It happened on the side of Mt Ruapehu, near the Ohakune Ski-fields, and a few lucky tourists were on hand to witness the practises. One touring couple who reportedly were visiting the snow,(which there wasn`t much of) wondered what was happening, and they thought it was all quite exciting.
Another tourist (perhaps a Ring-Spy?) was said to have captured enough on film to sell overseas for a price of $40,000.00 NZ. (I think I`m in the wrong business!)
Many of the local businesses are saying that rented accommodation is at a premium, and cafes, hotels and shops are already seeing the benefits, which is good for the area, as after several eruptions over the past 4 years, has cut trade back and threatened to close many down. The film crews and extras are in the area for another 2-3 weeks.
There seems to be an up-surge in `Ring` activity on both NZ News channels, and we hope it keeps up!
LORD OF THE RINGS: NZ's best and worst kept secret. TV3 got glimpses of the filming of sword play practice on Mt Ruapahu. Clair Raskind movie publicist says attempts have been made to keep cameras away but not all successful. Some tourists able to film with video recorder shown. Owner of the "Hobbit" motor hotel in Ohakune is pleased. One fan is said to have enough footage to sell it overseas for $40,000.