New Zealand really is the gateway to Middle earth, and it was more amazing than I ever could have imagined. All the pictures below are from Wellington, New Zealand's capital, which they call the middle of Middle Earth. To be honest, all we did was walk around the city, but we continually found more and more amazing LOTR and Hobbit spots.
Here is the movie theater where all of the LOTR movies and The Hobbit had their world premiere. I went inside and had to ask the teenager at the concession stand if he worked the night of The Hobbit premiere. He did, and I was very jealous.
On a walking trail minutes away from the theater we found where Frodo and the other hobbits hid from the dark rider. Here's a youtube of the scene.
I'm crouching in the same spot where Frodo hid, however there's no tree with roots to hide me. unfortunately the tree wasn't real!
I had my husband go back and grab a rock from the trail as a souvenir. That's not weird...right?
Then as we decided to go to the Wellington museum that same day, we found this little gem inside. Three trolls from The Hobbit on display.
All around the city you can find enormous Hobbit advertisements This one was on the side of their post office building and featured Bilbo on a huge postage stamp. If you look closely you can see the dwarf's outlines on the side of the building. I read online that each silhouette is roughly twenty feet tall!
For a Tolkien fan like me, New Zealand was just a dream come true. Even their airline company got in on the Hobbit awesomeness. So to sum up New Zealand, I'm going to end with the picture below and the flight video from Air Zealand. Please watch it, you will not be disappointed.