New Zealand - Day 4

4WD LOTR style

We had a bit of a sleep in today which was nice. When we did get up all of us minus Rob and Steve went for a walk around Queenstown Park. The walk was extremly beautiful it went around both sides of Queenstown so we could see all the moutains and lakes surrounding it. Again even a simple walk in this town shows off such beauty.

After walking around the park we headed into the city to wait for Steve and Rob to meet us for lunch at about 12 we met them at Devil’s burger in the city. The burgers here were soo big however they were delicious and I actually liked them more then Fergburger.

It was then time to get back to the hotel for our Nomad Safari tour. The car arrived promtly and before we knew it we were off with our guide Paul to explore the region. We started looking over Queenstown at the remarkables. Paul explained that this mountain range was used for nearly all of the mountains in Lord of the Rings. Sometimes it was even in the same scene in 2 seperate locations. It was used as the The remarkables were also used in Wolerverine Origins, and as the Misty Mountains as well as numerous other mountains in films. We also got to look down at Deer Park Heights which was used for The battle of the wargs and the fefugee scene from LOTR. Paul showed us some pictures and explained some scenes and then it was off into the 4WD to our next destination.

We then arrived Kawarau Gorge and looked at the bungy jumping and the river. This gorge was made by a huge earthquake seperating the mountains which restulted in the gorge being created. This very pretty place was also the filming location for the Pillars of the Kings. Paul told us the boats the used for that scene were build to scale based on Tolkein descriptions to be accurate for the book. However they turned out to be impossible to control so the filming of them was made shorter. He also told us about how Sean Penn was so scared of helicopters that he hiked in full costume 3 hours over the top of the remarkables.

It was then off to driving through rivers we stopped where Ford of Bruinen filming was done and Paul found us some blackberries to eat. We had some doing river crossings and then went towards the Arrow River to do some river driving.

The drive down Arrowtown river was awesome we were thrown around in the back of car as we zoomed through the river. I have a video I will upload at some point. Arrow River was huge in the gold rush as gold would be washed down in the rivers from the mountains. We stopped for some afternoon tea and Paul showed us how to pan for gold. We had a bit of success panning for gold with Joe finding the biggest peice. It was very pretty here.

After that we headed up Coronet Peak to Skippers Saddle and drove down the skippers cannyon. It was in the top 10 most dangeous roads in the world but now sits at number 11. It was a scary drive down but the views and enormity of the region were amazing. Paul told us about the mountains and the canyon and how the road was build to get to a small mining down the bottom. You can still go there today but no body lives there. We then had a lookout over the region from Coronets Peak.

From here we arrived back at the hotel. Nomad Tours was fantastic. For the night we are sitting her watching LOTR together. I am so sad as tomorrow we are leaving Queenstown. I have loved it here.