Ok, this is going to be a full on geeky fangirl post. I’ve already shared quite a bit about visiting Lord of the Rings film sites, and there was NO WAY I was going to miss two of the biggest, most iconic sites of them all! Namely, Edoras, home of the Horse Lords of Rohan, and the Pelennor Fields, renowned for some epic battle sequences.
I’ll start with the Pelennor Fields because I stopped there first. I don’t normally do guided tours, but I’d read that was the only way to do the Pelennor Fields, and boy am I glad I did! I booked a two hour tour with Lord of the Rings Twizel Tours, and Dawn was a phenomenal guide with a lot of fun, insider tidbits. She had printed pictures from the movie so we could see exactly where such and such happened, shared fascinating filming techniques, and peppered in plenty of fun stories (like how Sir Peter Jackson got a major power company to donate all the electricity needed for these shoots, how David Wenham was terrified of horses, and how the New Zealand army spent weeks filling in hedgehog holes across the massive expanse of fields to make it safe for horses and actors).
Not to mention there were a bunch of replica props we got to play with to our hearts content!
If I had just tried to see things on my own I wouldn’t’ve gotten very far because it’s all on private land, so the tour was absolutely worth it. (Be sure to check for discounts on sites like Grabone.co.nz or Groupon).
Next up was something I’d been looking forward to doing for aaaaggessss – seeing Edoras in person!!! Edoras was the Rohan city built atop Mount Sunday. Getting to Mount Sunday in Canterbury required over an hour’s drive on an unpaved (re: extremely bumpy) road, as well as (unexpectedly) crossing a bit of a stream. However, faithful Shadowfax got me there and back again all in one piece! Ah, my trusty steed 🙂
It was a bit of a trek to actually get to the mount, crossing streams of icy mountain water and cattle grazing in the fields. Even though the drive in had been incredibly foggy, it turned into an absolutely stunning day!
While in the movie the surrounding mountains were snow topped, I didn’t really feel I was missing out for them not being covered (and yes, in the movies that was actual snow – not CGI!)
I spent all afternoon hanging out on top of Edoras – definitely one for the memory books. But, as they’d taken down the magnificent city-set, I couldn’t actually stay there forever; and it was still a few hours drive back down south towards Dunedin. Time to hit the road.