My Best NZ Picture: Taken where Lord of the Rings was shot……

My Best NZ Picture: Taken where Lord of the Rings was shot……

Lying at the border of Mount Aspiring National Park and Fiordland National Park and the convergence of two major rivers in New Zealand (Dart and Rees), Glenorchy is perhaps one of the most accessible, scenic locations in all of New Zealand. The town is just 45 km from the popular resort town of Queenstown and is the starting point for the Routeburn Track (one of the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand). Perhaps the town is most well known for being the set of Isengard, Lothlorien, and Amon Hen in the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Many companies in the Otago region will sell you a tour of the region for around 200 NZD, but the easiest and best way to experience it is to drive there on your own of course. But you really don’t need to partake in them to recognize the mountain range surrounding Isengard as the same as the one in Glenorchy:

a tower in a desert

The road to Glenorchy itself is one of the most beautiful drives in the New Zealand and that’s saying a lot given that New Zealand is no doubt considered to be one of the planet’s most beautiful places. Every turn brings with it more magnificent views of the Southern Alps towering over Lake Wakatipu. I’ve covered this drive before extensively so you can read about it on my post from my first trip to New Zealand. 

This time, my cousin and I set out to hike the famous Routeburn Track and ended up photographing the area around Isengard instead. The adventure can be seen here:

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The result of this detour happens to be one of my favorite images of New Zealand that I have ever captured. The image below was taken just after sunset at the convergence of the Dart River with Lake Wakatipu. The beautiful after glow of the sun melded with the turquoise colored waters of Lake Wakatipu, just makes this soothing to the eye in my opinion. Let me know what you guys think down in the comments below. 

a river with rocks in it

If you happen to be interested in getting a limited edition, signed print of this image, you can do so at I will only print 10 of these (2 have already been sold).

After editing this video and this image, I feel quite nostalgic about my times in Middle Earth. I might just use some of my SkyPesos to go back there sometime next year for fall colors. I hope you enjoyed this brief side track from the world of points and miles. And when you visit New Zealand (especially Queenstown), don’t forget to go to Glenorchy and the river bed at the foot of the mountains.

PRO TIP: Make sure to spray yourself with that insect repellent in the summer though to rid yourself of a nuisance: sand flies. 

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