New Zealand: A Kiwi’s Tale
Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Chronicles of Narnia, and Wolverine have one thing in common. They were filmed in New Zealand, and the island nation is becoming more and more popular to visit as a direct result. From the stunning scenery to the friendly locals (better known as Kiwis) New Zealand is a great place to explore off the beaten path and take in the wonders of Middle-Earth nature. Fjords Located in very few areas of the world, Fjordland in the southwestern part of New Zealand offers a landscape few get to experience. These passageways were carved by glaciers and now provide estuary conditions for wildlife. When touring the various fjords of New Zealand, it’s not uncommon to see seals, penguins, and other wildlife. However, the real stars of the show are the waterfalls. The steep cliff faces offer numerous paths for water to flow down, creating hundreds of waterfalls. Since the location and number of the waterfalls depend on snow melt and rainfall, your guide won’t be able to tell you exactly how many you’ll see, but regardless, the view will be spectacular.
Well isn’t that Remarkable!
Right alongside Queenstown are the Remarkables, a gorgeous mountain range that borders the city. This makes for a skier’s heaven, with runs for all skill levels located nearby. If you’re not traveling between June and October, or want to experience the mountains without hitting the slopes, Skyline Queenstown has you covered. Take a gondola ride up into the Remarkables, experiencing panoramic views as you travel roughly 1,400 feet up the mountain. Once at the top, enjoy the view and get a bite to eat.
Make sure you purchase luge track tickets before you go up! At the top of the gondola are two luge tracks. Unlike the Olympics, you’ll be traveling in a contraption that looks like a sled with handlebars (and wearing a helmet, of course). Race your companions down the mountain while taking in the sights. This is one experience you’ll never forget.
Any fan of Lord of the Rings is going to love New Zealand. All around both islands are iconic sights from all three films. You can pick up a guidebook that will take you to every filming location, or you can take tours (some have staff members that were extras in the films) to the most iconic sites. Be sure to make time to visit Hobbiton. With the recent filming of the Hobbit films, the entire location has been renovated with more permanent structures, such as the Green Dragon Inn, and the doors were left on the hobbit holes. You can even rent out the Green Dragon, or tents in the field where Bilbo had his birthday party, if you plan on having a large gathering while in New Zealand. No matter the occasion, this is one site that you will not want to miss.