New Zealand: The Lord of the RingsFangorn Forest: Mavora Lakes Road
The Mavora Lakes Road provides access to the remote area around the Mavora Lakes. After a 30 minute drive on a well-maintained gravel road, the prevalent farmland starts to give way to swaths of golden tussock and dark stands of beech forest. The whole area feels like an ancient landscape and once you park the car and walk up to the edge of the forest, you are truly standing in Middle Earth.
Merry and Pippin have been captured by Saruman's Uruk-hai orcs. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli have been following their tracks across the plains of Rohan for days, when they encounter a massive mound of burnt orc bodies.
At first, Aragorn and his two companions fear that Merry and Pippin might be amongst the bodies, but Aragorn quickly realises that the two hobbits managed to escape. Being an excellent tracker, he follows their footsteps across the churned-up ground.
The three friends enter Fangorn Forest but the hobbits's footprints disappear amongst the thick forest carpet. However, this is when Gandalf the White enters the scene. He reassures them that the hobbits are safe and that there are more pressing things to address. Gandalf leads Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli out of the forest.
Seconds later, a whinny echoes through the valley, and a majestic white horse appears between the golden hills. Legolas: "This is one of the Mearas."
From the main highway between Te Anau and Mossburn, you can either turn into the Mavora Lakes Road (closer to Te Anau) or Centre Hill Road (closer to Mossburn). Both of these roads will merge into Mavora Lakes Road after a 20 to 25 minute drive.
Follow the Mavora Lakes Road for another 20 to 25 minutes. About 600 metres before the junction of Mavora Lakes Road and Mount Nicholas Road, there is a gate on your left. Park you car, jump the fence and walk up to the hilltop towards the edge of the forest.
You will find the filming area at S45° 19' 57" / W168° 10' 24" or -45.3325 / -168.173333.
The Mavora Lakes Road also connects to Mount Nicholas Road, an impossibly scenic 4WD drive through sweeping alpine valleys all the way to the southern shore of Lake Wakatipu. The road ends at the estate of Walter Peak Station, both a working sheep farm and a popular tourist hot spot.
99% of the station's visitors take the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw across the lake from Queenstown, so traffic on the road should be fairly thin.
Fangorn Forest: Mavora Lakes Road
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