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The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook (2004)

por Ian Brodie

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New Zealand has become the embodiment of Middle-earth to millions of moviegoers and Tolkien readers the world over. This full-colour guidebook showcases the principal movie set locations around New Zealand as seen in all three 'Lord of the Rings' films.
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This is a best-selling guide book to filming locations of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy around New Zealand. It is the only such guidebook in existence.

I used this book extensively over 6 months during my travels around NZ, visiting roughly 60% of the places listed (either independently or with tour operators). I'd recommended it to anyone planning on visiting several of the locations independently, but with some reservations.

This review is based on the 2011 paperback edition. I've had the chance to browse some other editions, including the large format "coffee table" version. The book gets updated revised versions quite often as information changes (areas are closed off from public, planted trees cover the scenery etc) - make sure you get the latest edition if you plan on using this for real! Even with the constant updates, some of the information isn't 100% accurate, for example Mt Sunday/Edoras is accessible (there's a DOC track) unlike my copy of the book claims. If you're serious about lotrcation hunting, use several sources and always try to find the latest information.

I have a few gripes about the book in general. Besides the basic info on the locations and the numerous forewords and quotes by Peter Jackson and co, most of the text feels like a filler that you skim through to find what you need. The book perhaps tries to be too many things at once: guide to the locations as well as a general NZ guide book - and there's also random information about Middle-earth, making the pages quite cluttered. I think this is not so much an issue with too much text, but how it's arranged on the pages. As an example of the general guidebook feel - there's a whole page about Aoraki, which despite definitely being awe-inspiring and a must-see, has nothing to do with the films. After so many revisions, one would think the book would be more consistent.

Often it feels the book is meant for wealthier travellers when it recommends places to stay that are way over the budget limit of the backpackers you usually see wandering around with this book in hand. However in some cases these were used as accommodation for the cast and crew during filming, making it justifiable to mention them. To be fair, some basic campsites are listed as well for other locations. Just don't rely on it for accommodation info. The instructions are also based on the assumption that you're travelling with a car (although this is never actually stated).

The book goes through the locations from North Island to South Island and includes two generic maps, one for both islands. Surprisingly, these do not feature signs pointing to the locations. Another feature that would be helpful but is missing is dividing the set chapters more clearly to sections based on the regions (like most travel guide books do), so when you're in the area, it's quicker to see what is around you. So unless you're already familiar with the geography of NZ, prepare to do a lot of cross referencing with your Lonely Planet and travel atlas while using this book. There are also very basic maps for the actual locations, showing walkways and nearest towns.

Despite all my criticism, I would still recommend the book to anyone planning on doing some independent location visits. You probably won't get much out of the book if you're just doing a guided tour in Wellington or Queenstown or visiting the Hobbiton set. You can gather the basic information from online sources as well (The Department of Conservation website lists most of the coordinates too) but as you will quite often find your Internet access/mobile coverage limited in the NZ outdoors, it's good to have an old fashioned light-weigh paper copy like this book with you. The book also contains some instructions about how to reach your destination, but these are often very brief. Also do not rely on the coordinates too much, sometimes they seem to be quite random (Fangorn Forest) or downright contradictory to what the instructions say (hill with digital ruins south of Rivendell). Use your eyes, ask the locals or at the iSite, keep a screen capture with you for comparison. Personally the greatest benefit this book offered to me were the many conversations and even new friendships started with other travellers who recognised the book as a sign of another fan.
  nerwende | Jul 19, 2014 |
Meget detaljeret bog for hobbit-fans og andre med interesse for, hvor scenerne til "Ringenes Herre" blev optaget. Mange af stederne har GPS-informationer, så man helt præcist kan finde stedet.
Flotte illustrationer. ( )
  Moneypenny | Sep 18, 2008 |
Used this book on my travels to Middle-earth last year - managed to find all (road accessible) locations, even met the author himself & got my book personally signed (chance encounter - he was chuffed that I was using the book to self-drive to the locations!)
Get this book, get an AA guide, get in a car and drive! ( )
1 vota AtlantisGirl | Jul 19, 2007 |
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This book is dedicated to J. R. R. Tolkien for his vision and Peter Jackson for making this vision three-dimensional.
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Eighteen years old and reading J.R.R. Toklien for the first time, I was sitting on a train as it left Wellington and rumbled up through the North Island. (Foreword by Peter Jackson.)
Before the beginning there alone was Io, Io-the-parentless, Io-the-endless, Io-the-timeless, Io-without-limit.
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New Zealand has become the embodiment of Middle-earth to millions of moviegoers and Tolkien readers the world over. This full-colour guidebook showcases the principal movie set locations around New Zealand as seen in all three 'Lord of the Rings' films.

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