GOLLUMS FISHING POOLS

After visiting Erebor we were back on the road and heading for Gollums Fishing Pools. This was a massively underrated site, underrated by my. Alike to Erebor, it was one I had overlooked. But this is why I love Red Carpet Tours so much, they think of the things and the places that are easily forgotten.

We stopped at our location and all climbed out of the coach. We then walked down a little gravel path surrounded by trees and greenery, and came across a pool surrounded by rocks. It took a while for me to realise, but we were stood at the top of the water fall.

It was here that our awesome guide Julie got out her props bag and we re-enacted a scene or two. Brilliant! Now I must say, the acting at this particular location was impeccable. We had now reached day 3 of the tour and everyone was in full swing of relaxing and embracing their inner nerd. The initial awkwardness of getting to know one another had gone, we all had common ground which made for easy introductions, but now there was no holding back what so ever.

This allowed for some tremendous acts at various locations, and some amazing laughs and memories to be built. The friendships you make whilst travelling are really something else. This was no exception! I was surprised by this, given it is a group tour. I didn’t expect a group of people to gel so well. But, that the beauty of a Lord of The Rings Tour. More specifically, a Red Carpet Tour.

Again, the location provided epic photo opportunities and a peaceful surround to take uninterrupted shots. It fuelled my love of photography and I quickly became a very amateur photographer taking pictures of everything and anything! If theres one piece of useful advice I can give to anyone going travelling, it would be buy storage. The photos and videos are endless, and so the storage need also be endless!

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I’m a happy snapper anyway, but put me in a location like this, with the imagery of The Lord of The Rings scene and theres no hope. The views were magnificent! On many occasions throughout the tour I found it hard to believe that all of it was real. Theres a real sense of fullness that comes from exploring beautiful places like New Zealand. True soul food.

So after our acting and photo taking we ventured further down the path. The path itself felt very Lord of The Rings. I’m not joking when I say I spent a whole two weeks like an over excited child amped up on blue smarties. It felt like I could actually have been in Lord of The Rings or The Hobbit. New Zealand in general has a very Lord of The Rings, Middle Earth kind of feel. And it is the best feeling! Anyway, getting slightly distracted.

As we reached the end of the path we came to a look out. The look out was directed straight at the waterfall. We could see the top of the falls, right where we were just stood! That was pretty cool. If you look closely in the photo below you can see a person wearing pink – that would be the lookout. And where I’ve taken the photo is Gollums fishing pool.

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It was incredible to think Andy Serkis had been acting in that pool, in the cold, going all out to get the scene right. And man he did a good job! There’s no doubt this location had a Lord of The Rings charm, New Zealand is Middle Earth. Whether that means something to you or not, the beauty of New Zealand stole my heart and it will no doubt steal yours to!

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Theres so much to see and do. Its the land of extreme sports. If theres anything high enough to tie a bungee cord to, you can jump off of it in New Zealand. You can skii, power glide, boat trip, 4WD, rock climb, skydive, kayak, sand board, wind surf, the list goes on! I’ve already started to plan my return trip!

If you’ve not been before, Red Carpet Tours is a good place to start. You get to see real New Zealand, a mix of untouched beauty and classic tourist spots. It gives you the bug for New Zealand and truly captures the feel of the country.

This was actually one of my favourite locations by the end. I’m pretty sure I say that about all of them. But its so hard to choose! And this one really was breathtaking.

We also had a beautiful lunch stop. It felt like a location in itself. A cute roadside cafe with great food (they even custom made something for me that wasn’t on the menu), and the best bit, a farm at the back! They had alpacas which just made the day even more brilliant. The farm was surrounded with beautiful ponds, abundant in vibrant blooming flowers and all kinds of wildlife. This was a reoccurring theme throughout the tour.

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There was not one stop made that wasn’t special, and didn’t provide a perfect photo opportunity or heart melting, smile inducing memory. Even the ‘small’ stops were memorable. The food was always brilliant, the coffee was great – try a flat white and thank me later. New Zealanders know their coffee thats for sure. And ice cream! Theres not one place we stopped or visited that didn’t provide, and even exceed expectations. It really was a trip of a lifetime. Apart from I intend on doing over and over again!

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We finished our day with an arrival in Wellington, Wellywood, Windy Wellington. The many names of the lively city. Our stay for the next 3 nights would be The Amora Hotel, and our dining for this evening would be at a favourite of Viggo Mortensen’. The Green Parrot Cafe. An interesting and quirky place, with very generous portion sizes!

Id say this is a must visit place. The food was brilliant, reasonably priced, large portions and the interior design of the cafe was brilliant. An rough around the edges, old school, diner-ish, american kind of 70’s feel with an up beat, colourful quirkiness to it. The building has character and history. I liked it! Its somewhat of an iconic place in Wellington it would seem. Its a place where anyone can go for a well cooked and well priced meal, and feel comfortable and relaxed!

The artwork and decor is brilliant and the cafe itself feels like a tour location! Highly recommend a visit. Enter with an open mind and willingness to take in what it has to offer!

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