Queenstown: Part III

25 December 2014

We went on yet another Lord of the Rings (LOTR) tour, but this time with Nomad Safaris exploring the Wakatipu Basin area. It started out well - our guide was friendly, but unfortunately more intent on cracking jokes than giving information on LOTR.

He only pointed out two movie locations and totally skipped where the loss of the One Ring at Gladden Fields was filmed while we were at Arrowtown and the Ford of Bruinen filming site. Needless to say we were very disappointed. We came all the way from Singapore so it’s not like we can easily go back anytime soon.

WARNING FOR PREGNANT WOMEN: Before booking this tour, I called their office a few months ago to check how safe it would be considering I’d be six months pregnant. They told me that it should be fine and that we would just be crossing a river.

I thought it would be a short and slow one to two minute crossing like the one pictured on their website where you just cross to get to the other side. Turns out, we went up and down the river (even went in circles for the fun of it) going over large rocks. That it was bumpy was an understatement (roller coaster rides are smoother) and half the tour was on rough roads. It would be best to check with your doctor before going on this trip.

Also, the afternoon tea provided by Pure Glenorchy was much better than the one we had on this tour (which was more expensive). Nomad Safaris served an assortment of cookies and hot drinks (coffee, tea and hot chocolate) while the other tour provider had those along with sandwiches, pastries, canned drinks and bottled water.

The one good thing though is that even if you're not a fan of the trilogy, you can still enjoy this off-road adventure as you'll get to see the local scenery just outside of Queenstown. You'll even get to try your luck at gold panning.

Above left is the filming location for the Argonath or the Pillars of the Kings and basically across the street, you'll find the Kawarau Bungy Centre (above right), where commercial bungy jumping first started.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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