“So what’s today?” Everyone’s reply: “BEST DAY EVER!!!!!!” (for the 4th day in a row.) After heading out this morning, our first stop was Mount Victoria, where we could see a beautiful 360º view of the whole city! And Mike informed us that while at Weta yesterday, Evangeline Lilly had been upstairs. Wow, too late don’t you think? XD
Outer Shire ~ Shortcut to Mushrooms / “Get off the road!”
On our way down from Mount Victoria, we stopped by a forest to scout out some film locations on the outer Shire! The first spot was from the extended FOTR scene where Frodo’s sitting in the tree, Sam’s cooking, and they hear the wood-elves! Mike grabbed some pinecones on sticks to use as pipes, as we each took turns standing in as the Hobbits 😛 It was so fun. After that we went back to the path and ran into one of Mike’s buds who happened to play the Harad Leader Legolas kills on the fields of Pelennor! Haha so cool!! Next location was the “Shortcut to Mushrooms” scene 😉 So… I then proceeded to hang upside-down off a root at the edge of the cliff (acting as one of the hobbits at the end of the fall.) XD Then I stood in the middle of the path, while my companions “picked” mushrooms in the background, and acted out the “get off the road.. QUICK!” scene! 😀 I wish we could have straight scurried under that giant rooted tree where they hide from the Ringwraith, but unfortunately that wasn’t a real tree 😉 we knew that though. But, we did get to sit & take pictures in the spot they hide! That of course, was really fun too ^_^ After leaving the forest, we took a pit stop at along the Hutt River at Poet’s Corner, which was used for more bits of the River Anduin. Delicious milk & cookies time again!
Our next destination was Fernside in Greytown! Oh my goodness, it was seriously just wondrous here. One of the most beautiful places I have & will ever see — and it’s all someone’s private property! Haha I don’t mean to drag on, but it was like a fairy tale here, and impossible to continue to describe, so we’ll just have to go by photos. We met the cute puppy that lived here, Fergus. He’s so playful and loving, and followed us around. ^_^ Then we all walked over & had a peaceful little lunch in the grass *_* We were each provided with packed lunches, which included Sandwiches, an apple & banana, bread & butter, a brownie, cold chicken, cheese & crackers, and orange juice. It was wonderful! Then suddenly I had 2 brownies.. so I gave one to Arwen 😛
The next scene spot was Gladden Fields! This is where the ROTK opening sequence takes place. Sméagol & Déagol fishing, you know. So then I hung over the edge out of the water as Déagol after finding the Ring. XD Ohhh my goodness, the next 10 or so minutes were AWESOME. I got some sick, muddy, seducing One Ring photos IN THE SPOT theses scenes happened in the film! It’s just such a cool experience! Then Katie volunteered to be Déagol while I, as Sméagol, “strangled” her to death for the Precious. XD Lol.. so hilarious. And morbid. XD
Lastly, we came upon the bridge that was replaced in the film for Lothlórien scenes. It looks very different now/in real life than in the movie, as there are major differences, for instance the giant fake trees seen here. After that Arwen & I sprinted through an awesome field before leaving, and then went on our way.
Next stop, the Kaitoke Regional Park where Rivendell was set! As a public park, I wouldn’t say it was quite as tranquil as the private peaceful land of Fernside, but still oh so beautiful. Oh man, Mike brought us all elf accessories. He emerged wearing elf-ears, a cloak and weaponry, declaring, “the men’s bathroom is that way!” As we entered, there were little posts/signs about of film stuff. In one picture on a characters post, Sauron had EYES. O_O It looked so creepy… The only specific Rivendell scene I remember being pointed out was Frodo’s healing bed spot. And we each took photos wearing an elf getup next to the tree in this classic Legolas image. One last spot we covered was the river where the Two Towers Fords of Isen scene took place! It’s where Éomer recovers his cousin Théodred after the (not shown) Battle.
Next was a quick stop at Te Marua, where Faramir’s dream of Boromir in the water takes place. After that was Gemstone Drive. We took a little alley way behind people’s suburban houses to a river, and this is where Aragorn washes up after falling off the cliff during the Attack of the Wargs! (The spot he falls off is actually located somewhere on the South Island :P) We took some photos while laying in that spot, hahah, then got a surprise visit from some cute dogs!
On our way back to the coach, Katie & Elvish were whispering something and I noticed just before they both turned, grabbed me & threw me onto Katie’s back!! “WE’RE TAKING YOU TO ISENGARD!!” they yelled; LOL! Get it? Since I’m a hobbit… oh it was so great. XD Then they threw me in the bus. So yep, next destination: Isengard-gard-gard-g-g-gard-gard!
When we arrived, we were shown the trees you see when Gandalf rides up to Orthanc, and the pathway he takes can still slightly be seen in the grass! Then we re-enacted the conversation of the two wizards as they stroll through the Gardens of Isengard 😉 Suddenly we were all doing Gangnam style.. or, rather, Gandalf style. 😛 We ran down a hill, laid in the grass, and came upon a playground. What? Isengard has a playground? Hahaha!! So we played on the swings and the flying fox. These two little kiwi girls were surprised that we don’t have flying fox in America. And before we headed out, we all climbed a tree to make a little video “the trees are strong, Middle-earth Network! Their roots grow deep!” in which Scotty jumped in “we should rip them all down!!” Haha!!
After a pit stop at the hotel, we continued our journey to the Welsh Dragon pub, where a Middle-earth themed party was held! It was really cool to see so many people dressed up Middle-earth style! But we were tired, so left fairly soon and decided to track down The Green Parrot. This was Viggo’s favorite pub while he was in town. On our walk, we caught the last 20-ish minutes of Return of the King being displayed in the park. But once we arrived it was nice to get inside and eat some food — we were cold, tired, and hungry! I got a side of eggs & tomatoes for only $6! Arwen, Jen & I also shared a chocolate sundae. Sharing & sides are the way to go. XD Following dinner, we caught a glimpse of something cool… and just headed back to the hotel and got some rest. Oh, crazy night on the town…