There And Back Again, Post 5: Axe Or Sword?

From Wellington, we travelled to the South Island, where we stayed in Picton, Nelson, Greymouth, visited the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, drove to Methven, Kaikoura and Christchurch, and travelled to Hamner Springs and Twizel and hiked to Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain.

Sadly, this is going to be the last Middle-Earth New Zealand post. Of course we saw a lot more than just the things we posted about, and technically New Zealand is Middle-Earth, but these were the parts that were actually used in the movies. So, shall we begin?

We heard about this Lord of the Rings tour thingy in Christchurch, and because the brochure looked amazing, we thought, why not? and went ahead and booked it. It was for every filming location in and around Queenstown, a pretty little town in the south. The tour guide picked us up, and we drove to location one in Arrowtown: Isildur being attacked by orcs, trying to escape them by putting on the Ring but losing it in the river and getting killed.

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After that, we went to the place used for the Argonath scene. It’s such an impressive scenery, and I get goosebumps every time I watch that scene. In real life, though? Not much to see. Sure, it’s beautiful, but we’ve said before, it’s New Zealand, so everything is beautiful. Of course we didn’t expect there to be the huge statues, but it was still a little disappointing. Although, I have to say, the blue of the river looked like something out of a drawing – you may not really see it on this picture, so you’re going to have to take our word for it. If we were any good at photoshopping or anything like that we would have loved to put their weapons in our hands; but since we’re not, here is us looking absolutely ridiculous trying to look as badass and awesome as the Argonath.

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Next: the oliphants and Sam cooking the stew. Yes, that was filmed at the same location. The only difference between the two was someone holding a branch over Sam and Frodo looking at the oliphants. How’s that for a fun fact. I mean, can you imagine your job being holding a branch for hours and hours?

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We later realized that we should have looked more impressed...

We later realized that we should have looked more impressed…

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Then we went to the woods to where they filmed the scene with Faramir and the rangers after “kidnapping” Frodo and Sam.

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Afterward we drove to Lake Wakatipu. Now, this is where the real fun started. Yeah, sure pretending to be the Argonath and Frodo and Sam looking at the oliphants was fun, but at the Lake we got to play with some props. Not the original ones, of course, but come on! How often can you say that you played with the weapons from The Lord of the Rings?! It’s f*ucking awesome! That alone was totally worth the money we spent on that tour.

From left to right: Gimli's axe, Herugrim, Éowyn's sword, Hadhafang, Boromir's sword, Andúril, (top) shard of Narsil, (bottom) Sting, Aragorn's dagger, Legolas' daggers, Morgul blade, Gimli's helmet

From left to right: Gimli’s axe, Herugrim, Éowyn’s sword, Hadhafang, Boromir’s sword, Andúril, (top) shard of Narsil, (bottom) Sting, Aragorn’s dagger, Legolas’ daggers, Morgul blade, Gimli’s helmet

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Happy Frodo

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Frodo with Hadhafang & Sam with Andúril, evil laughing.

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Sam with Andúril

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Frodo with Andúril

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That’s Sam’s I’m-about-to-burst-out-laughing face (I swear)

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Very cute dwarf-Frodo 😀

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Frodo/Gimli & Sam/Legolas

As said above, this is the last Middle-Earth focussed New Zealand post – but fear not (or do?), we shall post more about New Zealand, if only to show off the beautiful pictures we took.

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5 thoughts on “There And Back Again, Post 5: Axe Or Sword?

  1. How exciting!Thanks for sharing! I’m going to honeymoon there after my wedding in a year. Care to give me a run down of what we should and shouldn’t do/see while there based on your experience (email is fine if you want to share more detail 🙂 )?! Of course going to see Middle Earth, but your suggestions/feedback don’t have to be limited to just that. Thank you!

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    • I don’t think there’s anything you really shouldn’t see – everything is amazing. But, of course, there are a few things more amazing than the rest.
      Avoid the big cities, they’re not really exciting; we always thought they felt like a mix between European and American cities, so it’s nothing we hadn’t seen before. There’s a lot of LOTR locations in and mostly around Wellington, and Dunedin is quite pretty, but Auckland is rather boring and – this may sound awful – there’s not much left of Christchurch.
      Now, the fun stuff. Hot Water Beach is great, the Coromandel Peninsula is incredibly beautiful (and if you like Narnia, go to Cathedral Cove 😀 ). Matamata is a must for every LOTR fan (that’s where the Hobbiton Movie Set is), but don’t forget to book your tour. Rotorua was quite something because we’ve never seen a spouter before, but the smell is disgusting so you may want to think twice about going there, although there’s quite a few fun activities to do around Rotorua. There’s also the Blue Lake, that absolutely lives up to its name, so that’s totally worth the trip, and it’s far enough from the cities, so there’s no smell there ^^
      The Waitomo Glowworn Caves are a must – I mean, it’s glowworms! In a cave!
      Lake Taupo is amazing, and the Tongariro National Park is a must-do, rather you like LOTR or not. It’s huge and beautiful, and there’s a million things to see. Napier is a pretty little town, and there’s a couple of cool overlook points around the city that are totally worth seeing, because you have an amazing view.
      On the South Island, there’s the Abel Tasman Park with golden beaches and very blue water, and Farewell Spit. There’s a pretty big wine area around Blenheim, and you can go whale watching in Kaikoura (we saw a lot more dolphins than whales, but it was still very awesome). Hamner Springs is great if you want to do a spa stop or just chill in the naturally hot water in their pools, but there’s not much else to see. The Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are a must-do – we guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it. Fox Glacier is worth a trip, and Mount Cook is their highest mountain and there’s so really beautiful hiking trails around it/to get to it. Lake Pukaki, Lake Tekapo and Lake Ohau are beautiful lakes, worth a stop on the road to or from Mount Cook. The Moeraki Boulders are anothing great natural phenomenon that you totally should see, and while your in the area, you can visit Dunedin. Wanaka is extremely expensive, but there’s another beautiful lake there. It’s not that far from Queenstown, and there’s a lot of LOTR locations around Queenstown. Te Anau also has glowworm caves, but they’re not as big as the ones in Waitomo. But from there you can book cruises to Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound, which you should because those are some awefully pretty landscapes; the only problem is, it rains a lot, and you don’t see too much in the rain. Invercargill in pretty far down South, so you can go to the Southernmost Point of New Zealand, which is cool, and/or visit the Catlins. We didn’t make it to Stewart Island, but we’ve only heard great things about it, so you should check it out!

      There you go 😀 sorry it’s such a long list – it’s not even complete! – but there’s just so many incredibly beauiful things in New Zealand. I hope it helps a bit 🙂

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  2. Pingback: 8 Photos Of Happiness | Fangirls on the Road

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