Saturday, 4 December 2010

LOTR Isengard

Leaving the land of Ithilien you will shortly enter the village of Glenorchy.


Glenorchy is really small village. If you don't pay attention you will have left the village ere you noticed that you entered it. The few inhabitants mainly provide information and accommodation to the increasing number of hikers, film crews making new movies and location hunters seeking out the places these movies where made, passing their settlement.

That is because Glenorchy is the last settlement before entering a true paradise of tramping tracks through both Mt. Aspiring National Park and also Fjordland National Park. It is one of the the two ends of the Routeburn Track, which is the only direct connection with The Divide, resp. Milford Sound and Te Anau.

But because of the amazing beauty of the landscape here many film makers have discovered its value for movies hosting an abundance of nature. Thus apart from the Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Vertical Limit were also filmed in the vicinity of Glenorchy. Concerning Lord of the Rings we already read the Amon Hen and Ithilien were close by; now passing Glenorchy we reach a junction where turning to the left we will enter Isengard, and turning to the right will enter the forests of Lothlorien.


We turned right for Isengard. While Orthanc was computer generated CG (Computer Graphics), the landscape surrounding Orthanc is real and can be found when following the road being marked as leading to the beginning of the Routeburn Track. After crossing the Dart River you need to turn right and follow the road for another 2 km. Then you can see exactly the valley of the wizards (Nan Curunir) in which centre Isengard and Orthanc stood. If you compare the picture we made with one from Isengard in the movie, you can easily recognize the surrounding mountains, hills and trees. 


To get from Glenorchy to Lothlorien, you need to take the other path at the junction after Glenorchy. Then you need to follow a rough gravel road with many fords for 28 km. Alas the road is at some points crossed by streams and is therefore only accessibility by 4WD Jeeps and the like. Thus the road to Lothlorien was closed to us and we had to head back to Queenstown

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