Arrowtown, New Zealand

Weather: high of about 60ºF, low of about 50ºF and cloudy.

We drive south from Wanaka to Arrowtown, about a two-hour drive.  Arrowtown turns out to be a fairly quiet, small town that reminds us of Elsah, Illinois, except with a lot more restaurants.  Based in Arrowtown, we have easy access to Queenstown where we spend a full day with the only organized tourist activity we could find in New Zealand that caters to the Lord of the Rings nerd.  The tour is by Range Rover to filming sites around Queenstown, including scenes from Orthanc, Lothlorien, the road to Mordor, the ford of Bruinen, and the river with the two giant statues of Gondor kings.  Leaving Arrowtown, I forget to pack my second electrical adapter.  I'm leaving a trail of these across New Zealand.  Then we drive further south toward fiordland in heavy rain with warnings of snow.

In Arrowtown there is a loop walk around a section of the Arrow river.  This was gold rush territory and feels a lot like northern California.
This mountain range, visible from Queenstown is the Remarkables.  Julie mistakenly called them Incredible.  Hah.  Shows what she knows.
The freakishness of this scenery doesn't come through in any of my pictures of the "Road to Mordor" landscapes.  But it is quite unlike anything I've ever seen before.
Can you recognize the speck on the precipice?  That's us trying to stay standing in gale force gusts without slipping on all the sheep poop.
It would be easier to estimate how many pictures I took of the Remarkables if I had a regular film camera.  I could say something like: I shot 3 whole rolls just of these mountains.  But no, all I can say is something like: I shot 3 gigabytes just of these mountains.  Doesn't quite sound the same.

How to contact us: