Can you secretly speak a bit of Elvish, and is your cat called Arwen? Have you ever been tempted to dig a hole in the side of a hill and mount a round door on it? Do you love it when the credits to Lord of the Rings roll and someone with the same name as you appears on the cast list?
Well then, Alatulya (welcome) to Queenstown New Zealand – a.k.a Lord of the Rings headquarters. Here’s what you need to know:
1. It really FEELS like Middle Earth: … As you know, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit both required a sense of vastness and other-worldliness. The dramatically beautiful landscapes of Queenstown, Glenorchy and Paradise became the Ford of Bruinen, Dimrill Dale, Gladden fields, Andui, Argonath and the Pillar of Kings, Isengard, Lothlorien Forest, Amon Mountains, Ithilien and the Misty Mountains. Whether you drive into town or fly in, the snowy mountains, deep canyons, mirror lakes and beech forests will make it immediately obvious that you have tumbled into the pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. You’re really here!
2. Everything’s so close!: Each of these amazing locations is within a short distance of the other so if you choose to stay in Queenstown it will be possible to for you to visit several Lord of the Rings sites within a day.
3. Local Knowledge: Queenstown has dedicated LOTR guides who can take you on a tour of the film set locations so you don’t waste time driving about staring into paddocks. The road to Glenorchy is winding and narrow and the one to Paradise requires skill and preferably a 4WD, so that’s an even better reason to do a tour. Plus you get to relax and take photos instead of watching the road.
4. Live the fantasy: When you watch the trilogy you’ll be forgiven for feeling as if every other person in New Zealand was an extra. This wasn’t far from the truth in Queenstown, with many people being recruited straight from the backpackers they were staying in. Some local LOTR tours will offer you the opportunity to don a cape and wield a sword so you can stand in Lothlorien forest and play at “being there.” Or you can position yourself in the same spot Sam and Frodo lay to watch the Oliphants, or stand at the base of Isengard!
So, what are you thinking?
Probably Mauya nin avánië (I must go) right? Yes! Go and break the news to Arwen right now! See you soon ;-)
Pure Glenorchy Tours is based in Queenstown, New Zealand. We love to show off the film locations used in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies (*yes we have capes and swords, plus LOTR jewellery!) Give us a call; we’d love to show you around