Visitors to the South island alpine resort town of Queenstown can now enjoy a slice of Middle-earth with newly launched luxury tour of some of the most dramatic locations to be seen in the Sir Peter Jackson directed "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
With exclusive access to the waterfall filled, snow-capped Earnslaw Burn area, Queenstown helicopter operators Heliworks and luxury private guiding company Alpine Adventures have joined forces to unleash the Middle-earth Waterfalls heli-hike. The heli-hike offers access to one of the filming locations featured in the first installment of The Hobbit Trilogy.
Tolkien fans can now visit the fantasy world of 'Anduin Valley', filmed at Earnslaw Burn, with the help of Heliworks and their pilots - who have intimate knowledge of the area after they were drafted in by Sir Peter Jackson to film aerial shots for the movie, as well as carry cast and crew.
It was the Queenstown area and the dramatic alpine valley of Earnslaw Burn that captured the imagination of the The Hobbit Trilogy cast.
James Nesbitt, Bofur the dwarf, The Hobbit said, "You know when we all went to Queenstown Iíd never been there before and it was just astonishing - I mean a beautiful jewel, really, at the bottom of the world."
The Earnslaw Burn is one of Heliworks most popular scenic flight destinations but the new collaboration will put a more exclusive spin on the trip.
The farmís stark beautiful landscape was chosen as a key location for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and it was there that Peter Jackson and his crew spent 14 months building and filming the elaborate set of 'Edoras', the fortress of the people of Rohan, which continues to draw Lord of the Rings fans more than a decade on.
Mark Dewsbery, owner and head guide, Alpine Adventures said, "Weíve had thousands of Lord of the Rings fans come through the farm over the years so Iím no longer surprised by the lengths these guys will go to in pursuit of anything and everything to do with Hobbits."
"My clients are looking for an adventure they canít do on their own, that takes them to those untouched places and are a little hard to get to. They want to see our incredible country in a way thatís memorable and also very authentic," he added.