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Mt Sunday (LOTR Filming Location)

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by wjiang, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Over the break, I went for a day trip to Mt Sunday in the Ashburton Lakes District of the South Island of New Zealand. A few of my high school friends were back in town and we wanted to go for a trip, except unfortunately the weather had been miserable despite it being summer. We decided to pick a relatively easy trip given that it was still drizzling that morning. The 'mount' itself is actually not that high up, being simply a particularly hard outcrop of rock that was not worn away by past glaciation in the Rangitata Valley. Mt Sunday was actually the location for Edoras (Rohan) from Lord of the Rings, and despite the 40 min bumpy drive along a gravel road to get there from the highway, there is a tour that runs there.

    Pictures first, gear talk after...

    PC2700631.
    The aforementioned gravel road through the Hakatere Conservation Park, looking back towards civilisation in Christchurch (a bit over an hour's drive away).


    rangitata.
    Also along the gravel road, stopping to admire the view of the Rangitata Valley. Mt Sunday is still a little speck in the distance in the middle of the frame at this point.


    mount_sunday.
    Some way after the gate into the Mt Sunday track, looking at Mt Sunday itself.


    ford1.
    Crossing a small river, the 4WD tour trucks that the tour operator uses just drives straight over.


    PC270094.
    We came across a few tourists on their way back, waiting to cross the single carriage foot bridge across the river.


    mount_potts.
    Continuing up the trail after crossing the ford.


    PC270099.JPG
    My friends, with Mt Potts in the background.


    PC270100.JPG
    Another random little stream.


    mt_potts_sunday.
    At the base of Mt Sunday (cliffs on the left), with Mt Potts on the right.


    rangitata_valley.
    The view of the Rangitata Valley (looking back towards Christchurch) from half way up.


    PC270120.JPG
    My fiancée grabbed a shot of me climbing up - I'm last up from taking photos :tongue:.


    harper_range.
    Stop for a breather and a shot at the top.


    PC270131.JPG
    My friends admiring the view at the top.


    rangitata_heads.
    And this is the view they were admiring, looking towards the Southern Alps (mostly obscured by clouds) and the source of the rivers in this valley.


    PC270139.JPG
    There was a guided tour up there as well - saw a few Canon/Nikon/Sony DSLR/DSLMs, this girl was using an iPhone.


    mt_sunday_rocks.
    An interesting collection of rocks, looks like a place for a fire?


    PC270151.JPG
    Time to go, it was starting to get extremely windy and cold up there!
     
    • Like Like x 17
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    As far as gear goes... It was drizzling on and off all day and very windy up there, so I just left the O12-50 on the E-M5 the whole time. The panoramas were stitched using Microsoft ICE.
     
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Where are the hobbits?
     
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Great set, you captured some terrific cloud formations. :cool:
     
  5. wanderenvy

    wanderenvy Mu-43 Regular

    153
    May 11, 2012
    Beautiful country side and nicely captured. My mind subconsciously started filling in the haunting music from LOTR .. Makes me want to drop everything and fly over in search of a middle earth settlement ...
     
  6. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    328
    Jun 10, 2013
    Dublin, Ireland
    great photos of a beautiful location! Thanks for sharing, looks like you had a wonderful day! (in spite of the mediocre weather :) )

    I particularly like "Another random little stream.". :smile:
     
  7. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hobbits live in Matamata, didn't you know? :tongue:
     
  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Thanks for sharing some nice images. I'd love to make a photo trip to New Zealand one of these days!

    Love the "random little stream" and the "girl using the iphone" shots most out of the whole set...
     
  9. akkers

    akkers Mu-43 Regular

    29
    May 25, 2012
    I would have freaked out a bit being there thinking a hoard of orcs would attack us any minute!

    Lovely photo!
     
  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Good set! I would love to revisit the south island of NZ with my m43 gear (went about 8 years ago with compact p&s)
     
  11. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    733
    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Robert
    Excellent set. Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Dec 13, 2012
    Iowa
    Jared
    Great set. I too really like the Another random little stream one and At the base of Mt. Sunday.
     
  13. danimal

    danimal Mu-43 Supporter

    193
    Dec 31, 2012
    Oakland, California
    Dan
    Excellent set for bringing back memories. I went up there in the winter of 2007 and it was a blast. Of course more fun was heli boarding at Mt. Potts the next day :)

    Thanks for sharing!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sounds epic!