This isn’t news as such, more of a justicfication for not being around much for the next few weeks.

I asked a friend of mine where he thought would be a good place to see NZ at its most Tolkienesque,and this was his reply.

“Alot of places that I tend to go to haven’t got any tracks bar those made by animals like deer or chamois, so as far as the tramps go I am probably not the one to ask, however I do know of some likely places.

As far as Middle Earth goes, a dead ringer for The Gladden Fields would have to be from ‘Sisters’ swing bridge entrance to Lake Sumner park as it traverses an area that becomes quite breath taking in its vastness. There’s the Hurunui (Anduin) on one side with the Misty Mountains beyond and the flat tussocky tundra on the other – only Mirkwood has a dirty great ridgeline through it but I doubt you’ll care. Besides, the Mountains of Mirkwood do exist in the book somewhere, its just all in miniature. It ends up at Gabriels hut, an old cullers’ shack hand cut with 4 bunks, and a couple more clicks brings you to Lake Sumner – fabulous! If you’re looking for the Ent-moot style I’d consider looking towards the western facing slopes just east of the Main Divide as they get just enough

spill-over to produce some awesome blossom (yes blossom!) amongst the spring flush and yet sustain the gentle mosses.

Now, if you’re looking for Fangorn!Well! You’ll just have to become a ‘bushman’ for there. Ever get the creeps when you’re moving through a particularly thick, dark piece of bush? The places where the supplejack and the boughs have the twisty turning sphagnum that hangs like dead birds, always at higher altitudes and never with any birdsong nearby? That’s Fangorn quality and I’ve yet to see it anywhere near a track – these ‘goblin forests’ are pure residue. One place is the higher reaches of the Oparara basin, or another would be the Southern Arm of the ‘Hooligan’, or perhaps try the swamps North and South of Haast – but don’t go alone into those, the quicksand’ll get you…

Do go to Nelson lakes. I recommend it for the mossy stuff, and for views that aren’t too crowded with loopys – but wear bright stuff if you leave the tracks.

There’s a lot of hunters.

Have a go with Erewhon. The station is AMAZING!! Talk about dry! TAlk about big! Talk about views at the tops!


Right, well. I have enough places to go and look at without this…but….it’s so tempting!!!!

So, look forward to my reports from the deep South, if I ever get back and bother to go online.