New Zealand: The Lord of the RingsKaitoke Regional Park: The Gate to Rivendell
Kaitoke Regional Park is only a 45-minute drive from New Zealand's capital city Wellington, but it feels like a world apart. Clad in dense native bush, the park covers an area of 2860 hectares in the foothills of the Tararua Ranges. For Peter Jackson, it was the ideal setting for the Elven realm of Rivendell, a major location in The Fellowship of the Ring.
For the filming, several wooden structures were built and carefully placed within the existing forest, including Frodo's bedroom, Elrond's house and the bridge in the kissing scene between Arwen and Aragorn.
Over the years, increasing numbers of fans have flocked to the location. As a result, a couple of tour operators running tours out of Wellington decided to enhance the location experience with the permission of the regional council. The main focal point is now a life-size gate, created by Weta Workshop, the very company that designed the props, weapons and sets for the movies.
A number of photo boards provide a good overview and help fans visualise the former set structures.
In the courtyard of Rivendell: Elrond and his Elven kin farewell the Fellowship.
A dangerous road lies ahead.
After passing the park entrance, follow the road along the river to Pakuratahi Forks carpark. Rivendell signposts guide you all the way. From the carpark, the track to the location is clearly marked. Cross the bridge over the Pakuratahi River and the location is only a few more steps away.