My final 24-hours in the Adventure capitol! And of course, I would go on another Lord of the Rings tour.
This was another “Safari of the Scenes” tour run by Nomad Safaris. I was picked up at my hostel at 8:15am on the dot, and we headed West and then North along Lake Wakatipu on Glenorchy Road (where I had previously biked a few days ago). Our first stop was the Glenorchy Waterfront Reserve which has this adorable little red barn and a dock that stretches out onto the lake. Still on Lake Wakatipu, so the water was glacially fed and really, really cold. At this location they filmed a few movies that I had never heard of, but it was really beautiful so maybe I should figure out what they were!
Then we headed on our way to Paradise. Ah yes, paradise! This is a top filming location for Lord of the Rings, X-men: Origins, The Chronicles of Narnia, and other movies. The forests in this area were used to film some of the scenes of Amon Hen (Where Boromir died) and Lothlorien, and the hill in this picture was where they built Beorn’s house from the Hobbit.
The only way to get over to that area is to book a horse riding tour, because that area is on private land owned by the Glenorchy stables. But wait, there’s more! To the right of this forested area is the river valley they used for the location of Isengard. See pictures below…
See if you can identify the same mountain peaks and hills in the above pictures!
And then on Mt. Earnslaw, right next to us but hidden by the clouds and mist, is where they filmed the snowy mountain scenes of the fellowship trekking up Caradhras on their way to the Misty Mountains. But no pictures of this unfortunately.
After a rainy cup of coffee in the woods of Lothlorien, we turned back towards Queenstown and stopped at the 12 Mile Delta Campground and Walked part of Bob’s Cove Track. This location is not only a good area for mountain biking, but is the location where they filmed Faramir and the rangers attacking the Oliphants while Sam and Frodo and Gollum cooked nice taters and rabbitses. (Okay sorry, got a bit carried away there.) This was a very exciting spot to visit, and I got to lay down in the same place that Frodo and Sam were when they saw the Oliphants! Nerd moment.
These were great sights to see, keeping in mind that it was over 10 years ago that everything was filmed, so the landscapes have changed over time. Although it was cheesy and still not very up close and personal with the actual locations (not sure if the actual film locations are available) it was cool to nerd out with another fellow Lord of the Rings fan who was in my group, and also chat about our disappointments with The Hobbit.