Just over a week ago my wife and I travelled with our youngest daughter to New Zealand's south island. I've been to the north island but nothing could prepare me for stepping onto the outdoor setting of middle-earth.
We spent most of our time around Queenstown and woke each day to the most stunning scenery I think I’ve ever witnessed. The mountains known as “The Remarkables” (pictured above) were used in the Lord of The Rings as the mountains of Mordor. Looking at the mountains made me wonder if an army of orcs were just on the otherside!
The Ford of Bruinen was just up the road outside a tiny place called Arrowtown and the actual ford was at the end of a jet boat ride in Skippers canyon. Seriously, you’ve just got to take a ride on a jet boat….they’re incredible.
On our way to the west we came across a view of the Misty Mountains and later the place where the CGI team added Isenguard. It was a strange feeling driving along the road and recognising places from the movies.
We then took a flight over the southern alps to Milford Sound….it was an incredible 40 minute journey with unbelievable views of mountains soaring out of the ocean and waterfalls cascading thousands of feet into the water.
What really caught me by surprise was the scale of everything. For example, what looked like a tiny waterfall was the height of the Niagara Falls!
After ascended in a gondola to the mountain overlooking Queenstown we went into the visitors centre and found a picture of Frodo staring at the one ring. What was funny was that it was made entirely from jelly beans!
If you haven’t had a chance to visit New Zealand then I would highly recommend it. We plan on returning next year! Anyway, it was a great vacation and I even managed to do some more work on Battleframe. It should be on-track to be released within the next couple of weeks.