Welcome to the North Island. We finally made it via airplane from Wellington to Christchurch. Some amazing adventures are about to happen. I wanted to take a moment and thank those of you who are following my adventures. I hope you enjoy the story!
Day Seven: North Island
First Stop: Edoras, Mt. Sunday
Vic and Raewen would join us in Queenstown and for this leg of our journey we had a new guide called Anwen. She was amazing. We drove for a bit through some small towns and then our bus stopped. It looked as if we were picking someone up. A few seconds later Gandalf was on our bus. He was our guide to Edoras and he had also been an extra in The Two Towers. We drove again for quite sometime and the following scenes began to unfold. Edoras was filmed and built on what is called Mt. Sunday. Mt. Sunday is nestled in the middle of a huge flat land with grasses and marshes and then surrounded by a valley and a massive mountain range.
For this part of the tour we were told to bring water shoes because we would be crossing a river of very very cold water to begin our hike. The hike wasn’t too long. I think it took us about 45minutes from where we parked to hike to the top of Mt. Sunday. The scenery was breathtaking and it was fun to spot Edoras. You could see places on the side of the big hill where the burial of Theoden’s son took place, etc. Enjoy the following onslaught of photos.
It was so much fun just looking out into the open valley. I really wished we could’ve stayed longer. The winds were picking up so we needed to head out.
Second stop: Mt. Cook
We stayed that night in a lodge just below Mt. Cook. It’s NZ’s highest Mountain at over 12,000 ft. A few of our fellowship decided to go for a hike that night and then again in the morning. I saw a Kea bird which is a native alpine parrot. They were all over.
First stop: Pelennor Fields
Another favorite stop for me was the trip to Pelennor Fields. This is where they filmed the battle for Minis Tirith. It was filmed on the Ben Ohau Conservation area. Our guides told us that if we looked hard enough we would probably find some pieces of props from the movie. Such as arrow heads, etc. We got the chance to stand in a horizontal line where King Theoden’s battle speech roused men to battle. 250 horses charging into battle along with Merry and Eowyn in disguise.
Second stop: Lake Wanaka
We stopped in Lake Wanaka for lunch and also for some archery lessons to see if we had any “elves” amongst us.
Stay tuned tomorrow for part four of the journey. It will be a long entry but totally worth the read. I hope you all have gotten a chance to go and see The Hobbit now that it is out. What did you think?