Day 9 – Edoras (Mount Sunday)

For lord and land!

It was raining this morning in Christchurch, which was a little worrying for our trip today, but we remained optimistic.

We drove a few hours, heading inland towards Edoras, with a couple of rest stops along the way. The landscape changed as we journeyed in; mountains began to show, brown fields covered the surrounding hills, looking more and more like Rohan. The weather had cleared up too once we headed inland, and now the Sun was out and shining, with blue skies and white fluffy clouds scattered across them.

We picked up Gandalf (our guide) on the way, and kept driving as he told us about his experience as an extra and some stories from the shoot.

Soon enough, we were driving through the fields of Rohan on a dusty gravel road, snow-capped mountains all around us, and the relatively small hill of Edoras (Mount Sunday) in the centre, growing larger and larger as we approached.

A few hundred metres out, we parked the coach and began our hike on foot to the base of the mountain. There were a few small wet areas, but most of the little rivers had foot bridges for us to use for crossing. We made our way across the plains, in awe with each step at the incredible, natural scenery all around us. It is something quite incredible to experience first-hand – a rare beauty, stretched as far as the eye can see. The only sounds are the few birds and cows, and the soft running of water from the rivers. It was peaceful; serene. I don’t quite know how to properly convey the feeling, but here’s some photos.

We continued up the steep mountain, pausing to wait for the group to catch up, and hearing bits of information about where each thing was shot.

Eager to reach the top, we went on ahead and saw the incredible 360 degree views. Many photos were taken, much joy was had. There were so many different directions, angles, and landscapes to choose from; I could’ve spent the whole day up there finding new photos.

We took a nice group shot, followed by some cosplay photos individually.

Fortunately there were hardly any people around, and we had plenty of time to explore, take photos, and just enjoy the view. Plus the weather was perfect, with only a slight comfortable breeze, even at the top.

And a special shout-out to Barb, who soldiered all the way to the top and back again, smiling the whole time.

When it was time to leave, we reluctantly walked back to the coach, enjoying the view once last time, before boarding and beginning our drive on towards the small town of Twizel, our next hotel location.

We did make one (very) quick stop at Lake Tekapo for brief photos, though we were behind schedule so had to hurry along. I very hurriedly grabbed these few, which I initially planned on stitching together to form a panorama, but it’s late and I need to sleep, so you can just imagine it 🙂

We also drove past Lake Pukaki, which looked incredible, but no chance to stop today unfortunately. We do return there tomorrow though, and spend a few hours there, so hopefully the weather is as perfect as it was today, and I can get some amazing shots there too.

We finished the evening with a visit from a seamstress who makes cloaks (among other things), and a buffet dinner as a group, which was delicious and filling. Barb bought everyone a drink too by the way. We don’t deserve her.