I thought I would share with theonering.net my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour (http://www.redcarpet-tours.com). I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the eighth installment.

Feb 25th

Today we left Christchurch and headed towards the Southern Alps. I haven’t been mentioning how gorgeous the landscape is here on the south island. It is a wild and rugged land. Often, we are driving along on windy roads through another small mountain range, and we will come round a bend to see a beautiful lake or river with incredibly blue water. I have tons of those pictures too, I just haven’t been including them in the LOTR reports. Anyway, we drove towards Erewhon sheep station (which derived its name from the word nowhere, because it really is out in the middle of nowhere) and stopped at Mt. Potts, which is a lovely little ski resort and farm owned by Marie-Claire and her husband Mark. It was on their land where Edoras was filmed. As with the other locations, the set is gone, but the landscape is recognizable. We had a great time talking to Marie-Claire, who ended up feeding set builders, stagehands, and extras for almost a year as the set was built, used and destroyed. There were a lot of horses used in these scenes, and Mark got to play one of the riders – he is one of the ones carrying a flag.

After tea with Marie-Claire, we passed through some awesome landscape on our way to Twizel. We saw a couple of fabulous lakes, as well as Mt Cook. At Twizel, we headed to the farm where they filmed the Pelannor Fields. We got to meet Priscilla (who owns the farm with her husband Simon), and her daughters. We had a wonderful time talking to Priscilla (who played an orc in some of the scenes), and her lovely daughters who watched much of the filming and even got to meet Peter Jackson. They had many stories and tales of watching the 800 or so extras stage a battle, racing along the plains, or surging over the hills. It sounds like it is going to be absolutely awesome (not that I had any doubts about that)!

Tomorrow – Tarras, where Arwen and Frodo eluded the Nazgul, the Warbirds Museum and Kawerua River, where Arwen and Frodo forded the river.