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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
New Zealand LotR/Hobbit travel

claywise
Registered User

May 12 2013, 10:42pm

Post #1 of 20 (226 views)
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New Zealand LotR/Hobbit travel Can't Post

Hi, TORNers.

I am going to take a week's sidestep on some work travel in November to visit New Zealand. I'd like to see some highlights of the filming sites.

I've been told that in that short time I shouldn't try to do both north and south islands; south, I've heard, is the better bet.

Any of you who know NZ, is that a fair assessment? With just 5-7 days in country, can you recommend a nice selection of doable sites to see?

Thank you.


elaen32
Gondor

May 12 2013, 11:11pm

Post #2 of 20 (120 views)
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Hi and welcome [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if there are organised tours which only cover one Island or another- I think most cover both, but I am by no means certain of that. If you are travelling solo, then a good place to aim for is the Queenstown/Wanaka area. There are many tours of LOTR (and Hobbit) locations running out of these two towns, which are quite close together. You can get a flight from whichever airport you enter New Zealnd by, to Queenstown and hire a car to get to the various places. Near Queenstown you have Skippers canyon (where the river drowns the Ringwraiths), Glenorchy/Paradise- (Lothlorien, several forest scens in TH and LOTR, Isengard/NanCurunir, and some Hobbit locations)- Dart River Tours do some excellent trips out of Queenstown, then there are the Remarkables- which double as the Mountains of Mordor, Deer Park Heights- which was Rohan- sadly now closed to visitors, but visible as a peninsula- you can get a feel for it. Also, on the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy there is 12 mile delta, which was Ithilien. Driving out towards Wanaka, there is Arrowtown, where the Gladden Fields were shot in the Prologue to FOTR etc. Wanaka itself has several locations- some you can access, but many of them are more vistas really. This all sounds a lot to fit in, but it is easily doable if you plan beforehand. If time allows, you can also go to Te Anau (3 hours drive from Queenstown) and Manapouri, but many of the locations here are only visible from a distance. I would recommend Ian Brody's book on the Locations of the LOTR films- it was a great help to me

PS regarding the North Island- there is, of course, Hobbiton, a few locations in and around Wellington, Kaitoke (Rivendell), Waikato (seen in AUJ when they leave The Shire and also Weathertop is in this region) and of course Weta is in Wellington

I hope I haven't confused you too much. Have a great trip- you will enjoy!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Elizabeth
Valinor


May 12 2013, 11:15pm

Post #3 of 20 (124 views)
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Don't think of it as N vs. S. Island. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's relatively easy to travel, and air fare within NZ is not terribly expensive. To me, the most important sites are:

* Hobbiton (N. Is., east of Auckland and N. of Rotorua). Amazing. See the discussion (with links to photos) in this thread.

* "Edoras" (S. Is., west of Christchurch). Remote... takes a full day, but well worth it. IMO the best tour is with Hasslefree Tours.

There is some info on The Hobbit sites here.

The best guide to LotR sites is this book. I understand Ian Brodie is working on a Hobbit book, but it isn't out yet AFAIK.

Have a wonderful time!








(This post was edited by Elizabeth on May 12 2013, 11:15pm)


elaen32
Gondor

May 12 2013, 11:25pm

Post #4 of 20 (115 views)
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Ah- the two big locations I haven't managed to get to yet [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for posting re Hasslefree Tours, Elizabeth- I'll look into that for my next trip in 2015 (hopefully!)

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 12 2013, 11:32pm

Post #5 of 20 (121 views)
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You can do a lot worse [In reply to] Can't Post

than check out Eledhwen's 10th anniversary mathom, where she breaks down the best things to see, do and eat in New Zealand.

A week isn't much time so I suggest you stick to one island. If you go to the North Island, visit Hobbiton then hare on down to Wellington and visit the Putangirua Pinnacles, where the Paths of the Dead in ROTK were filmed (you'll need a car to get there), and Weta Workshop.

If you go to the South Island, base yourself in Queenstown, get Ian Brodie's guidebook and self-drive to the locations or take a jeep or horse tour, and also take a tour to visit Edoras.

Have fun! Let us know how your holiday goes?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


claywise
Registered User

May 12 2013, 11:43pm

Post #6 of 20 (111 views)
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NZ LotR sites [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you for the detailed response. I have some time to plan, but I'm getting my air fare together.

I have free everything paid for me to go to Kiribati (won't bother to explain unless you want to hear it) via Fiji. Am adding on a week in AU and the week in NZ. Neither is enough, I'll warrant, but I only have so much time and I think I can get a good taste (at least) of each. I hope!

Claywise


claywise
Registered User

May 12 2013, 11:44pm

Post #7 of 20 (108 views)
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Travel to NZ LotR sites [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you!


claywise
Registered User

May 12 2013, 11:46pm

Post #8 of 20 (110 views)
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You can do a lot worse [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm thinking I'll stick with S. Island ... but we'll see. I'm not paying for my Fiji/Kiribati air or accommodations, but I count five - count 'em - flights in and between AU and NZ for me to do all I want. Another N-S island air trip might be too much!

Claywise


Elizabeth
Valinor


May 13 2013, 12:50am

Post #9 of 20 (96 views)
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Where in Australia?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 








Kirly
Lorien


May 13 2013, 1:12am

Post #10 of 20 (109 views)
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Two most important sites... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you 100% that Hobbiton and Edoras are the two most important sites. They are both so beautiful. Edoras was simply unbelievable. It was somewhat like the first time I saw the Grand Canyon.... it's so grand, so spectacular, so beautiful that it doesn't quite seem real. You kind of have to let it sink in for a while.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 13 2013, 1:45am

Post #11 of 20 (89 views)
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Funny you should mention the Grand Canyon. [In reply to] Can't Post

I looked online yesterday to see what it would be like in February (I have half a thought to be in California in Feb next year), then saw the area was likely to be buried in show .... so, maybe not...

What time of year did you visit?

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


May 13 2013, 2:20am

Post #12 of 20 (85 views)
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Yes, there can be some good storms [In reply to] Can't Post

in the northern part of Arizona, it's elevation is well over 2 kilometres. I think the Northern Rim gets more snow, but the Southern Rim (which I've camped at in summer) can still be inhospitable in winter. That's too bad you might be here in February, California and Florida are probably the only places you can be sure of decent weather then!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






Elizabeth
Valinor


May 13 2013, 2:25am

Post #13 of 20 (88 views)
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And Hawaii, of course :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

Right on the way, too! Nonstop flights from Auckland to Honolulu and Honolulu to any mainland city.

You can see 'Lost' locations!








Elizabeth
Valinor


May 13 2013, 2:32am

Post #14 of 20 (90 views)
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Seriously, don't miss Hobbiton! [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're flying into and/or out of Auckland, you can do Hobbiton as a day trip, with outfits like this one.








Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 13 2013, 2:35am

Post #15 of 20 (81 views)
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Ha! Tempting! :D / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


claywise
Registered User

May 13 2013, 3:08am

Post #16 of 20 (84 views)
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Where in Australia? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef my whole life, so I'll fly from Fiji to Brisbane, then to Cairnes and do some diving.

And - I know, I know, it's a cliche - I do want to see Ularu. If I had more time, I'd love to bum around the desert a lot more. I LOVE the desert.

Mostly I'm an outdoorish sort of guy, so I'm looking for that kind of thing.

In NZ, the LotR sites will serve to narrow my focus a bit!


Eruwestial37
Rohan

May 13 2013, 8:02am

Post #17 of 20 (68 views)
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Grand Canyon hijack [In reply to] Can't Post

It's my favorite place in the world! I went there in 1987 but I doubt that much has changed. I went in late May and it was perfect. We did get a little snow, but it didn't even slow my motorcycle down. Plan for more days than you think you'll want. I wish I had taken more time there and either hiked the canyon or taken the mule ride. It is an amazing place!
I stayed in Mather campground which was both economical and one of the best campsites I had on my trip.
They have all the amenities you'd want, even will mail souvenirs back home so you don't have to carry them.

Enjoy!

And yes, I wish I was going to New ZealandUnsure


elaen32
Gondor

May 13 2013, 9:26am

Post #18 of 20 (62 views)
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Love the Grand Canyon too [In reply to] Can't Post

I went there in September 1992 and did the hike from the North rim to the South over three days (one day spent actually in the Canyon exploring along the river). It was amazing, but, unfortunately, there was flash flooding on the second night and we were driven out of our campsite by the rain. Fortunately, we found shelter and did not have to be airlifted out like some, so hiked up the south side the following day, which was beautifully sunny and clear, with amazing views. It's certainl on my list of "best places I have ever seen"Smile

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


grammaboodawg
Immortal


May 13 2013, 4:40pm

Post #19 of 20 (68 views)
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When I visited for 5 days [In reply to] Can't Post

I stayed right in Wellington and found each day FULL of wonderful things! I really wanted to get to Hobbiton, but didn't get that far north :(

I'm homesick for Wellington! It's fabulous and chock full of LotR filming locations.


4th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - May 1, 2013



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)


Bella Gamgee
The Shire

May 16 2013, 1:20pm

Post #20 of 20 (46 views)
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Can I ask about your Red Carpet Tour experience? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm doing some long range planning to visit to NZ and allowing a month, which includes taking the 14 day Red Carpet Tour. Antyhing I should know about before going?

 
 

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