Chris Tham's Travel Diary - 11-22 April 2004

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18 April 2004

Day 7 (Sun 18 April) Twizel to Cromwell

We started the day early at sunrise leaving Twizel for the Pelennor Fields (in reality part of Ben Ohau Station). We then passed through Omarama and Lindis Pass and stopped by at a pine forest where the Flight to the Ford was filmed. In the afternoon we visited Bonspiel Station, where a number of the Rohan scenes were filmed.

Ben Ohau Station (Pelennor Fields)

This is a view of Mt. Cook (Aoraki) .

[Tip: clicking on the image allows you to view it in Live Spaces and download it in high resolution (1280x800)]

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The Pelennor Fields is located on private land forming part of Ben Ohau Station on the outskirts of Twizel.

"And now the fighting waxed furious on the fields of the Pelennor; and the din or arms rose upon high, with the crying of men and the neighing of horses." (LOTR, Book V, Chapter VI, page 879)

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Simon Cameron is the owner of Ben Ohau, as well as our guide.

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The road to nowhere, built specially for filming.

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Interesting plant on the roadside. Simon says that seeds that may lay dormant for many years often germinate whenever the soil is disturbed.

Another view of Mt. Cook.

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Omarama/Lindis Pass

After Pelennor Fields, a member of the "Fellowship" - Arian - leaves us. We then continued South on State Highway 80. We stopped at the small town of Omarama for morning tea. This is a rock garden with a bear visible through a window in the café.

Two Kiwi birds - "Lyn" and "Chris" - enjoying their hokey pokey ice cream.

Lindis Pass.

Flight to the Ford

The Flight of Arwen and Frodo to the ford was shot in a pine tree plantation off Maori Point Road just after Lindis Pass and near the small town of Tarras.

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Other views of the location of the Flight to the Ford.

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"In the late afternoon they came to a place where the Road went suddenly under the dark shadow of tall pine-trees, and then plunged into a deep cutting with steep moist walls of red stone." (LOTR, Book I, Chapter XII, page 228-9)

Alexandra

We stopped by at Alexandra for lunch and changed to a smaller bus to take us to Poolburn Reservoir.

Another picture of the bridge.

The town clock.

The town clock as seen from main street.

Bonspiel Station/Poolburn Reservoir (Various Rohan scenes)

We left Alexandra and travelled along SH 85 to the town of Ophir, and then Moa Creek before going along Dunstan Road to Poolburn Reservoir.

Keith Falconer greeted us at Bonspiel Station playing on his bagpipes!

This is the Falconer's dog Dottie.

This is the rock that Aragorn listened to for clues of the Orcs' trail through Rohan.

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"Aragorn sped on up the hill. Every now and again he bent to the ground." (LOTR, Book III, Chapter I, page 433)

Aragorn and Legolas stood on this rock looking at the horizon.

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"Following with his keen eyes the trail to the river, and then the river back towards the forest, Aragorn saw a shadow on the distant green, a dark swift-moving blur. He cast himself upon the ground, and listened again intently." (LOTR, Book III, Chapter II, page 450)

This is the canyon where the Orcs travelled through.

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Pippin drops the brooch ...

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... and Aragorn picks it up.

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"'Stay!'he shouted. 'Do not follow me yet!' He ran quickly to the right, away from the main trail; for he had seen footprints that went that way, branching off from the others, the marks of small unshod feet. These, however, did not go far before they were crossed by orc-prints, also coming out from the main trail behind and in front, and then they curved sharply back again and were lost in the trampling. At the furthest point Aragorn stooped and picked up something from the grass; then he ran back.

'Yes,' he said, 'they arre quite plain: a hobbit's footprints. Pippin's, I think. He is smaller than the other. And look at this! He held up a thing that glittered in the sunlight. It looked like the new-opened leaf of a beech-tree, fair and strange in that treeless plain.

'The brooch of an elven-cloak!' cried Legolas and Gimli together." (LOTR, Book III, Chapter II, page 444)

Legolas: Come Gimli! We're gaining on them!

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Gimli: I'm wasted on cross-country. We dwarves are natural sprinters. Very dangerous over short distances.

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This is the remains of a Rohan village hut that got burnt down.

This is the scene of the Village of Rohan that got burnt down by Orcs.

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The "Village of Rohan" today. A fishing competition is currently in progress.

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A "tor" (rock formation) shaped like the head of a rabbit.

The scene where Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are surrounded by the Rohan riders.

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Original stone cottage built by early goldminers on Bonspiel Station.

Another miner's stone cottage.

Kristine playing the theme song from Lord Of The Rings at the Old Moa Creek Pub.

Clyde

Our bus driver (John) lives in the town of Clyde, between Cromwell and Alexandra.

The dam at Clyde.

View of Clyde from the dam.

We stayed at the Golden Gate Lodge at Cromwell.

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