Every Lord of the rings fans dreams of seeing New Zeeland and where the magic took place. But if you managed to get to the Pacific Ocean, why not take advantage of the many more beautiful places, not only this island?
Haleakalā, the massive shield volcano in the Pacific
This time we change the location to the Hawaiian Islands, more exactly in Maui.
If you want to know just how big this crater really is then I will let Mark Twain answer your question: he said that London could fit perfectly in it.
You might say that London is a bigger city than it was when the author lived. However, we know that Manhattan Island could fit in it. Just some comparison that puts Haleakalā in perspective.
The same Mark Twain was struck by the beauty of it during dusk and I really recommend going then to see the most beautiful landscape.
The last volcanic eruption was in 1790 but it is believed that any day now it can hurl its lava again.
Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) Marine Reserve, New Zeeland or Middle-earth?
It is said that this location was Peter Jackson’s favorite spot for the movies. And if we look at them on a clear morning we can see why it was so easy for the viewers to feel like they are in another realm.
The two names are due to the people naming them: the local population named the mountains Piopiotahi meaning “one native thrush” (a bird that is now extinct but very prolific in Māori stories). The first European to reach this part named the mountains in honor of the city where he was born (Milford Sound).
I have two stories about how the mountains were formed: the first one tells about the ice that shaped them, but the Māori population says that it is a hull and a god permitted the humans to live on it. Because it was the first time doing this, it may look faulty, but not Piopiotahi which is his greatest work.
Another goddess did not want humans to live here so she sent some nasty insects here, so, be aware of them.
There are many secrets that you can find in Milford Sound, some of them being impressive waterfalls which will transport you to another realm.
Mount Tongariro, New Zeeland or Mordor?
The most northernmost active volcano from the North Island, this barren place sparked in Peter Jackson the image of Mordor. However, the tour guides are a lot friendlier and they will help you find all the key filming locations.
Even if at the first glance it looks like a barren land, the Ketetahi Springs brings an air of witching hour for the lovers of fantasy.
The three volcanoes are sacred for the Māori population, being the place where they bury their chiefs. However, the Europeans did not respect their mountains and in an attempt to protect them, one Māori chief donated them to the Government.
Don’t disrespect them because one story tells of a man trying to reach the top but the gods gave him freezing temperatures. Only when he prayed to them did they make the volcano erupt so he would not freeze to death.
Mount Waialeale, the wettest place on Earth near a volcano
To be honest, when you imagine the place of a previous volcanic eruption you think of the ash from Pompeii. However, Waialeale proves that this isn’t always the case.
You might recognize this place from a movie, no, this time is not Lord of the rings, but the 1976 King Kong.
From the clouds that hide the crater, the lush forest, and the inactive volcano, we can imagine that this is the best place for the terrible gorilla. And it is not the only movie shot here: Avatar and Jurassic Park are some of the most famous ones.