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Published: October 16th 2014
October 1 – We left Dunedin and headed out for Central Otago today. Within a short time we were surrounded by large, green, rolling hills. David was scouting for photo-taking opportunities when we came upon a sea of schist rocks (shale-looking rocks that split easily) near Middlemarch. We stopped and Brian told us this was where the scene of Radagast the Brown Wizard and his giant Rhosgobel Rabbits pulling the sleigh in the Lord of the Rings was filmed. I have tried to confirm this, however, it seems that there is much written about the rabbits, but little about where it was filmed. (There were lots of rabbits in the area, but I don’t think any of them were Rhosgobel Rabbits!) I did find, the Rohan village of Rohirrim was filmed close to another place we passed by near Poolburn.
We stopped briefly at Omakau which has the record for the warmest and coldest temperatures in New Zealand. There were also some interesting heritage buildings. I took photos of the post office and police station.
We arrived for lunch at Brian’s sister, Helen, and her husband, Steve’s home in Alexandra. The home sits high on a hill and overlooks
a beautiful valley and the Clutha River. There’s even a working clock on the side of the cliff! They recently purchased this home, so with the arrival of spring, they were discovering what was coming up in their garden. However, they are careful where they step as there is a sharp drop-off that was created when a former landowner in the property below them decided to chop off a slice of their property. There were some legal wranglings at the time; however, there was no putting the land back. So, Steve and Helen are planning to put up some railings for safety. We had a great time visiting and would have liked more, but we were expected for dinner at our next stop. (There was never a shortage of food during this trip!)
Our final stop for the day was Larch Hill Bed & Breakfast in Queenstown. This was a real treat as Chris and Lesley are long-time friends of Brian and Diane’s. We had a beautiful room overlooking Lake Wakatipu that was framed by the stunning Remarkable Mountains. (What a great name – The Remarkables – it’s exactly what they are!) Dinner in the evening was
just a delight! Chris and Lesley have been running the B&B for eight years. This, along with living in a number of places around the world means they have some great stories. And, Chris’ incredible wit kept us all in stitches!
David stayed up late and got up early just to get some shots from the deck of this lovely B&B. And, with a little help, we finally saw the Southern Cross. (Does this mean we are no longer strangers, or we are starting to 'see' this new world in a different light?) If we’re ever this way again, I will definitely stay longer than one night!
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