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I have to apologize (to the small and select group of people who have so far subscribed to this blog) for taking a lengthy break: I do intend to continue! Indeed, I have a backlog of nearly a decade of photos to work my way through … so I won’t run out of topics any time soon.
I had to move my website to a different server, though, which has been a bit of a hassle, so I haven’t gotten around to updating it with new photo galleries in a little while. I won’t be able to keep up the pace of once a week in the near future, either, but for now, will do a blog post once a month, until perhaps one day my workload will look a bit smaller! :Yeah right… :
The location where the sets for “Rivendell”, in Peter Jackson’s film version of “Lord of the Rings”, were built, is not far from my home – Kaitoke Regional Park, nestled into the Rimutaka hills, which I have to cross on my way to Wellington. The park can be reached via Waterworks Road, off State Highway 2. The location is signposted, a small area next to the river, a 1 minute stroll from the parking space.
I used to visit the park quite regularly while I lived in Wellington, but now that I live in the country, there has been no need to get out of the city, so I hadn’t been there in a little while when, one sunny day last May, I decided on a spur to go on a photo shoot and get some new images for next year’s edition of my Middle Earth New Zealand calendar.
Given that Rivendell will undoubtedly appear again in “The Hobbit”, I was curious to see if the same location was going to be used again to build the sets. But I could discover no traces of recent film shoots. The area had been planted up after the devastation wrought by the film crews: this is now quite a few years ago, and by now the area is pleasantly overgrown, and showed no signs of having been recently disturbed.
The only change I noted is a little platform by the steep drop down to the river on one side of the former filming area, which is where the main set building had stood. There is a very remarkable old twisted tree root there: I am pretty sure I have spotted it in the movie! One or two of the tree trunks look a bit familiar, too.
Continuing to walk from the film set area, I followed a walk looping back to the parking lot, through some gorgeous ancient rimu forest – it was going toward sundown, and the play of the tree shadows and the evening sun on the mountainside was well worth a few shots!