You don’t have to be an Internet whiz to know that two of the hottest trending topics on the Web are travel and celebrities. But it’s not quite so easy to combine the two on one trip. Unless of course you’re traveling to New Zealand. Because in New Zealand, the destination is the celebrity!
Over the years this “clean and green” land has co-starred in myriad films: playing itself in movies like 2002’s Whale Rider; doubling for other breathtaking earthly landscapes, as in the 2001 film about climbing Pakistan’s K2—Vertical Limit; and, more recently, playing the part of fantastical “Middle Earth” in the cinematic productions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s wildly popular Lord of the Rings trilogy. New Zealand’s beautiful beaches and coastline, lofty rugged peaks, primordial geothermal areas, and seemingly prehistoric rainforests recall the idealized backdrops of imagination. In a way, New Zealand is like a storybook come to life, so it’s little wonder that the producers of the Lord of the Rings and upcoming Hobbit movies chose to unfold their stories in its picturesque settings!
Ever Hiked Through a Movie Set?
Fans of the Rings movies will recognize some of the more than 100 spectacular locations used in the making of the films, as much of the actual shooting took place near major landmarks. On the Tongariro Alpine Crossing—a hike rated as the best one day trek in New Zealand, and one of the keystones of our “Best of the North Island” adventure—you’ll experience for yourself the volcanic bowl of Mordor. And as you travel along the shores of beautiful Lake Wakatipu en route to Glenorchy, on our “Southern Beauty” itinerary, you’ll pass through a landscape that cradled the fortress of Isengard.
But just because the films are “in the can” doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of action left! New Zealand, and specifically Queenstown, is referred to around the globe as the “Adventure Capital of the World.” And it does its best to live up to that reputation! It’s an island (actually, two islands) full of things to see and do, from easy day hikes to high mountain trekking, leisurely kayaking to rafting wild rivers (including the world’s tallest commercially-rafted waterfall), more scenic photo opportunities than you can imagine, and cultural experiences with New Zealand’s famous Maori inhabitants. We’ve written three great “scripts” for your own New Zealand adventure—“Wild West Coast,” “Southern Beauty,” and “Best of the North Island.” We invite you to join us to explore a land so beautiful, it “oughta be in pictures!”