The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Filming Locations

Aragorn and the others must defend Gondor from assault by Sauron's forces while Sam & Frodo sneak across Mordor to Mount Doom.

Part of the Middle Earth saga
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was filmed in Wellington & Queenstown in New Zealand.
Show Map


Gladden Fields

Smeagol and Deagol are fishing in the Anduin when Deagol finds The Ring and then Smeagol steals it.

Source: Location Guidebook


Culvert of Mordor

Frodo and Sam rest before traveling into Mordor at the start of the film. Exact location near Ohakune is unknown.

Source: Appendices - New Zealand as Middle-earth

Dart River Valley

Wizard's Vale

This valley was heavily digitally altered and used as the basis of Isengard.

Source: Location Guidebook

Mount Sunday


The armies of Rohan return to the capital, where Aragorn tries to convince them to ride to the aid of Gondor.

Waitarere Forest

Path to Grey Havens

Arwen is traveling to the Grey Havens when she has a vision of her future son with Aragorn. Exact location of filming is unknown.

Source: DVD Commentary - Production

Deer Park Heights

Minas Tirith Overlook

Gandalf and Pippin ride over a hill and approach Minas Tirith after leaving Rohan.

Source: Location Guidebook

Paths of the Dead (Exit)

Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas emerge from the Paths of the Dead.

Source: Location Guidebook

Dry Creek Quarry

Minas Tirith

The forces of Mordor lay siege to the Gondor city of Minas Tirith. The set was constructed over the remains of the Helm's Deep set.


Forest near Makara Beach

Ithilien Crossroads

Sam, Frodo, and Gollum come upon a statue of a king that has been vandalized by orcs. Exact location is unknown.


Mount Gunn

Ered Nimrais Beacon

One of the beacons leading from Minas Tirith to Edoras is lit along this mountain range. This was the only real beacon, the rest were computer generated. Location is approximate.

Ben Ohau Station

Pelennor Fields

The armies of Rohan and Gondor battle against those of Mordor outside the gates of Minas Tirith.

Source: Location Guidebook

Greenstone Station


The Rohirrim gather at the Dunharrow and get ready to ride to Gondor's aid.

Mt. Victoria Quarry


High camp at Dunharrow where the Rohirrim gather before riding to Gondor.

Source: Location Guidebook

Quarry across from Dorrie Leslie Park


Aragorn goes into Theoden's tent to meet with Elrond in the upper Dunharrow campsite.

Source: Location Guidebook


Putangirua Pinnacles

Dimholt Road

Valley that leads to the caverns beneath Dwinmorberg that Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli walk down to meet the Army of the Dead.

Queen Elizabeth Park

Pelennor Fields

Close up shots of the battle of Pelennor Fields were shot here, but most of it was in front of a blue screen and is unrecognizable.

Source: Location Guidebook


Waiouru Military Area

The Black Gate

The armies of Gondor and Rohan stage a last stand against the forces of Mordor to buy some time for Frodo. Filmed in an military live fire area and probably should not be visited.

Source: DVD Appendices


Tukino Skifield

Mount Doom

Location on Mount Doom where Frodo collapses under the eye of Sauron.

Source: Appendices - New Zealand as Middle-earth

Whakapapa Skifield

Mount Doom

Frodo & Sam climb up the slopes of Mount Doom.



At the end of the film, the Hobbits return to Hobbiton and live out their days.