Tour This Otherworldly 'Lord of the Rings' Filming Location in New Zealand — and Meet Miniature Horses and Alpacas
Fans of Lord of the Rings can visit one of its most famed filming destinations: The owners of Deer Park Heights opened the space to visitors so you can live out your Middle-Earth dreams.
"It's such an amazing location and it seems a shame to not share it," Deer Park Heights owner Mike Mee shared with Lonely Planet upon reopening the park in October 2020 after an 11-year hiatus. "We want to welcome visitors to a great fun, good value family day out for those who want to spend time in the outdoors and with our animals."
As Mee explained, the 800-hectare (about 1,976-acre) property was closed to the public for more than a decade and was instead used as a private deer farm. Though it continues to serve as a working farm, the family mixes business with pleasure by allowing a limited number of guests in each day to explore the land.
"To make it more family orientated, we are limiting access to vehicles with up to seven seats, excluding buses, minivans, and commercial vehicles," Mee said. "Unfortunately there's no access for hikers or cyclists from the tollgate as they tend to scare the animals away, especially the deer."
Instead, Stuff explained, travelers can take a self-driving tour for five kilometers (about three miles) up the road and visit several lookout points, and can even stop to feed some animals along the way. Those animals, Lonely Planet noted, include red and fallow deer, goats, miniature horses, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, and Kunekune pigs.
To access the farm, visitors must pre-book on the website. The $55-per-car entrance fee allows guests to stay in the park for the entire day. Once booked, the farm will send you a special code to enter the gate so you can come and go at your leisure. Don't worry, you'll have time to act out as many Lord of the Rings scenes as you'd like.