You may have seen Kaitoke Regional Park without realising it. It was the location for Rivendell as well as the Fords of Isen in the movie trilogy 'The Lord of the Rings'. Located in New Zealand's Wellington region, it is easily accessible as it lies just beyond the urban area of Upper Hutt, less than one hour's drive from downtown Wellington.
The park has two outstanding features, its forest and its rivers. There are tracts of virgin podocarp rainforest with impressive examples of mature rata, rimu, and beech that rise above the forest canopy. Below are smaller natives including hinau, kamahi, and miro, and a profusion of tall ferns, ground ferns, and mosses. The park is dissected by the the Eastern Hutt River and Hutt River with its spectacular Hutt River Gorge and grade 3 rapids. These rivers have many clear deep river pools ideal for swimming.
You can stay the night at the local campground or spend a day here while enjoying the BBQ facilities. Its location at the foothills of the Tararua Range and scenic Rimutaka Hill Road allow for further exploration if you arrive here by car.