“The Kawarau Valley”

Queenstown New Zealand April 2017 (19 photos)

This is part 7 of my New Zealand series of posts.

In a previous post Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Deer Park Heights I showed the view from high on Deer Park Heights looking down upon the Kawarau River and Valley which was the set location for the River Anduin in the Fellowship of the Rings movie. Now let’s visit the area at ground level.

There are some lovely little roads in this area.

Shadowfax retired here after Gandalf left Middle Earth, and came out to greet me.

I came across an old shed.

This building turned out to be a sheep shearing shed.

New Zealand has a heritage as a sheep-breeding nation.
There are estimated to be about 6 sheep to every person living in New Zealand.

Further along I found a beautiful spot with views over the Kawarau Valley.

The dense cloud cover had cleared enough for the setting sun to make its presence known.

There happened to be another old heritage style building nearby. How convenient!

The timing of this spectacular light show upon the building and contrasted against the cloud filled sky was perfect.

The light went crazy here.

A final dreamy and longing glance before moving on.

Unusual Mammatus clouds, a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud, typically cumulonimbus rainclouds, although they may be attached to other classes of parent clouds. They are formed by cold air sinking down to form the pockets contrary to the puffs of clouds rising through the convection of warm air.

The sun started to put on its evening show so nothing else to do but stop and watch the beautiful display.

The light changed very quickly.

I watched in silence as the light faded over the Kawarau River.

And said goodnight to Middle Earth at the end of another good day of photography.

Update: My New Zealand post: Dragon tales of Middle Earth: Somewhere in Otago was recently featured in WordPress’ Discover site. My sincere thanks to the editors for choosing my post.

This is Part 7 of my New Zealand series of posts.

Leica Etcetera, Photography Etcetera

Dragon tales of Middle Earth: The Kawarau Valley


106 thoughts on “Dragon tales of Middle Earth: The Kawarau Valley

  1. Breathtaking pictures of what looks like an amazing country! Difficult to choose my favourite.
    I have many friends and family who live in New Zealand – my plan is to visit one day and looking at these pictures has revived this ambition.

    • Thank you very much. Fortunately (more through luck rather than planning, I think) I just happened to be in some special places as the light changed. I’m happy I can portray the ambience of it all through my photos.

    • Thanks. Sometimes you get lucky with the light and this was one of those times. Yes, I did spend some time with the camera off, just enjoying the moment as well. 🙂

  2. These are all wonderful, Lignum, but the one of the clouds bottom-lit yellow is just spectacular. I must inform you, though, that I had Shadowfax (as you can see from my gravatar) until she passed away a few summers ago. Yes, she could fly!


  3. Beautiful photos and light. Loved those clouds. Glad and surprised you refrained from jokes about NZnders and sheep. Heading for Sydney mid June afraid we’ll miss Vivid Sydney.

    • I assume you mean “horses”, not sheep. 🙂

      When the sun peeked under the clouds, it was a fantastic sight. Very much like a dream world. Indeed, I lost all track of time and turned up 45 minutes to my dinner reservation. Had to apologise profusely seeing as a private dining room had been booked.

      • I really thought sheep at first.. :/ But surely there must have been sheep somewhere…

        Did you mean 45 minutes late to your dinner reservation… I don’t fault you, though. That view and those low clouds were a sight to behold 😀

    • Thanks very much, Lisa. They’d been shearing in that shed the week before I was there. As you can imagine, there was a smell in there but many of the windows are broken and there are large holes in the roof. So the natural ventilation meant it wan’t as bad as it could have been.

  4. Sheep breeding, horse breeding. I could use half a year in this idyllic surroundings. Beautifully transported to me 🙂 Thank you, Draco.

  5. Spectacular in such a gentle way, Draco. I love the way you play with that old ruin and the light. It’s a pastoral idyll. 🙂 🙂 Hope you’re having a good week.

  6. That light fading over the river is stunning. I know if I saw that I would love it too but never in a million years would I be able to capture it like you have. If you could see my face every time I see your posts you would see I am in awe of your photos.

  7. Wow she sure put on a display for you! Isn’t autumn light magic! And that shearing shed .. how I love old buildings! Wonderful awesome post my friend .. I love seeing NZ through your lens 😃

    • Someone in NZ must have known I was coming and arranged all that good weather for me. 🙂 I was very happy with that light at the end of the day.

      Thank you, Julie. There were a lot of interesting details in that old shed. A nice little place to wander through.

  8. Fantastic post, great pictures, in many ways it reminds of of far west Wyoming here in the States. Being that I liked your article a lot, I am going to reblog it for you.

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