NewsWire: Fantasy Islands - Mount Ruapehu

Would-be Hobbits don't need to look far in New Zealand to find their favourite locations. The North Island's highest point became the slopes of Mount Doom and the setting for numerous Lord Of The Rings battles. The triology's prologue was filmed in the Whakapapa ski-fields in the off-season. The mountain is part of the Tongariro National Park. One of the most popular sites for Lord Of The Rings fans, Matamata is a town in the rich farming region of Waikato . But before filming a crew turned the undulating paddocks into The Shire, Middle-earth, where the agrarian race of little people known as Hobbits lived in tiny houses.
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