White Water Rafting Kawarau River Queenstown New Zealand

White Water Rafting on the Kawarau River and one of the movie sets for ‘Lord of the Rings’

White Water Rafting Kawerau

Me sitting front right ‘Screaming’

Many years ago I worked for a tour a tourist information center, part of my job was to travel in New Zealand. I traveled by bus with a group for a week around the South Island.

One of the activities was White Water Rafting, in Queenstown. It sounded quite scary but decided to give it a go as I had already declined the bungy jumping.

There are 6 grades for white water rafting, we did grade 1, for 1 hour, a small part of the Kawerau River. I was the last person to get on the raft this was a big mistake as there was only a seat left at the front of the raft.  When the boat goes over a rapid it creates a wave, so sitting at the front you get the full impact of the water hitting you in the face.

I was terrified of falling into the river and held on tightly to the ropes.  The raft did not flip and no-one went overboard.

Although it was scary I am pleased I did it, definitely a adrenaline activity!

White Water Rafting Kawerau River Queenstown

 

Pillars of the Kings, Kawarau River, South Island

Kawarau River starred as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, so it’s like paddling through Middle Earth.

The Argonath or Pillars of the Kings scene was shot just 100 meters upstream of Kawarau bridge. The Pillars themselves were computer-generated

LORD OF THE RINGS

LORD OF THE RINGS GATE


Visiting Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

I visited Milford Sound about 25 years ago.   We were going to fly one way from Queenstown and bus back, but unfortunately we couldn’t fly because of the weather.  So it was a long day busing both ways, it took about four hours each way from Queenstown.  The scenery is amazing as you mostly drive through rain forest.

We took a boat ride for two hours. It was a misty day with light rain, but created an eerie atmosphere.

The fiord remained undiscovered by Europeans until Captain John Grono discovered it c.1812 and named it Milford Haven after his homeland in Wales. Captain John Lort Stokes later renamed Milford Haven as Milford Sound.

FAIRY FALLS MILFORD SOUND

Maori Myths

The Māori named the sound Piopiotahi after the thrush-like piopio bird, now extinct. Piopiotahi means “a single piopio”, harking back to the legend of Māui trying to win immortality for mankind – when Maui died in the attempt, a piopio was said to have flown here in mourning.

Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand MILFORD SOUND SYLVIA 3 Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand Milford Sound Milford Sound, South Island, New Zealand

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixelsdumonde/