Lord of the Rings mecca

Trip Start Jan 11, 2009
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Trip End Apr 12, 2009


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, January 24, 2009

We drove from Queenstown to Glenarchy and back, as this is a no-exit road.  There were awesome views of Lake Wanaka en route.  The road was narrow, and wound up and down at the side of the gorgeous blue water.  At the end of the road, is a gravel road to the small town of Paradise.  So, their motto is truly, "this way to Paradise".  And, that's what it was like.

We decided on a hike in the Reese Valley, called The Invincible Mine Track.  It was literally straight up, for an hour.  It was exhausting, but we took many breaks on the way up and the view was totally worth it.  From the top you could see the giant river valley below, and many glaciers in the distance. There was a gold mine at the end of the trail - it was long abandoned, but pieces of the equipment were still there.  Pretty damn impressive that people worked up here all those years and had to track up and down many times over many years.  We were wiped out after that trek, but happy we did it.  

The rest of the day was spent photographing more sheep, this time on lovely green hills with the snow capped mountains in the background.

While watching the sunset at our hotel, we met an American family and after a few minutes of chit chat, we found out that the guy was at Caltech in the mid-90's for a post doc in Chemistry.  It's a small world!

A lot of Ring's scenes were filmed in this area.
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