New Zealand is known as the land of the Kiwis (the people, the bird, the fruit) and Aotearoa – Land of the Long White Cloud. I have done more research but have not found a sobriquet for one of it most striking characteristics, so I am taking the liberty of assigning it the title of this post. Why?
I have visited many woodlands and forests across the world but there is definitely an anticipatory feel to the New Zealand forestation that at any moment there will be sightings of dwarves, fairies, elves and of course hobbits.
I say of course for the most wondrous series of Peter Jackson films that so perfectly brought to life the Middle-Earth land of J.R.R.Tolkien’s books:
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Peter Jackson is a Kiwi and it was kismet that his homeland was the perfect place to film – from “Hobbiton:”
To the “Misty Mountains of Mordor:”
To “Mount Doom:”
Other than Hobbiton, no film sets remain but they are honestly not needed – all you need to do is hike in some of the most mystical woodlands to immediately feel you are in another, charmed world.
Come walk with me:
This is not a barrier or marker – it is actually a fallen tree. This different perspective illustrates the enormous height of the tree.
Mushrooms sprout everywhere in a myriad of shapes, sizes and colors – I imagined their use by the sprites living in the woodland:
Literal “toad stools” for sitting:
Deep within these forests it is easy to imagine:
Treebeard and the Ents: