A lot of movie sets from the Lord of the Rings trilogy are located in the area around Queenstown and Arrowtown. You can explore a lot of sets on guided 4WD tours but also on your own. For this purpose you should have the location guide book by Ian Brodie. The space here is too limited to describe all the roads and paths to the many sites.
Pillars of the King: opposite A.J. Hackett's bungy jump on the Kawarau river. But remember: the pillars were computer-generated...
Rafting down the Anduin/Argonath: trips available at Extreme Green Rafting, Queenstown
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. (03) 442 8517
The Ford of Bruinen
1.) Arrowtown: Go to the street between main shopping area and river (carpark) and walk down the path to the river; the ford was 200m upstream.
2.) Skippers Canyon: Not a road for the faint-hearted and excluded by rental car companies. Guided tour with Nomad Safaris and Skippers Canyon Adventures.
The Gladden Fields - Arrowtown: Buckingham St - left into Nairn St - Wilcox Green (wide expanse), path through the trees beside the river
Deer Park Heights/The Two Towers: 20mins drive towards Te Anau; after airport and river crossing of the Kawarau turn right towards Kelvin Heights, after 5kms to the left. Several marked walks lead to various film locations.
Dimrill Dale: 20kms up to the top of the Remarkables Skifield and 20mins hike uphill or helicopter flight with Heliworks.
Ithilien: on the road to Glenorchy, Twelve Mile Delta camping area; go down to the river and walk towards the lake.
Isengard, Lothlórien, Amon Hen: from Glenorchy north to a road named Paradise; first film set after 26kms (Dan's Paddock), 2km further: edge of the forest, past this point rough road and fords, possible tour with Dart River Safaris.
More scenes filmed on the Routeburn Track.
Nomad Safaris (4WD tours), www.nomadsafaris.co.nz, Tel. (0800) 688 222 and (03) 442 6699, 3 LoR tours, NZ$ 130 each.
Heliworks, www.heliworks.co.nz, Tel. (03) 441 4011, 3.5hr tour NZ$ 1560pp, 45mins $385pp, Milford S. 2hr $1180pp, 1.15hrs $685.
I have been on many helicopter flights in many countries but this one was quite special. Not only did the weather co-operate but it was my gift to my mother for her 82nd birthday!
To be standing on a spur of The Remarkables looking over Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown and Lake Hayes was awsome. You could even see as far as Arrowtown and the mountains of the Alps.
I don't consider the expense of helicopter trips because they are an experience unlikely to be repeated.
Take your camera and just do it!
If you are flying in to Queenstown, do try to get a window seat as the views are fabulous. Sometimes there is snow, and sometimes not, but still stunning. I like to have a small map in my carryon bag so I can try to identify what I am looking at. Lakes make it easy to pinpoint, as you can see the shape of the lake and find it on the map.
This is great for children as well, if you encourage them to look out and point out different things on the ground. I find taking photos is very easy. Sometimes you may have to put your camera on 'infinity' so it doesn't try to focus on the window. Digital is very forgiving and can take in very low light so it's worth shooting the sunsets as well.
Another way to see this lovely region from above is to take an aircraft ride once you have arrive in Queenstown. Fixed wing or helicopter, depending on your budget.
If you are interested in a "Remarkable" view of Queenstown, then the best way to take it all in is on one of the scenic helicopter journeys available to you. In particular, Queenstown offers several unique experiences, including flights to the nearby glaciers, Milford Sound, and also the Gibbston Wine Region. The company also offers custom packages to hiking destinations as well as fishing charters if you really need to get away. Certain flights start at $190NZD per person and can range up to $650NZD per person depending on where and when you need them to go.
The helicopter packages can also be combined with several other activities such as jet-boating, or bungy jumping. For more information, I have included the website below. Flights normally start at the airport close to town, but the helicopter team will be able to pick you up from local accommodations, including all downtown hotels.
If you plan to do a lot of activities you can save some money if you book Queenstown Combos. There is an incredible lot of packages which you best check on a special website:
Just one example:
Shotover Canyon Combo ($475) includes Canyon Swing, Shotover Jet, Helicopter Tour and Shotover Rafting.
If the activities are booked separately they cost $$159, 99, 150 and 159 = 567.
(Prices as April 2007)
After Jet Boating on the Shotover River you are driven to Coronet Peak where you will hop on an helicopter for a thrilling 5 minute ride to the Skyline Complex.
You will have stunning views of The Remarkables, the Shotover River and of Queenstown.
Departure Times: 8:15am & 1:45pm
Duration: 2.5 hours
Price: NZ$255.00 (Adult), NZ$195.00 (Child)
As part of a special package that was coupled with the Shotover Jet Boatride, we were brought above the mountains by a helicopter that allowed us to see Queenstown from a totally tremendous view.
We were swirling above the mountains, lakes and rapids. The only other time that I had the opportunity to be on board a helicopter was during my army days, but this was so much more exhilarating because of the view of Queenstown that I'd die for.
Sent the kids age 16 and 17 heli skiing for the first time as a treat. Both more than adequate skier/boarder yet first time in powder conditions as they are used to Aussie conditions. They were looked after exceptionally and had a great day out. Alpine heli-ski is one of many local operators but must say, the kids were very impressed with the day. As worried parents we left them in very capable hands and were re-assured about the days plan and briefing. Tim the Operations Manager co-ordinated the day to suit the weather and made us feel very comfortable. Excellent communication and planning. The powder runs were breathtaking from the photos we were given. Tip.......check out the website for excellent "last minute" standby options.