We started our adventures by climbing to Mt. Owen, in the top of the South Island. It only took about two days to get to where we could see the Owen massif peaks all around us, covered in golden tussock. Fantastic views. Nice to know that PJ and the crew got up here by helicopter in about ten minutes. Later down closer to sea level we recovered from our walk at the Kohatu Tavern. The locals said that the film crew had been helicoptering in and around those peaks for a few weeks up until three weeks before. They filmed in a cave, we were told. We’d seen plenty of caves but none that you could get to without abseiling. One girl at the pub said she’d seen Peter Jackson.


“Over by my Nanna’s place.”

Right. As though I was going to know.

“Where’s that?” I asked

“By the Tapawera campground.”

Later we drove on round to Murchison on the other side of Mt. Owen. At the cafe they reckoned that people further up the Matriri valley had seen big lights up around Mt. Owen as well.

I had photos of those peaks – not going to do all that

walking for nothing – but won’t be near a scanner for

weeks. Meanwhile, imagine a landscape of fantastic twisted silvery marble peaks sheltering a high rolling basin of golden tussock dotted with tiny tarns reflecting the sky. Below us, clouds churned and boiled as though held back from us by a spell.

No clues on WHAT was being filmed there, something with caves, that gives about three options, so you can make up your own minds when we finally post these photos.