Another day, another Lord of the Rings location checked off the list. This was a big one, too! More on that in a minute.
In my travels of New Zealand so far, I've found that whenever a path looks like it might have something interesting down it, have a look. Today as I came over a little bridge, I saw a turning lane just behind it and thought "I bet there's something nice down there". Sure enough, a brief walk later and I was completely surprised by what I found.
I mean how cool is that! A pine forest leading right up to the shores of a massive river. It looked like such an unassuming body of water as I came over the bridge, but there we go! Follow every path in New Zealand.
So my main mission for today was to visit Mount Sunday - or for Lord of the Rings fans, Edoras. For the uninitiated (which I've found is a surprising amount of the people reading this!) it looks a little something like this in the films.
The drive itself was going to be a bit of a test for the van. The majority of the morning would be spent on nice, normal New Zealand roads. The final 40km however were on completely unsealed road. The really loose stone kind, too. Just have a look at it though, how beautiful of a road is this!
I had to get out at the start just to film for a few seconds. It's impossibly quiet out there, I was the only one around for miles.
I set off again down the track, and sure enough - just over an hour later came across the view I'd been waiting for.
Naturally I had this playing the entire time. I couldn't come all this way and not climb the thing though. So that's what I did! Another 20 minutes of driving, and I was about 1.5km out from the mountain.
I've settled tonight at a small town called "Fairlie", just outside of Tekapo. After speaking with a few locals, apparently they're famous for their pies (of all things!). I may need to check that out tomorrow. For now though, rest - climbing up that mountain took more effort than I thought it would!