New Zealand: Lord of the Rings and me-time

30 August 2014

The area surrounding Queenstown are great locations for movies such as X-Men, Wolverine, Narnia and of course – Lord of the Rings (LOTR). I spent the day visiting some of the locations where Peter Jackson filmed LOTR.

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Group photo of the four LOTR warriors

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This used to be a popular site for gold panning

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National Park

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National Park

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The 45 -minute drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is often stated as one of the world’s Top 10 Scenic drives. It follows the edge of Lake Wakatipu and passes through many forests, walking trails, lakes as well as the Pig and Pigeon Island. Glenorchy sits on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and is often known as the “Gateway to Paradise”.  It is also the starting point for the Routeburn Track , known as one of the Top 10 hikes in the world.

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A very small town with a shop or two

We drove through Mt Aspiring National Park where farmland became beech forests and eventually arrived in Paradise, which is 20 km from Glenorchy. The concept of paradise, like happiness, is abstract. It’s all in your head and heart. Everyone’s interpretation is different. I always admire those who have found true happiness and know what paradise is for them. I’m still looking for it. Therefore, while Bob and Linda were delighted to see Paradise and marvelled at the beauty of the neat place, to me, it’s just a paddock.  There are lots of sheep and the place is surrounded by mountain slopes and nature. If you plan to visit Glenorchy ( highly recommend), then you will definitely pass Paradise.

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Yep- this is Paradise

The rest of my New Zealand trip was spent around Queenstown- taking in some last scenery before Australia.  You always meet the greatest people through the most fantastic ways when you are out of the usual comfort zone. While walking around Queenstown, I met Rina, a lovely adventurous girl from Osaka, Japan and we spent the rest of the day making our way to Te Tapunui. We want to have a panoramic view of the Queenstown area so after the 1.5 km walk and the 500 metre climb, we saw just that. I have a feeling I’ll see Rina again since I have every intention to visit her home country and the Kansai Region this year.

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Rina
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How many more “Me-time” will I have?

I went on the LOTR trip with Nomad Safaris –  http://www.nomadsafaris.co.nz

Bits n pieces learnt from the NZ trip ( Thank you Paul for your answers)

Challenges

  • Trade and economic rivalry with other countries in particular Australia and how to remain stable in the midst of international recession
  • The size of the country will affect how NZ makes it in the world
  • The balance between the locals and the oversea buyers making investments and snatching up properties in NZ (housing prices are pushed up)
  • Manage natural resources to ensure that it is sustainable (act locally and think globally)
  • Ensure that the main pillars of the country’s economy (agriculture in particular dairy products, mutton, wool), tourism and IT are well maintained.

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