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Trip Report Mount Sunday: Edoras

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Yesterday, during the beautiful New Zealand summer holidays, I and a few friends had an adventure... We found Edoras:). ( The location that was used for Edoras in The Lord of the Rings movies )

I thought I'd give an overview so that you too can discover this beautiful location in the heart of South Canterbury.

You can get there from Ashburton or Geraldine, and there is a tour company, Hassle Free Tours, that runs the route, but we were doing a self-drive tour:). The route is very straight forward, but be aware that the road becomes shingle after Hakatere. Though a 4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended, we were fine in our 2 wheel drive people mover.

The scenery along the high country shingle road is stunning and there is next to no traffic ( just as well, as every vehicle leaves a huge trail of dust streaming behind ). As you begin to approach Mount Potts cutting, Mount Sunday (Edoras) comes into view. The photo opportunities are unparalleled as you continue down to the river crossing. Fields of lupines provide a beautiful foreground for stunning snaps of Mount Sunday just before the bridge.

Continue a little further and stop to take more photos of Mount Sunday with the orange/red tussock grass in the foreground. This stunning angle is straight out of the film! Just a little further you will find a small parking area. This is where you alight from your vehicle!

There is a large vehicle gate and to the left of it is a small, foot-gate. Go through the gate and follow the marked path. It's marked with fluorescent red poles and gives a good guideline of where to walk, though you are free to walk wherever you wish. There are about four rivers that you must cross over, but we were surprised to find the recent addition of bridges! There are four bridges, one standard, two small, and one swing bridge over the largest river. Once clear of these, you are free to wander the slope of Mount Sunday and take in the beautiful views:).

The hike to the summit is not difficult for experienced and/or fit people, but it is steep in places and a bit of a push for less fit people, such as myself. Fit or non-fit, the view from the summit is definitely worth seeing! The 360 degree view of the area is absolutely breathtaking ( and as a plus for LOTR fans, you are standing on the exact location of Edoras, where Eowyn stood in The Two Towers )!

We did see the tour party come through and their guide had brought along actual Rohan replica swords and was giving an interesting commentary, but....I think on the whole, we got the better end of the deal ( we had brought along our own replica sword ) as they did have to hike the mountain, same as us, and they didn't get as many neat photo ops as we did...

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