The Lord of the Rings trilogy used many Queenstown locations, and Alba and I took a tour to see the sights. We got up early and were surprised to find that we were the only ones on this tour. It felt like we were VIPs and our driver Dale was really great.
Dale took us to Glenorchy, the Dart River, Mount Aspiring National Park and Bob’s Cove. All of these locations were used in Lord of the Rings at some point. As I’m not really a huge fan of the movies and have only seen them once or twice, I couldn’t really match up the real locations with scenes in the movie. Dale helped by pointing them out in a fan book with shots from the film. It was incredible how we were actually looking at or walking through scenes from the movies.
Besides being in-the-know about the films, Dale knew a lot about the moving-making process. I especially loved this because I’m definitely a movie buff. He told us tales about casting locals as orks and how the costuming and make up process worked. He also discussed how in one or two seconds of film time, you could be in multiple locations in New Zealand. From one cut to the next, you could jump from the North Island to the South Island – all through movie magic.
In addition to all the Lord of the Rings facts, another show stopper was the scenery and landscape around Queenstown. The snow-capped mountains surrounding the gorgeous lake was stunning. It was also very isolated and peaceful. The sounds of the rushing river or the stillness within the woods added to the overall effect of the area. It was really magnificent.