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I took a LOTR safari while in Queenstown and it was really an interesting day out.
Many of the areas that NOMAD safaris tour visits provide the spectacular backdrops to
' The Fellowship of the Ring ' ; The Ford at Bruinen, The Misty Mountains, Isengard & Lothlorien, better know locally as Skippers Canyon, Macetown & Paradise.
Half day tour is 4 hours.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Phone: 03 442 6699 / 0800 688 222
Kingston is a small town at the southernmost end of Lake Wakatipu 47km's south of Queenstown.
It was home to the Kingston Flyer, a vintage steam train that used to operate at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu.
Sadly the Kingston Flyer is no longer in operation.
Written Jan 2, 2010
The world famous Routeburn Trail, which is one of New Zealand's most stunning alpine walks and is located in the pristine Mt Aspiring National Park.
The Routeburn Trail is a very scenic one hour drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy and then to the start of the trail.
Updated Dec 29, 2009
Glenorchy is a small town nestled in spectacular scenery on Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand's south Island. It is approximately 45km's by road from Queenstown.
Glenorchy is a popular tourist spot, close to many tramping tracks. It lies near the borders of Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park.
The local scenery received worldwide attention when it was used as a backdrop for the 'Lord of the Rings' films.
Glenorchy is a 45 minute scenic drive up the lake from Queenstown.
Written Dec 29, 2009
Cardrona is the name of a small locality New Zealand in a scenic setting on the Crown Range road which connects Wanaka and Queenstown.
Established as a gold rush township in the 1860's on the banks of the Cardrona River, it is known for its hotel built during the gold rush.
Nowadays it is home of the Cardrona Adventure Park.
Cardrona is a scenic one hour drive from Queenstown.
Updated Dec 29, 2009
Nomad Safaris have a number of 4WD adventures including the Skippers Canyon tour which departs from Queenstown.
The tour heads out towards Coronet Peak and as you drive up the mountainside towards the entrance you will stop at The Plane Table, which gives a stunning view of the Wakatipu Basin.
After entering Skippers Canyon along a narrow 4WD track with a sheer drop down the mountain, you will travel to Lighthouse Rock and also to the historic Skippers Bridge.
From there the road continues into the historical township of Skippers which has long since been abandoned but many original buildings still remain.
Morning tea is served at the Skippers Schoolhouse and on the return journey you will stop at Deep Creek where you can try your hand to a spot of gold panning.
If you look closely at Picture 3 you may also recognise this spot along the Skippers Road as the Ford of Bruinen as featured in The Lord of The Rings.
Updated Dec 29, 2009
Phone: +643 442 6699
I had never tried flyfishing before so while in the Otago region I thought that I'd give it a go and organised a full day trip with Dreamwaters. The region is famous for it's fresh water trout.
Bruce Leitch was our guide for the day who picked us up from our accommodation and took us to all the best river locations and provided all our equipment including rods, waders, fishing license and lunch.
It's a fantastic way to spend a day and forget about the world for a moment or two in good company!
Updated Dec 11, 2009
Phone: +64 21 426 709
This rugged canyon is off the road upto the Coronet Skifield.
An old mining area, the Skippers Road is certainly an adventure along a narrow gorge road, but its not as bad as the rental car company warning signs indicate at the saddle. However, there are certainly parts where you or the oncoming driver will be backing up, as there's only room for one in places. You probably need a head for heights!. Other bits are steep and extreme caution is needed in wet or icy conditions. You will need a 4WD in winter / early spring.
Despite being rugged and "remote', tourism finds its way in here with mini vans plying punters into the huge bungy bridge jump or into the Canyon for white water rafting.
The road takes around 1.5 hours to drive from Queenstown into Skippers. There is a camping area as its a magic place to visit. Mountain biking is also permitted in this area.
You can however escape this and set off on some walks, either the Skippers - Pleasant Terrace walk 1-2 hours) or the more demanding Skippers - Bullendale track.
Updated Aug 29, 2009
This tip is in the off the beaten path section, as the train and Kingston are situated around 50km from Queenstown at the southern base of Lake Wakatipu.
The Kingston Flyer is a vintage steam train and the original train started operating in 1878.
Today, the train runs on a 14km stretch of track between Kingston and Fairlight station.
Its season is from October until April and has two trips per day leaving Kingston at 10am and 1.30pm. You can do a one way journey or return. An adult return ticket costs (2009) $45 and there are childrens's and family consession tickets.
This makes a great day out or a great stop if you're heading to TeAnau and Milford Sound.
Updated Aug 29, 2009
Phone: +64 (03) 248 8848
The first part of the road to Skippers Canyon, from Skippers Saddle to the old hotel site, is the most difficult part to drive. Plus it has the best views. But there are several places where you can stop to enjoy those views.
Hell’s Gate is a particularly interesting site, as the road there was carved through a rock, so you have the sheer cliff on the mountain side of the road and a massive block of rock on the valley side. You can see it this way: It is the safest stretch of the road, as you cannot tumble down into the valley if you lose control of your car… ;-)
After the Skippers bridge the road gets very rough as it climbs in zig-zags onto the Skippers Terraces and the campground. This is the challenge for non-4WD cars. I would probably not recommend it for cars with low front spoilers… And I would not really recommend it to anybody if the road is not dry.
Written Dec 31, 2008
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