‘Not all those who wander are lost.’
After months of planning – Lord of the Rings Tours, the ferry/train trip from the North to the South Island and the accommodation- I was ready for a new and exciting adventure. I haven’t done a trip like this in six years and, coincidentally, my last one was a month-long journey around the north island in New Zealand.
Like many before me, I first realized this country’s beauty while watching Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Sir Ian McKellen once said:” Middle Earth is a real place and it’s New Zealand.” I couldn’t agree more. As you travel throughout both islands you cannot help but wonder if you are in a real place or in a magical and mystic land where heroes are made, fantastic creatures inhabit hidden caves and where dragons are created. In fact, if you happen to read Tolkien’s lengthy descriptions of Middle Earth he seems to be talking about New Zealand’s natural beauty.
There is nothing like New Zealand. I traveled a lot in the past five years and, though I found myself amazed and in awe at the landscapes in front of me, whenever I go back there I feel at peace. I feel free. New Zealand has put a spell on me and I know how: the enchanting Maori traditions, the wilderness, its friendly people…
So here I was, looking for an adventure into the lands of Middle Earth armed only with a small copy of its creator’s text….