Tuesday, March 12, 2002
There and back again – a journey to middle earth XI - Xoanon @ 20:47 PST
I thought I would share with theonering.net my experience on the Red Carpet Movie Tour’s LOTR ultimate fantasy 12-day tour (http://www.redcarpet-tours.com). I’m on a small VIP tour of travel agents. I’ll send in updates as time and connectivity permit. This is the eleventh installment.

Feb 28th

Today we spent the morning on a rafting excursion with extreme green rafting in Queenstown. We started off early, arriving at their office for an 8 o’clock bus. We were driven to ‘the barn,’ where we changed into wet suits, life jackets and helmets, and then hoped back on a bus to be taken to the Kawerau River. We took a shortened trip on the river – one that only goes down one set of rapids, past the Gates of Argonath (sans the statues of course) and stops at the bungee bridge. Our guide, Irish, was the best, and very amiable when we threatened to dress him up like a hobbit for future tour groups! Unfortunately, since this was a rafting trip, I did not bring my camera with me, and so I don’t have any pictures of the river – there was no doubt that we were seeing the Gates though, even without the statues.

We spent the afternoon heading back to Christchurch, back through the Kawerau Gorge, Lindis pass and the spectacular countryside. It is totally understandable that the cast of LOTR has grown so fond of this country, it has an unspoiled beauty that brings peace. Our trip is pretty much done at this point, just an early flight back to Auckland, where we will fine-tune the tour for all of you to come on!

Tomorrow – back to Auckland and a final wrap up.