The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Argonath – Pillars of the Kings

The Argonath – Pillars of the Kings

While traveling to Mordor on the river Anduin, the fellowship of the ring passes two enormous statues called the Argonath. The filmmakers of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring chose the Kawarau gorge in New Zealand for this scene. To find the exact filming location read on or click on the map pointer in the image section above.

“Frodo, the Argonath! Long have I desired to look upon the kings of old. My kin.”



Where did they film “The Argonath” scene? 

In the first part of the fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, called The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo and his company travels towards Mordor in order to destroy the One Ring. While they are traveling by boats on the River Anduin, they pass two mighty statues sculpted in stone, called the Argonath or the Pillars of the Kings. The real filming location of this scene is the Kawarau Gorge on the Kawarau river. The exact filming location is on the South Island of New Zealand, a 30 min drive away from Lake Wakatipu.


Hint: Click the map pointer icon in the image area at the top for the exact map location of the Argonath statues.


How to find the exact filming location

You need a little imagination for this filming location since the scene was altered digitally quite a lot. The other problem is that the cameras were on a boat while filming, so the viewpoint will be another one than from the edge of the gorge. We marked the exact spot of the pillars on our map, the camera was a couple of meters behind (stream up or with other words, to the west). If you want to check by your self, we recommend the following IMAGE from If you compare the constellation of the rocks on both sides, with the movie footage, you will see similarities.


The exact same filming location was used also for another scene, which was shown before the one with the Pillars of the Kings. With a different camera angle it appears like it takes place on a different part of the river, however, it is the same location. We captured this particular scene and it is the third picture featured in our image section above.


We have good news for all of you, who want to experience the exact filming location from the river. There is a rafting tour which will bring you through the Argonath pillars like in the movie. For more info check out the TripAdvisor link below.


Important: for all those who want to discover this filming location on your own, please be cautious. The cliffs of the gorge are steep and it can be dangerous if you come to close to the edge.

There is a guided tour to various Lord of Rings filming locations, including the Argonath pillars, from Queenstown: Get Your Guide! - Queenstown
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The Lord of the Rings, Frodo holding the one ring
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The scene filmed at Kawarau river:

The fellowship of the ring is traveling to Mordor on the River Anduin by boats. At some point, they are passing two enourmous statues, on eich side of the river. Aragorn explains to Frodo that these statues are called the Argonath and they represent the old kings of Gondor.

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