New Zealand’s landscapes with their rugged hills, winding valleys and lakes are spectacular as is evident from films such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Wolverine and Pete’s Dragon. Now Queenstown’s Deer Park Heights, a filming location for all of these films has opened again to the public after 11 years.
The working deer farm on top of the Kelvin Heights hill is most famous for its use in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, particularly The Two Towers. Scenes including the refugees escape from Rohan and the attack of the wargs were filmed on the site, as well as Legolas jumping from his horse and Gimli being thrown off his.
The 800 hectare farm offers stunning views over Lake Wakatipu and the nearby Remarkables mountain range, and is home to red and fallow deer, goats, miniature horses, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, and kunekune pigs.
Deer Park Heights first opened as a tourist attraction in 1966, allowing visitors to drive themselves around. Now the working farm, which will be open year-round during daylight hours, is allowing cars of up to seven people to visit the grounds. Entrance to the grounds can be booked via an online booking system. Buses, minivans, commercial vehicles, hikers and cyclists are excluded from the tollgate.
The 5km drive takes visitors 500 metres above lake level to unique 360° views of Queenstown and the surrounding mountains.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.