Fly like Gwaihir on your own Middle-earth adventure!

A scenic flight around the Southern Alps is an experience that comes highly recommended and is sure to be a highlight of any Middle Earth New Zealand tour.

Greenstone Valley (Dunharrow)

Flying along the edge of Lake Wakatipu, on the lake’s western shore, you will see the mouth of the Greenstone Valley where the Greenstone River enters Lake Wakatipu. This area was used as Dunharrow in the LOTR movies and was a refuge of the Rohirrim in the White Mountains, near the entrance to the Paths of the Dead.
This area is very popular with hikers walking the Caples and Greenstone tracks and with fisherman who fish in the rivers which run through these valleys.

Dart Valley and Mt Earnslaw (Isengard / Paradise / Lothlorien, Amon Hen, Fangorn Forest)

In the bush at Paradise is also another location where they filmed the final battle sequence. The Dart River Valley was the site of the Wizard’s Vale and the Tower of Orthanc.  Alps in background were used for the Lighting of the Beacons, with Mt Earnslaw representing approach to the Misty Mountains.

This area has some excellent walking opportunities to Diamond Lake, Lake Sylvan or for the more adventurous, Mount Alfred. The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is spectacular and takes around 45 minutes each way. Another excellent way to explore this area is with Dart River Wilderness Jet boat.

Earnslaw Burn

Earnslaw Burn is considered by some to be one of the most beautiful valleys in New Zealand. At the head of the valley we have the peak of Mount Earnslaw (Pikirakatahi) which is at an altitude of 2,819m (approx. 9250 ft).

Skippers Canyon (Ford of Bruinen)

It was here that the flood washed away the Black Riders whilst they were pursuing Arwen.
Skippers Canyon is a historic and scenic gorge which is around 22km long. Gold was first discovered here is 1862 which was brought many early Europeans to the area. The Shotover River was once known as “The Richest River in the World” however as no official records were ever kept, this will never be known for certain. There are stories of early prospectors finding as much as 300oz (close to 8.5kg) in a day so there were riches to be had!

To see more of Skippers Canyon, Nomad’s Safaris operate 4WD tours and Skippers Jet operates a Jet boat in the area.

Experience Lord of the Rings & Glacier Flight 107 with Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters who provided the aerial film work for The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit triologies. Other aerial film credits include Vertical Limit, Narnia, King Kong, Narnia, Disney's Pete's Dragon & much more!

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