NZ On The Web
The LOTR Movie Site
May 4, 2000
Trip to Mordor and Back
On Tuesday I travelled up to Mt Ruapehu and to the LOTR
First of all I went up toward the Rangipo Desert where I had
been told that there was a set being built a while ago. There was a Jamb Unit sign
pointing up at the New Zealand Army Base Head Quarters. Further down the road (about 5
mins) there was an entrance to an Army training area that had Jamb signs stuck in the
ground. There was a sign that said "1b 10km" so I took a few photos and went off
to check out the next site. I went off down there and saw some more Jamb signs and a tent
set up with vans and jeeps and truck trailers all around I got a photo of that. Then I
headed around to Mt Ruapehu. On the way I saw a truck drive past with tent poles and
canvas in the back of it. I went past the Chateau and went to the Info centre. The lady
there said that the LOTR filming up there had finished. I thought we should go try anmd
find out where exactly they were filming anyway. It was getting a bit late so we headed
off to find some where to stay. I ended up staying at a lodge place ten minutes from the
mountain. The owner there said that they had had a stunt crew staying there for 3 weeks
that had been working with LOTR and she said that there were still three of them there.
One of them had a Bedford Van and another of them had a jeep that had a flat tyre by the
looks of things.
Things were a bit quite for a while but at about 8:30pm the guy with the van started
packing his things into the van I spotted a security pass hanging around his neck, Anyway
he drove off.
In the morning we checked out and went up to the mountain. I spotted a few big containers
in the car park. I walked down to the rocks and started looking for where I thought that
the filming took place in. Soon I found an area up on a clearance up above the skifield
that had lots of footprints that had been made recently. As the ski season doesn't start
till July I thought that that would definately have something to do with LOTR so I looked
around. I saw bits of duct tape and cigarette buts and fresh apple cores. I also found
where a tripod had been because there were 3 dents in the ground in a triangle shape. and
also found a little part of a tripod.
Also I found a piece of ... guess what!! A piece of what appears to be Uruk-Hai armour. I
have a stange habit of finding stuff after filming has finished.
I'll send you a photo of it as soon as I can.
I keep looking around and clambered up to another clearence and saw a path that had been
cleared out and there was native plants that had been moved to make way for the path. The
was also a container that was open and I could see material sttuf inside I managed to snap
a photo from long distance as there were two guys there waiting for the truck to come and
pick up the container.