There are many Lord of the Rings tours you can take and I chose the mighty Nomad Safaris to lead us on our way. The Safari of the Scenes - Glenorchy tour takes you around the shores of Lake Wakatipu and towards Glenorchy and Paradise Valley (yes there is a town here called Paradise). As part of the tour you visit the movie locations for Isengard, the Ithilien Camp, Lothlorien forest and the battle of Amon Hen (and some locations where The Hobbit is being filmed too!)
Lord of the Rings (LOTR) facts
- Elijah Wood wanted the part of Frodo Baggins so much that he sent a copy of himself dressed as a hobbit and reading lines from the book to Peter Jackson and swiftly snapped up the role!
- John Ryhs-Davies, who plays Gimli the dwarf, is the tallest of the actors who play members of the fellowship. He is 6'1".
Our Nomad Safaris tour guide Paul is a Lord of the Rings expert. After an hour of trying to catch him out on this LOTR trivia we finally gave up and listened to his stories of how the locations for the filming were chosen, the trials and tribulations of filming a trilogy of films simultaneously and the stories of the hobbits playing tricks on the rest of the cast!
There are so many highlights of the trip that I have pinpointed a few for your perusal:
1. Driving the road between Queenstown and Glenorchy. Queenstown is a busy tourist destination but not many people travel north of the lake towards Glenorchy and beyond. Lake Wakatipu is an 84km long glacial lake, the longest in New Zealand. The journey from Queenstown to Glenorchy for the most part clings to the sides of the mountains which plunge steeply in to the waters. Arguably the most famous road in New Zealand, the tour includes a stop off in a pull over area for a photo stop.
2. Paradise forest was the location used as the Lothlorien forest as the road access for the hundreds of crew and cast that descended on the area for filming. Take full advantage of real props brought along from the movie to recreate scenes.
3. The north western slopes of Mount Earnslaw and its hanging glacier are not to be missed. Featured in the movies, this natural beauty can only be seen on a journey out near the Dart river. If you want unique photos of the southern Alps, this is how to take them!
This trip is available 365 days of the year and whether a Lord of the Rings enthusiast or a scenery seeker, this trip really will tick all the boxes. So if you are visiting Nomads Queenstown, make sure you pay us a visit and book! And remember...