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LOTR tourism in NZ

July 11, 2002 at 5:21 pm by Tehanu  - 

There’s quite a number of fans who have dreamed of going to New Zealand to actually stand where the LOTR movies were filmed and see the awesome landscapes for themselves. Red Carpet Movietours reports that the people most forward in turning their dreams into reality are the official fan club members from LA, who are planning a large group visit to coincide with the opening of either TTT or ROTK in Wellington.

Also showing a lot of interest are the Taiwanese. In May, Vic James of Red Carpet took a Taiwanese pop star and a media entourage around NZ to visit the LOTR film sites and film themselves in the process. Since then a group of Taiwanese tourists have signed on to do a ‘quickie’ tour in late August tailored to their specifications, mixing their LOTR interests with general tourist fun. So on the first day they’ll visit the Hell’s Gate thermal mudbaths in Rotorua, then visit the site of Hobbiton. Next day they’ll fly down to the South Island, where they can visit the dramatic site of Edoras. Next day, they’ll fly in a small plane over NZ’s highest mountain – so they’ll get to feel like they’re following Gandalf’s ride on Gwhaihir…from the air, passing the Southern Alps, the ranges below the snowline will look like that amazing aerial shot in the FOTR’s prologue where we hear how Gollum takes the Ring under the Misty Mountains . Later that day, they visit the Pelennor Fields. The tour closes with some general fun stuff in Christchurch, visiting the Antarctic museum and so on.

Other people are taking up the offer of tailormade tours for individuals. Vic’s taking one party for a tour starting in Wellington. These people are mixing business with pleasure; they get to visit the Weta Workshop and Weta Digital for a tour; after an overnight stay in Wellington they’ll visit the chief Black Rider and his magnificent, highly-trained horses in the morning, followed by a look at River Anduin en route to a night at the Powderhorn Chateau in Ohakune, where the cast and film crew stayed during the filming of the Mordor scenes on Mt. Ruapehu. (They will have Elijah Wood’s room!). Next day they’ll either helicopter over the mountain film locations or drive to Whakapapa, which overlooks ‘Mordor.’ Then on to Rotorua. Next morning, they get a look at the Hobbiton film location in the Waikato and then they finish off their tour in Auckland. So all round, a pretty exciting batch of tours for LOTR fans.

Anyone wanting to make plans along those lines should email victorj@ihug.co.nz

Posted in Old Special Reports on July 11, 2002 by

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