Edoras Itinerary

Edoras the mythical hill fort of the Rohirrim in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. In the books, Edoras lies north of Gondor and northeast of Mordor, the kingdom of the dark lord Sauron. But to New Zealand, home of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of Lord of the Rings, Edoras is a real place – the set was built on top of Mount Sunday, lying on the upper reaches of the Rangitata Valley (near Erewhon).

Many scenes from Lord of the Rings were shot in regions of the South Island. Jackson chose these locations for their stunning natural beauty and their lack of man-made landmarks. The central Canterbury alpine region – containing some of New Zealand’s most stunning glaciers and peaks – was used for many of the more remote locations in Middle Earth.

Although the set has been demolished (part of New Line Cinema’s agreement with the NZ Government was that all areas used for filming were to be left as they were found), the location is still evocative and beautiful, and makes for a wonderful side-trip for any tourist visiting the South Island of New Zealand.

We recommend the following itinerary for drivers starting from Christchurch:

Start Christchurch / Finish Christchurch
Recommended Length: 2 Days
Distance: 270 km (169 miles)

View Edoras Itinerary in a larger map

Day 1:


As the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch offers plenty of attractions for tourists, from cultural experiences to fine dining and beautiful natural scenery. Visit the Red Zone and learn about the devastating after-effects of the Canterbury Earthquakes, enjoy the divine colours and heavenly smells in the Botanic Gardens, and explore the volcanic landscape of Mount Somers Conservation Area.


Lying between the Rangitata and Rakaia rivers, Ashburton is a vibrant rural town with a character all of its own. Enjoy the local museums and art galleries, or try your hand at fly-fishing – the local obsession!

From Ashburton you can explore the Canterbury plains and the Southern Alps, including tours to Edoras and other Lord of the Rings film sites.Enquire at the local Information Centre (I-Site) for directions.


Only a half-hour’s drive from Ashburton, Methven is a great place to stop for the night. Dinner options are endless – choose from a range of different local and international cuisines.

Day 2:


Time for a bit of adrenaline-pumping action – head out to one of Methven’s adventure attractions. Ski bunnies can hit the slopes of Mt. Hutt, and in the summer nothing beats exploring the Southern Alps by hot air balloon. Hiking, bike trails, jet boating and skydiving are a few of the activities Methven has to offer.

When you’re ready, you can return to Christchurch via the scenic drive through Ashburton and the Canterbury plains, or take the more scenic route via the Rakaia Gorge.

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