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Visiting Rivendell And Kaitoke Regional Park With Kids
Kaitoke Regional Park and Rivendell Film location is a brilliant outing for families of all ages. It is just one of many Lord of the Rings attractions near Wellington. It’s easy to visit independently and go hiking in the native bush like we did. Alternatively you can visit as part of a LOTR tour.
We spent a morning exploring the native bush followed by a lovely picnic and a stroll around Rivendell movie Location.
We spent the morning exploring New Zealand’s native bush and Rivendell, but could easily have spent a full day here.
As it’s completely free to visit it’s one of the best budget friendly LOTR movie locations in New Zealand, especially compared to the likes of Hobbiton and the Weta Workshop.
As well as being an iconic film location the native busy is great for both keen trampers and novices as there are plenty of different hiking routes to choose. It’s also a good place to go hiking with toddlers or kids as its easily accessible and the shirt routes are perfect for little legs. Only one tramping route is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs, so expect to carry babies and infants.
Most of the 6 walks available (see below) are through New Zealand’s native forest with beautiful Rimu/Rata trees and the iconic New Zealand ferns. The paths wind through the forest with great views of Kaitoke River. There is even a swimming hole for those who wish to cool off. The river can be cold and swift however, so be careful.
For an easy to reach location it’s a great place to follow a short track and immerse yourself in the native bush. In addition the short Loop Walk has educational signs that make this a great family friendly walk.
The Rivendell Walking Track is an easy 15 min return walk.
Sadly Rivendell film location in real life looks nothing like it does on Lord of the Rings. There’s mostly a few signs and information about this tree being in that scene and the mossy hillock where Legolas (played by Orlando Bloom) posed for many of the movie posters. A replica gateway from LOTR movie set and a few informative signs are all that remains.
The stunning cliffs and waterfalls were all special effects added in later, whereas Kaitoke Regional park was used for close up filming.
Despite that the whole family will enjoy visiting Rivendell, as it’s part of New Zealand film heritage and culture, as well as being an area of natural beauty. Visiting Rivendell with kids is a fun family activity for LOTR fans and those who simply want to enjoy New Zealand outdoor lifestyle.
15 mins return, disabled and pushchair accessible walk along an access road to Kaitoke Weir.
30 mins return. A gentle walk along a river terrace through native forest.
15 mins return. An easy walk over a swing-bridge with great river views. Information Panels along the way are great sources of information about the native rain forest.
1 hr return. An easy walk across a swing-bridge. Great river view from the bridge and at viewpoints along the way. Return is via Flume bridge and along the road.
Pakuratahi River Walk
40 mins return. An easy walk linking the nearby DOC campground to Pakuratahi Forks and the walks detailed above.
The main car park is signposted at Rivendell, on State Highway 2 approx 1 hr drive from Wellington. There is decent parking there, all free. There is also a campground, useful picnic area and toilets. Therefore it’s easy to visit Rivendell and Karaoke Regional Park with kids as it has useful facilities.
Kaitoke Regional Park is a great place to visit for Wellingtonians and those from the Wairarapa. With a choice of walks in the native bush, a swimming hole in the river, (when it’s warm enough) and also the film location for Rivendell from Lord of The Rings, there’s plenty there for a great family day out.
Have you been to Rivendell Film Location with your family, or hiking at Kaitoke Regional Park? Did you enjoy it or wish there was more LOTR features around? Let me know in the comments and tell me which your favourite lotr movie location in New Zealand is.
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