When we told Dave’s parents that we were going to New Zealand, his mom was very excited that we would be going to see some of the Lord of Rings locations. She loves to travel herself and I could see her and Dave’s sister Robyn on the scenic tour of New Zealand checking out all the sights of Middle Earth. So, we were very happy to hear that we were finally going to witness some of the memorable locations from the movie on our Jet Boat tour with Luxmore Jet.
When visiting Te Anau on the South Island you will see some of the most remarkable scenery in the country.
The Luxmore Jet Boat Experience
We were picked up at our campsite by the bus and whisked off to the Fiordland National Park where we began our journey into the unspoiled b of the Waiau River.
As the brochure says, the Luxmore Jet “gives a pinch of adrenaline with a heap of natural beauty.”
It did not disappoint.
Luxmore Jet is a locally company run by married couple Lex and Shirley. Previously they owned a sheep farm, New Zealand’s other major economic contributor. After selling the farm they came out to Te Anau to retire but instead opened up the Luxmore Jet.
The bus driver that picked us up at our campsite has been with them from the beginning and he told us that they have years of Jetboating between them. They have been driving jet boats since they were just a couple of youngsters and since 2003, they have been sharing their passion for the river with travelers like us.
We have been on a couple of jet boat rides in the past and our favourite part of them are the 360? turns down the river. We got our adrenaline fix with the luxmore jet and more! It wasn’t long before we took off that our captain, Vincent gave us a thrill and twirled the boat around as we braced ourselves. I felt my heart jump into my chest as we prepared to spin and once we made the spin we laughed a whooped it up.
I was ready for a couple more. The great thing about this jetboat is that you don't get wet when turning. New Zealand's air and water can be a little cool, so avoiding a splash is a very good thing.
Surrounded by rich forests, and mountains in the distance, we could understand why Peter Jackson chose New Zealand for his epic award winning movie. Everywhere we travel we are reminded of Middle Earth.
It was a few minutes into the ride when we stopped at our first Location. It was where Frodo and Sam were being chased by the Orcs through the river. I could see the scene in my mind. We saw three different locations on this day and I can’t wait to get home and re-rent the trilogy
We sped through the fast moving water with ease and had the perfect day of blue skies with the perfect blend of white fluffy clouds. Making our way to the incredibly calm Lake Manapouri where we sat in stillness and solitude. The water was as smooth as glass and there wasn’t another person or boat in sight. We had the entire lake to ourselves.
After taking in the view and feeling completely satisfied we dropped off a quick mail run to the warden of the park and made our way back.
On the way back we saw some fishermen and could see why it is a popular area. Through the crystal clear water we could see trout chilling out in the water. There was no shortage of supply.
When stopping at our last location, we were told to pay attention when we watched the movie. The same log that is sticking out of the river today can be seen in the movie. It is over a decade later and the same log is still sitting in the water. That is one strong tree to last for so long there. I am looking forward to checking it out for myself to see if it is true!
A few more 360? turns and we were back on land where the bus was waiting to pick us up. We checked out the actual pictures from the Lord of the Rings film shoot and thought it was pretty cool that we were just on the same.
Yes, we did visit the actual film locations where Frodo and Sam swam through the water and yes, we really did feel like we were having an adventure of our own in Middle Earth. Only we were near the bottom of the earth in the Southern end of New Zealand.
To see the thrill of Jetboating in Te Anau with Luxmore Jet Boat, check out their video taken from a birds eye view.
t is located in Te Anau, the beautiful gateway of Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.