I decided seeing I was down in Invercargill for a week I would take a couple of days and go up to Central Otago to try and find Paradise, a high country station near the head of Lake Wakatipu.
Left Invercargill about 10:30am, its about two hours to Queenstown from there. The weather was not good, overcast and raining on and off most of the way up. Got to Kingston about 11:45 took a couple of pictures to give you an idea of what the scenery looks like.
Got to Queenstown a bit before one, after stopping here and there to take a few more photos. Grabbed something to eat and hit the road again, its another 45km to Glenorchy and I didn't know at that time how much further I would have to go to find Paradise.
Made a few more stops on the way to get a few more photos, the beauty of a digital camera that takes floppy's is you can take as many pictures as you like and you don't have to worry about getting them developed.
Got to Glenorchy about 2pm and wondered 'where to now?', so the information center seemed that best place to start, they had a more detailed map of the area and I found that Paradise was still another 20km up the road.
I was on the right track, back in the car and off I go again. I hit a gravel road about 5km up, and drove for another 5km, then I got my hopes up, in a paddock at the side of the road there were all these trucks and tents.
I thought to myself, well this looks like a film crew camp. If you look very closely at this picture you can just make up the tents, trucks and caravans in the distance.
There was no one on the gate so I thought I would drive up and see what was going on. Drove up and there was a few signs on the way telling you to keep on the road, got up to the first area, there where a couple of clusters of tents etc scattered about. There was a couple a small buildings one with first aid on it and one with production office on it, so I stuck my head in there, but there was no one about. A guy had just pulled up in his truck so as I wandered over to him he gets out and says hello. I ask him if this is a film crew camp and he goes yes, I'm getting hopeful by this time. So I go, 'for the Lord of the Rings?' But to my disappointment he goes 'no, this is Vertical Limit, Lord of the Rings is further up the road'.
Well I was on the right track at least, so back in the car. The weather was starting to close in a bit by this time, but that wasn't going to stop me. Just after leaving the Vertical Limit camp you go into the forest and drive through that until you come to a ford, not very deep so I was able to cross it in the car, then you are at Paradise.
I drove up a short way to just past the house that is there. And found the only sign of a production crew was in the area. There was a pile of polystyrene that looked very like stone work, and some other bits and pieces. Here's a couple of shots of them.
So I went back to the house I just passed, seeing there was no obvious sign of the set or anything. The lady who answered the door said I was in the right place and they were down the road a bit further. So I though I've come this far I might as well carry on. Drove down the road a few kilometers more, crossed a couple more small fords, then go to one that I didn't think my car would get through. Jumped out of the car and things looked a bit iffy, stream was quite deep and I was only in a normal car, didn't want to get halfway across and find out it was too deep. So I though I had better stop.
Took a few more pictures of the area. On a nice day I would have said this place would have lived up to its name and looked like a paradise, but today it didn't. Cloud was still closing in and the rain was getting heavier.
So all in all not the most productive do trips, but hopefully these pictures and map, as well as my experience will help anyone else who is going into the area get a bit closer to finding the place. I was told that they have got security on the gate at the set as the news paper article last month mentioned. The only bit of advice I would give to anyone going up is take a vehicle that can get through the streams and go on a nice day.
I had stayed the night in Queenstown and was heading over to Wanaka to get some general shots of the area, I don't think I would have been able to find much even if I had time to go searching. The production unit could have been in any ones property around the area, or even a number of kilometers from Wanaka, so I thought if I get a few general shots for people to see what the area is like that would have to do. So here a couple of the pictures I took.