The stars of The Lord of the Rings are now helping promote New Zealand offshore.

With their positive endorsement of New Zealand and its beauty and activities, stars including Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Karl Urban and producer Barry Osborne are showing visitors to Tourism New Zealand’s website just how much of ‘Middle-earth’ they can experience while they are in New Zealand.

Video-stream interviews with the actors and production crew, an interactive map, behind-the-scenes stories, film location information and photos create a comprehensive guide on how to get the most out of a trip to New Zealand if you are interested in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Timed to coincide with the build-up to the worldwide release of the second film in the trilogy – The Two Towers, the module, found at – emphasises New Zealand’s diverse landscapes that made it the one place in the world that could bring Tolkien’s epic masterpiece to life.

“The filming of The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand has proved to be a novel way to demonstrate what New Zealand has to offer,” says George Hickton, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand. “The interactivity of the internet is a great way to provide comprehensive information to those who are interested in New Zealand’s connection with the film.”

“With the internet being one our most powerful marketing tools it makes sense to use The Lord of the Rings on as a way of generating more interest in New Zealand as a destination.” is currently receiving 140 000 user sessions per month. At the time the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring interactive module was launched in 2001, the number of user sessions for the website almost doubled almost overnight.

An interactive map is a highlight of the site. Karl Urban, a Wellingtonian who portrays the character Éomer in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers takes visitors to the site through the map via an online narration. Users can scroll through the map and pick up interviews and comments from those involved in the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and links to destinational material.

The module also incorporates the short films narrated by Lucy Lawless that have been present on the site since the launch of the first film.