It wouldn’t be fair to call myself a huge Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan (not fair to those true diehard fans) but I have re-watched each movie several times, wasted many hours laughing at cast interviews on YouTube, and visited the Weta workshop more than once. So when me and Guy recently got the chance to go away for a long weekend I
insisted suggested that we drive out to Kaitoke Regional Park and camp for a couple of nights. It was such a beautiful spot, we were able to set up our tent right next to the river with a backdrop of the gorgeous hills. We hiked, swam in the river and sat around a bonfire pondering the intricacies of the universe. It was pretty magical.
Even if it wasn’t the spot for filming Rivindell we would have a great time – but I have to admit it did give a little extra something to our hikes when I kept thinking “Frodo might have walked on this bit of earth!” and “Legolas probably brushed past this tree”. Ahem, anyway you can see how gorgeous it is for yourself below.
Where: Kaitoke is about a 45 minute drive out of Wellington City – you could easily do it in a day trip, but if the weather is warm I’d recommend staying the night. Camping only costs $6 per adult for the night (this gives you access to the toilets, showers, a bbq, power outlets and fresh drinking water). It is a cold spot at night so if you do camp in winter make sure you’re prepared.
When: Kaitoke is open all year round (but does get cold in Winter, and if it’s been raining recently the tracks might be a bit slippery).
How: You do need a car to get there because public transport won’t take you out this way. You’ll also need to bring everything you need with you if you plan to camp. If you’re just doing a day trip bring walking shoes and a towel so you can go for a swim in the river.
Why: If seeing where the hobbits and elves hung out isn’t enough for you…there are several gorgeous hikes to take as well as horse riding, kayaking, mountain biking and even hunting activities for you to take part in.
You can find more information about Kaitoke Regional Park here.