From the National Park Village we moved on to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. Mom and I spent a few days here and I really liked the city so I was excited to be back. Janetta headed to Te Papa, the national museum, and I hit the streets to replace some of my clothes that had unfortunately fallen apart. I found the bookstore with the great cafe and spend a wonderful few hours reading some books I got on a buy one get one half off (my first non-essential purchase in 50 days!). Janetta and I met up later that afternoon and explored a bit more of the city that my mom and I hadn’t quite reached .
The next day we maxed out our geek levels with a Lord of the Rings tour around Wellington. It was fantastic, even with the rainy and windy weather.
We started off on Mount Wellington, which gave us cloudy views of the city.
A lower part of the mountain was used as part of the Outer Shire. This is where the hobbits tumbled down the hill, found mushrooms, and then hid under a tree when Frodo freaked out (the tree was brought in and then later removed).
Our next stop was to Weta Workshops, which handled all the costumes, weaponry and makeup for the films (along with many others). We could only take pictures in the showroom, but it was extremely cool to see how they do what they do.
We had lunch in a lovely little spot out by the water, which was a favourite of the actors when they were filming.
Then we headed back to the city for more film locations. We went to Rivendell, which is the only film location whose name has been officially changed, and who has replicas of some of the scenes (such as this entry gate). Our guide had a replica Sting, so of course we had to pose with it (somehow mine turned out more like King Arthur, but I’m okay with it).
We also went to the field that was used as Isengard’s entry, and staffs were provided so obviously we had to be Saruman and Gandalf.
As I said, a full day of geekery, but totally great. We’re planning another LOTR excursion in Queenstown since this one went so well!