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Couple on inflatable Kayak through alpine river

Filming Locations


Glenorchy— home to some of the best
filming locations in New Zealand


Towering snow-capped mountain ranges, pristine glacier-fed rivers and ancient native forests untouched for thousands of years.

Dart River Valley and Mount Aspiring National Park are the perfect backdrops to many incredible tales. Quintessential, untouched New Zealand scenery which excites directors and audiences alike, and is found right here in our slice of paradise. It is such a popular filming location; it is often referred to as ‘rural Hollywood’! Since the release of Sir Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Dart River Valley and surrounding alpine areas have played host to a raft of different films and series. Some of those include Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Chronicles of Narnia, Willow, Tracker, Mission Impossible: Fallout, and The Hobbit Trilogy.

Locally, we have played hosts to TV series including One Lane Bridge and Top of the Lake. You might even recognise the Dart River Bridge from the Coca-Cola advert!

So, if all of the adrenaline fueled Glenorchy activities have you thinking about sitting down with a good film on, we challenge you to get out there and explore where those great films were made! Take the kids to Isengard, have your very own Mission Impossible moment… whatever it may be, Glenorchy hosts the top filming locations New Zealand has to offer!


A cinephile’s day trip from Queenstown: where you need to go:

Only 45 minutes by car from Queenstown, and arguably the most scenic drive New Zealand has to offer, Glenorchy is the discerning cinephile’s dream day trip from Queenstown. From Mission Impossible, to the Lord of the Rings, Glenorchy has seen its share of star-studded productions. The main character itself must be the epic backdrop that is so unmistakably the great Kiwi landscape. Check it out for yourself, on our unofficial film-buffs-on-tour guide! We know all the things to do in Glenorchy, and there are few cooler ways to end an epic jet boat adventure, than pretending to take the Hobbits to Isengard. Read on for some of the biggest titles that Glenorchy has starred in!



Filmed around Glenorchy

One Lane Bridge (2020)

Many will recognise the scenery from the popular TV series One Lane Bridge, you will actually travel under the Dart River Bridge during your jet boat experience!

In this locally produced series starring Dominic Ona-Ariki and Kiwi acting veteran Joel Tobeck, the bridge appears “cursed” and sets the scene for a mysterious chain of events. 

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (2018)

Scenes in the sixth installment to the epic American action spy film series, Mission: Impossible - Fallout were filmed at Muddy Creek, up the Rees Valley which meets the Dart Valley.  

Location scouts choose the Rees Valley as the location to films one of the key scenes, an aerial helicopter chase featuring Tom Cruise. 

Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential film series ever made, Lord of the Rings was set in the fictional world of Middle-earth, much of which was filmed around Glenorchy. 

Visit the actual Lord of the Rings filming location of Isengard on your Glenorchy day trip from Queenstown and recreate the magic of Hobbiton with your whānau.

Join us for a journey through many of the recognisable locations of Middle Earth. From the tower of Isengard, located in the centre of Dart Valley, to the Misty Mountains and Wizards Vale.

Other Titles Filmed around Glenorchy

The Hobbit (2012-2014)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)

Top of the Lake (2013) - Television Series

Tracker (2011)