Day 16 Panning for Gold with Nazgul

Half a free day today. Well for everyone else. I got picked up by Nomad safaris at 8.30am and headed out into the LOTR mountains and bush. First stop The remarkables mountain range, or for us the Misty Mountains. (The mountains were named The Remarkables by Alexander Garvie in 1857-58, allegedly because they are one of only two mountain ranges in the world which run directly north to south) After taking pictures of the stunning views and relating some film scenes to the surrounding area  headed of to Kawaru river. Paul our guide had loads of stories about filming and had loads of jokes about aussies lol. The van was a Land rover defender with a number plate Smaugs. So i should have seen what was coming.  After looking down on the bungy jumping bridge from very high we saw the Spot that the scenes from Amon hen where filmed, minus statues. Then onto Arrowtown and the gold river. As Paul said all roads are  2 lane national highways with max speed of 100km per hour. You got to be kidding…after the water went over the bonnet I was getting worried lol. Stopped and saw where they filmed the Nazgul river scene…apparently they took all the stones from the river and laid down a rubber mat so the horses could run, then put all the stones back….phew. Then we panned for gold.











So Ive got to come home as I didn’t find any. (only dust). After another jaw breaking run down the stream we headed out to skipper pass another of those national Roads lol. Sheer cliff one side and straight down the other. This is where the miners used to bring in there mules and kit, all 50000 of them. The Road took 9 years to build and by the time they finished it the Gold rush was over. Back to Queenstown and the bus. Thanks Nomad, great tour, love the number plates!!












Back to the bus and off to Wanaka. Stopped off for a beer at The grubbiest looking hotel in the west but inside was a lovely bar. reminded me of an English fine dinning bar. Beers where on Ron…Cheers.

Into Wanaka and booked in, then off to dinner at a local house. Well mansion I should say. Thanks for a loverly dinner guys. gonna get some of those sweet potatoes or rather kumara, for sure. Bed time thank God!!!



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