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8 movies where scenery is the star

By: Josh Lew on Feb. 18, 2013, 5:21 p.m.
New Zealand mountains

Photo: B.S.Karan/Shutterstock

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'The Lord of the Rings,' New Zealand

"The Lord of the Rings" movies, as well as the upcoming "Hobbit" triology, were mainly filmed in New Zealand. While these movies (the first was released in 2001) were heavy with special effects, the amazing natural beauty of New Zealand has inspired lots of people to visit and seek out the movies' most stunning natural settings.

The Lord of the Rings movie posterWhile J.R.R. Tolkien geeks won't find every single detail from the film, a surprising amount of the scenery was filmed without digital enhancements, meaning that many visitors find New Zealand as beautiful in person as it appears on screen (shown here is New Zealand's Southern Alps). The country expects another tourism boom from the upcoming Hobbit trilogy as well. While there are LOTR and Hobbit-themed tours, much of the filming took place in New Zealand's national parks, so it is possible to enjoy the stunning scenery from the film without signing on for an official tour.