There and back again – a journey to middle earth

I thought I would share with my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour ( I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the fifth installment.

Feb 22nd

Today we met up with a second guide, Kate, just outside of Wellington. Kate is fantastic, she saw many of the sites while filming was going on, and she has lots of stories. She started off by taking us to the quarry where Helms Deep was – not much to look at now, but very impressive when the set was up.

We then headed a little further down the road to the place where they filmed the outside scenes for Rivendell, most of which didn’t make the first movie. The area there is absolutely gorgeous. We even went for a short hike in the bush and learned about the native trees. From there we headed back into the city. We went past restaurants that the actors frequented, saw some their apartments and rental houses, and the Embassy (the theatre where the premier was held). At the bottom of Mt Victoria we stood where Frodo did when he said, “Get off the road!” Let me tell you that was awesome.

After dinner we headed back to the Embassy to catch the movie. The lobby has a great display up which includes a huge statue of Lurtz and some of the figurines. The cave Troll is still outside on the marquee as well. After looking at all the articles and such, we grabbed some ice cream and beers and settled into our seats. It was really fun to see the movie in the same theatre where the premier was held. And it was fantastic to see all the spots that we had been to up on the silver screen. What fun!

Tomorrow – a ferry to the south island and a trip to see some of the LOTR designers other work.