The top 3 Lord of the Rings film locations I wouldn’t want to miss in New Zealand would be: 1) The Hobbiton – check!, 2) Putangirua Pinnacles (The Paths of the Dead) – check!, and 3) Tongariro (Mordor) – still in my bucketlist.
The second on my list was accomplished just recently. It’s an hour and 45 minutes drive from Wellington and you would have to drive through the Rimutaka windy road.
Though these pinnacles were just shown briefly in LOTR, this was the setting for the Paths of the Dead, where Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas walked to wake the army of the dead in Return of the King.
When you arrive at the scenic reserve, you can follow one of the walking tracks along the riverbed. This is the easy track which would take about two hours return. There’s another track where you can take a hill walk to the Pinnacles lookout. Since we already came past midday, we opted for the easy one. 🙂
Be warned about falling rocks and water hazards. And make sure you have a good hiking footwear with you.
I’d love to go back and take the uphill walk to the lookout! I’d also like to see Cape Palliser lighthouse and seal colonies in the Palliser bay (and reward myself with some ice cream on the way back home).
Then the next one I’d probly see Mordor.