I’VE been travelling around New Zealand these past two weeks with my daughters, making the trek from one end to the other. It’s their first overseas trip, and first time to New Zealand for us all. There was a few reasons for going there; first there was the desire to check an item off the old bucket list, as you tend to want to do after you hit the big four-o. Sharing a big adventure with my girls, was a memory I really wanted them to have. Then there was the geek factor, we decided to find The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit filming locations. About two days into our journey, I realised that about 80 per cent of New Zealand’s roads resembled goat tracks. And every second vehicle I came across was a camper van that was almost always being driven on the wrong side of the road, by lost German tourists also embarking on their own once in a life time adventure.
After a serious discussion with the navman about avoiding the roads less travelled, because I’m fairly sure there are rules about taking the rental car on dirt roads, we settled in for what turned out to be the most spectacular road trip I’ve had to date. Albeit a somewhat hair raising one, given the mammoth landslides we encountered on the South Island. Armco safety railings are apparently for wusses in New Zealand. First big stop was at the Shire, and we got a taste of just how big The Lord of the Rings movies are in New Zealand. Every tour guide we met at different places had been in the movies in some way. They even have a Minister for The Lord of the Rings, if director Peter Jackson needs something he has a direct line to call, as one would expect if they are singlehandedly responsible for saving a nations economy… Read the whole story here.
The above is an excerpt from my column that you can find at the Goulburn Post.