Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Adventures in Middle Earth

So today we had our Lord of the Rings tour! It was absolutely beautiful! It started with us driving up to this hill above Queenstown called Deer Park Heights. Basically, it's privately owned property that costs $20 NZD to drive around on. It's made up of several pastures containing deer, llamas, goats, bison, and donkeys, as well as pigs, chickens and ducks. Various feed dispensers are located along side the road where you can pay $1-$2 dollar coins to feed the animals, who are all quite tame and friendly. The land is owned by a 90-something-year-old man named Frank who makes money off of his animals, renting his property out for movies, and tourists touring it.

Here's a view of Queenstown from atop the hill.

And a llama. Because llamas are adorable.

Here's us in front of the fantastic view, holding a film still of the same view being used as the river where the corsair ships were sailing.

Another movie filmed here was called "The Rescue", and was a 1986 Disney film that featured a Korean prison. So, here's the remains of said prison:

So, for our first posed scene shot: The gorse bush Frodo, Sam, and Gollum hide under from the Nazgûl riding the fell beast.

And here is where the refugees of Rohan are walking around the lake on their way to Helm's Deep. We look much happier than them though.

We also pretended to be Legolas shooting at Wargs. The Wargs and weaponry will be added in post production. ;)

Legolas frolicked all over these hills!

(They flipped the scene for the movie to follow the Fellowship's left to right movement across the screen.)

Warg scene, where Aragorn is dragged by the warg off the cliff.

And here's a re-enactment of looking for Aragorn over the cliff, complete with dead orcs.

From the extended version of The Two Towers, a re-enactment of Eowyn bringing Aragorn some not-so-delicious stew.

After that, it was lunch time. Here's a couple photos from our drive out of the park:

During lunch we got to peruse copies of the movie scripts. Finding typos in the "Final Revision" amused us.

We then got to play with some movie replica weapons! Our guide said the entire lot was worth about $15,000 NZD.

The cloak is one of the cloaks worn by Sam in the movie...one of five, at least. Here is Cameron with Bilbo/Frodo's sword, Sting.

And here she is with Arwen's sword, Hadhafang:

Dallas wielding Legolas' elven long knives and Andúril!:

We then had a battle...

Cameron broke Dallas' sword. :(

But Dallas had a warranty on it! :D

(For those who don't know, Narsil was the sword broken when Isildur fought Sauron and took the ring, and Andúril is the same sword reforged.)

Here's Dallas as Gimli (sadly sans beard, unlike a true dwarf woman):

And Cameron modeling Arwen's Evenstar pendant:

We then played with the One Ring. Here's Cameron putting the ring on:

And here she is wearing the ring!

So of course Dallas had to try it too...

Amazing! The world started looking grey and swishy while we wore it though. Here's Dallas wearing the ring:

After we gave the Ring back to our guide so we wouldn't be tempted by its dark power, we went to check out the river which the Fellowship boated down through to Argonath. It is also the river where the truly original bungy jump is located.

We then went to the nearby Arrowtown, where they filmed the prologue to the first movie, where Isildur is riding with the ring and then ambushed:

Finally, after returning to Queenstown, we had delicious coffee and cocoa at Patagonia Chocolates, a cute chocolate/gelato cafe right by the water.

So, that was it for today! As always, our Flickr has more photos! Tomorrow we're hoping to rent a car and drive around to nearby towns, so cross your fingers for us!


  1. I have to laugh at myself when I got overly excited on our MSN IM convo when I recognised the Legolas bow-shooting seen before you put captions on your Flickr acccount... *dork*

  2. lmao, i laughed a nice one during the One Ring stills. I don't know why. *so jealous*

  3. Those photos are gorgeous!! It looks like you're having so much fun.

  4. How did you find out about the LOTR tour?

  5. Great Pics Dallas! Looks like you guys are having a blast!

  6. That place is crazy beautiful! Looks like you're having quite the adventure over there. Can't wait to hear your stories when you come back! :)

  7. Great,nice work :) I liked the dead orcs :D


About Us

Cameron Gage and Dallas Nagata both graduated from college in December of 2008. As a reward for all their hard work in school, they decided to take a graduation trip to Australia and New Zealand from February 21st to March 8th. This blog will cover their trip with photos, journal entries, and more!


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