Vacation Time with Frodo and Aragorn

         New Zealand. An island country nine hundred miles east of Australia boasts lush forest, varied topography, sharp mountain peaks, breath-taking beaches and an enormous lake nestled near one of the world’s most active super volcanoes.
I couldn’t think of a better place to start our month-long look at vacation spots, places you can use in your latest novel or short story. For me, this is a dream vacation, one that like many people started when I watched the first movie of the trilogy, “Lord of the Rings.” I was captivated by the diversity of terrain in this marvelous country and was pleasantly surprised to find there is actually a “Lord of the Rings Road Trip Guide.” You too can take the journey.
At www.newzealand.com , I found an article detailing the trip, with a disclaimer that some of the areas have been returned to their natural state. In some cases access can be limited due to the remoteness of the site. You can, however, still visit some of the impressive natural features that served as a backdrop for the filming.
The original party tree
A good place to start is Matamata, where the Bag’s End and shire scenes were filmed, then onto Taupo region to see Mordor. Wellington boasts many of the workshops and museums which helped create characters and props used in the films. The beautiful Rivendell area is nearby and also the hauntingly stunning Paths of the Dead. The town of Nelson is the place to visit for souvenirs, it being the Artisan community that provided so much of what made the movie props and costumes appear authentic.
The Queenstown area is full of the lakes, rushing rivers, and other water scenes from the trilogy. Helicopter tours of the area are recommended for a different view. Another thought would be to take the MagicBus tours, which you can stretch into a year-long vacation, spending plenty of hiking and visiting time at each spot. Wow!
Bag’s End
Time to dig out a few suitcases, a well-made backpack, and good hiking boots and head to New Zealand.
This month’s writing prompt:  Sarah’s hands trembled as she pushed through the crowded Wellington bus to embark on the first stage of her pilgrimage to discover…
REMEMBER: OUR NEW PROMPT CONTEST WILL RUN ALL MONTH LONG. YOU CAN USE ANY OF THE PROMPTS DURING THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER AND POST A 500-WORD SHORT STORY TO BE ENTERED IN THE CONTEST, WINNER ANNOUNCED AT THE END OF THE MONTH…