214 / 175.502771.

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