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?
From Taihape we drove to Wellington with stops in Napier, Otaki, Plimmerton and Paraparaumu. We stayed in Wellington for a while, and because we had time, we decided to book one of those movie tours they do, where they take you to visit different filming locations. So not only were we sure to be at the right place (sometimes it’s hard to tell), but we were not alone in fangirling/-boying about them. And they had props so we could re-make some of the scenes, which was awesome.
After visiting Narnia, we drove to Hamilton – beautiful Botanical Gardens – and then to Rotorua to walk around the Blue Lake (it bears its name for a very, very good reason. It’s very, very blue). Next stop: the Tongariro National Park. We stayed in a town called Ohakune, located in the Park, in this cute little hostel with the very fitting name The Hobbit Motorlodge – and who are we kidding, of course we chose to stay there because of its name. Oh, and by the way, Ohakune was also the town where they set up camp while filming in Tongariro National Park, so there was the hotel they all staying in down the road from the hostel, which was a bit cool. Okay, back to the Park, because do you know what’s in there, apart from beautiful landscapes and wonderful things? Exactly: some other parts of Middle-Earth. For instance, a volcano, used for the distance shots in The Lord of the Rings. You have guessed correctly: it’s Mount Doom! Kinda.
Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand – AKA Mount Doom
“…the fandom life came into my dorm room and told me they had a Lord of the Rings locations guide”. Or: the story of how this random girl opened the door to the dorm room and turned my life upside down. Although that sounds either like it’s the start of an adventurous adventure, which it wasn’t if we’re honest, or the start to a sappy rom-com, which it wasn’t either.