When my husband and I decided we were going to New Zealand, we were thinking of Hobbits and elves, Mordor and Gondor. I may have gotten tired of the battles in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but I fell madly in love with the scenery. Someday, I thought as I eagerly watched each of the Peter Jackson movies, I’m going to see these beautiful places.
New Zealand has had a lot of visitors interested in the same scenery so visitors can find plenty of tours.
We opted for Nomad Safari‘s 4WD tour of Glenorchy near Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island. A half day adventure, tourists get a sweeping view of glaciers, meadows and mountains and end up in the Elf Forest wielding a sword.
The tour group was small: about a dozen people divided among two Land Rovers. The guides were friendly, full of details about the movies I didn’t even remember.
Remembering the actual scene didn’t matter to me. I drank in the glassy lakes, the snow-capped Remarkables and the sun-dappled forest. And, yes, afterwards, I sat down and watched the movies to see that scenery all over again.
Ⓒ Text and photos Mary K. Tilghman