Posted by & filed under Travel Country: New Zealand.


So now I’m in Christchurch. I got here last Thursday and the weather has been great since Friday. I took a Lord of the Rings Edoras Tour, with Hassle Free Tours, to visit the location of where they filmed “Edoras”. I had been wanting to do this for the last four years, since the last time I was here. With this tour, you can actually get to the top of Mt Sunday, where the filmset of Edoras was built and filmed. The mountain is 661 metres high. We cover most of it via landrover but the last part we have to walk up. When we got to the top, it was absolutely wonderful.

Mt Sunday sits in this valley of Alps. The weather was glorious, with not too much wind. Sometimes there can be up to 180km winds up there. But we were very lucky. To be able to stand where Eowyn stood in the film and see what she could see, which was a beautiful valley, surrounded by miles and miles of snow covered alps, was something I have always wanted to do. I got to do it that day and for me, it was an ambition fulfilled.

Otherwise I’ve just been exploring Christchurch. It is a lovely city, with a great Arts centre, full of art and craft galleries. I did a ghost walk of the Arts Centre on Friday night and that was great too. One of the best ghost tours I’ve done. They take us up winding old, dark stairways, into the old theatre and upstairs to the props dept, in the dark, with the odd lantern, to light up our way. Spooky but very cool.  I’m going to do a tour tomorrow of Arthur’s pass, by train, which is a mountain pass in the Southern Alps.

Arthur’s Pass is a small village, with a Department of Conservation Office, a really nice cafe, a small interdenominational church, a school and a few other buildings. Through the back window of the church, you can see this lovely little waterfall, flowing down the side of the mountain. What you do there mostly, is walk and hike. When we left Christchurch, it was very cloudy and I thought we’d get to see very little. But by the time we got to Arthur’s Pass, the sun was out and the clouds had cleared away.

I had five hours to kill before the train came to pick us up, to go back to Christchurch. So I did a short one and a half hour walk to a small waterfall called the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. It was an easy track, not that I’m much into hiking but it was worth the hike. The weather was lovely. On the way back, the scenery was gorgeous in the evening sunlight, around 4.30pm. The train followed the valley of the Waimakariri River, which is milky blue in colour and it was nice to follow its path as it weaved through the valley.