Friday, March 1, 2013

Vacation 2013 - Akaroa, NZ - French New Zealand; Edoras, Rohan

In Akaroa, we did a "Lord of the Rings" tour, but really we only visited one site from the Lord of the Rings.  While preparing for the trip, we had considered doing the "Eastern Bays Scenic mail run" which has received incredible reviews.  Unfortunately, we were in Akaroa on Sunday, and the mail is not delivered on Sunday.  But, for anyone else considering a visit to Akaroa, you might want to consider the option if you are not in town on a Sunday.

The ride itself was beautiful, but being on the bus for so long was not my favorite thing in the world.  We also did stop at Salmon World (for a bathroom stop), and in another small town (Stavely) for morning tea.  We ate lunch at a little restaurant on the station (Mt. Potts Station) where the Lord of the Rings site is.  We also got out at a few other places for viewpoints of various sites and to stretch our legs.
Salmon World

We stopped for morning tea at Stavely Hall

A view somewhere along our trek
Another scenic view
The Lord of the Rings site was Mount Sunday.  Mt. Sunday is where the Rohan Capital of Edoras was.  Keep in mind, the set's of the movies are no longer there.  Basically, it looked like a small knoll with all of the Mountains in the background dwarfing it in size.  It was interesting to learn what parts of the set were actually built on the site, what parts were added with CGI, and which parts were actually filmed in the studio in Wellington.

Mt. Sunday AKA Edorras, Rohan.  The mountains in the back are much taller, unfortunately you cannot see this as the clouds are occluding the view

Posing with a dwarf axe in front of Mt. Sunday

A View near Mt. Sunday

A creek near Mt. Potts Station

A view near Akaroa, New Zealand
 Our tour guides themselves were quite interesting.  One of them had been the body double (not stunt double) for Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings Films, and one of the Oscar-winning sound editors, Hammond Peek.
Hammond Peek

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