Elves and skis - New Zeland

Milford Sound Milford Sound Creative Common BY

Peter Jackson chose a beautiful country as a setting of his movies. A country, where there’s 13 sheep for one man, and spring water is as clear as anywhere else in the world.

The end of 2014 was a time of halflings, longbeard dwarves and slender elves. It was a time when the Polish cinemas screened the last part of "The Hobbit" ("Battle of Five Armies"). Fans of the saga of the world created by Tolkien can once again admire the scenery well known to the people of New Zealand.

New Zealand in the eyes of Tolkien

The island nation lent Peter Jackson its scenery both for "The Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings." The writer placed Rivendell, magical homeland of elves in Kaitoke Regional Park, located on the North Island (one of the two main islands of the country). There are also dark, ominous and lonely spaces of Mordor and Lonely Mountain – the director found them in the Tongariro National Park, the fourth oldest park in the world, with three active volcanoes.

On the South Island stretches the longest mountain range of Middle-earth, Misty Mountains in Tolkien’s world but in reality the Cook Mountain National Park. Its name comes from the highest mountain in New Zealand, which is a part of the range. Like Tongariro, the park is included on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Fans of the saga will also recognize the landscapes of Milford Sound, one of the biggest tourist attractions of the South Island. The region, which is inhabited by forest elves in the works of Tolkien is full of magic. Forests are cut by numerous waterfalls that look like silver hair. Many of them flow down from a great height and water splashing creates beautiful rainbows.

The country of the Long White Cloud

Natives of New Zealand, Maori, called her the country of the Long White Cloud (Aotearoa). It’s easy to understand why, when looking at the white streaks over the peaks of the Southern Alps. Maori people are the descendants of the Polynesian clan who, according to the legend, arrived on the island on seven sailboats. Their traditional dance is called the hook and was made famous by the New Zealand rugby players, thus so many people associate the country with it.

The island state is also known for the purest spring water in the world and the number of sheep per one inhabitant - almost 13. These cute animals had dominated the landscape of New Zealand to the point that most of the roads are fenced, so that people cannot enter the meadows and pastures, and therefore, disrupt their peace.

New Zealand has much to offer for those, who want to make the most of every moment. Water sports enthusiasts can spend time sailing, water skiing, they can also enjoy parasailing, surfing and windsurfing. Lovers of adrenaline can choose between mountain rafting and sea kayaking, bungee jumping and jumping with the delayed opening of the parachute. The palette of entertainment also includes zorbing.

With motorhome around New Zealand

For holidays in New Zealand it’s best to devote a minimum of two weeks, be that as it may, we're going to the other hemisphere. On place we can rent a motorhome - eg. In the United Campervans or Apollo Motorhome Holidays. It’s worth to follow promotions. Tourists, who wish to spend their holidays actively, can stay in Whakapapa Village. It’s located on the South Island, on the west side of an active volcano, Mount Ruapehu. Here you can pitch a tent or park your motorhome (adults - 19$/day, children - 11$/day).

The pearl of the village is Chateau Tongariro, built in 1929. Whakapapa Village is frequently visited by skiers, because its close distance to the lands of Whakapapa (over 30 slopes). The winter season lasts from July to September and during this time you can use special ski buses. There you will find ski schools, equipment rentals, cafes and a variety of entertainment for kids. In turn, in the summer visitors can visit the Tongariro National Park, do canoeing and rafting.

Beautiful, intact, with lush vegetation, countless streams and waterfalls, New Zealand delights. Its only downside is that it is very far from Europe.

Translation: Karolina Strzałkowska

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