16 November 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

With the film of The Hobbit due out next month, New Zealand is preparing to welcome a fresh wave of visitors keen to follow in Bilbo's hairy footsteps around Middle Earth

There are three stories you'll hear about The Lord of the Rings in New Zealand. The first is the tale of a wealthy man, a Tolkien fan from the Us, who asked the makers of the movies' One Ring to come up with a costly gold replica, then hired a helicopter to fly him over Mount Doom, where he threw it into the flaming inferno. At least, that's how they tell it in Wellington. In Nelson, it's a woman, a spurned lover, who threw her One Ring wedding band into the mouth of the volcano. Then there's the story of the six-foot-three German tourist who arrived at Hobbiton dressed as, well, a very tall hobbit, who felt so at »

- Rebecca Nicholson

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