Welcome to this months “Getting to know…” questions that need answering.
It’s based on the old Getting to know you threads that I used to post on the message boards here on TORn, so those familiar with them will know that the questions can be a little crazy and the answers even crazier.
This month we’re asking questions of Red Carpet Tours Julie James.
Hi Julie, and thanks for taking part this month.
Me: What would be your top 3 desert island DVD’s, excluding LOTR (assuming of course it would be in your top 3), and why?
Julie: Well Kel if I can’t have LOTR …. The original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I was 9 when the first film came out and it changed my world. My bedroom walls were covered in Star Wars posters – a devoted fan!
Me: I was 10 when the original Star Wars came out and my bedroom walls were just the same. I still have some of my original Star Wars figures too. And now my boys are really into it, the saga continues 😉
Me: What was the path you took, in getting into this line of work?
Julie: I have always been a keen traveller and like most Hobbits I enjoy new adventures. After years in the corporate world I was lucky enough to join my family’s company ‘ Red Carpet Tours’.
Me: Do you feel isolated from the rest of the world, living Down Under? Or do you like being a bit separated from the rest of humanity’s noise? Is living in Middle-earth a bonus?
Julie: Having travelled overseas I can appreciate the natural raw unspoiled beauty New Zealand has to offer and enjoy sharing the wonderful locations Sir P.J choose for the LOTR trilogy and the new Hobbit films. I don’t feel isolated, as we have our own community of countries with Australia and the beautiful Pacific Islands.
Me: What is your biggest or most irrational fear?
Julie: Spiders and most bugs, they should all be harpooned.
Me: What was your favourite cartoon as a child?
Julie: Top Cat
Me: What is it like travelling with LOTR-fans from all over the world? The general impression with most non-LOTR fans is that they are all geeks who walk around the entire day dressed up as Elves and Hobbits continuously quoting Tolkien. But what is it like in reality?
Julie: It is something very special to be part of a Fellowship. The amazing thing is that we start off as many different people from different walks of life and by the end of the journey we are firm friends. These friendships then carry on via Face Book in our Red Carpet Tours page and my Hobbits chat room.
Me: Your tours look really awesome! So, if there were similar tours of other film locations, what film-related tour would you like to take?
Julie: For me LOTR and The Hobbit capture such awesome locations and really showcase the beauty of New Zealand, far more comprehensively than any other film shot here thus far.
Me: All of the following questions were submitted by just one of our Message Board members, Bombadil, and I felt he deserved a section all to himself 🙂
Bombadil: Must see sites, like the First Location where the Hobbits encounter the Nazgul. Isn’t that in a City Park nearby?
Julie: Wellington location.
Bombadil: Oueenstown locals, any Hobbity stores, I’ve heard there are many.
Julie: Dart Stables ‘Ride of the Rings’ and many, many more!
Bombadil: Should I rent a car there to go Deer Park Heights.
Julie: Unfortunately Deer Park Heights is closed to the public and Tour operators.
Bombadil: Matamata, of course…How far should I book ahead? I’m sure there will be a crush of visitors like me there from all around the World trying to get in, then.
Julie: Matamata: We generally book 1 – 2 days in advance unless we have a very large group.
Bombadil: Did they REALLY put up a Wellywood sign, or was that ruse?
Julie: Wellywood sign was an idea that never really took off thanks to the powers that be in Hollywood.
Bombadil: Is there a Zoo where I can see Kiwis?
Julie: Kiwis are nocturnal creatures that can be seen best in Rotorua’s Fairy Springs night Tour or Queenstown’s Kiwi House.
With all your questions Bombadil I suggest you take our 14 Day LOTR/Hobbit Tour.
Many thanks, from Julie James / Red Carpet Tours – happy to answer any questions you have via Face Book or our websites contact page
Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations in New Zealand with Red Carpet Tours.
If you’d like to meet Julie in person or any of the rest of the wonderful team at Red Carpet Tours their new 14 Day LOTR/Hobbit Tours run every month. If you’re planning on being in New Zealand for The Hobbit Premiere why not join the 14 Day Hobbit Premiere Tour for an amazing Hobbity experience 😀
Thanks also go to our Message Board regulars, DanielLB, dernwyn, Lily Fairbairn, Ataahua, grammaboodawg, Rosie-with-the-ribbons, zarabia and Bombadil who provided this months questions.
Till next month from TORn’s resident tiger, Kelvarhin