Our second day in New Zealand we went on our Lord of the Rings - Edoras Tour. It was an all day event. In the morning we met 8 others who all joined us in a large 4x4 vehicle. As we drove through the countryside, our guide, Steve, told us about farming in NZ and the areas we were driving through. It was an hour and a half drive up to the "High Country" where the filming of the people of Rohan in LOTR. We stopped for tea at a little town that reminded me (Micah) of some of the tiny towns in ND. Then we continued our climb into the mountains. Our next stop was a small lake town called Lake Clearwater (this town sprung up illegally back in the early 1900s and has no running water, electricity or infrastructure. After the last few miles on a dirt rode, we came to the valley of "Mt Sunday" where they built the "Golden Hall" of the Rohan people.
The valley was so huge, that the 200 meter high hill was dwarfed by the surrounding mountains. The last trek half way up the mountain was serious 4 wheeling. There were deep holes, creeks to drive through and steep inclines. Then we stopped and hiked the last couple hundred feet to the top. It was so windy (60kmph), but beautiful. The sky was clear and blue and the mountains surrounded us on all sides. From the top, you could see different areas where filming happened, and it truly was as if we were in Middle Earth. After pictures with props, and all the wind we could stand, we climbed back down and headed to Mt Potts Lodge on the edge of the valley. There we were served a huge lunch and visited with the wonderful people we shared the journey with. There was a honeymoon couple from Dubai, two siblings from North of Seattle who were visiting a third sibling living in Wellington, a young couple from Denmark, and a single lady from Scotland. It was so much fun getting to know each of them. Our afternoon was spend driving back to Christchurch, and Kim and I were able to squeeze in a walk through the Botanical Gardens before dark.