New Zealand Adventure: Mount Sunday

If you missed it, we just got back from a great holiday in New Zealand. We started off in the North Island spending time in Auckland and Hobbiton. Read about it here!

Next we flew to Christchurch. We spent the night and drove off early in the morning towards Ashburton and Hakatere Conservation Park. The drive was beautiful, and we passed lots and lots of sheep along the way. Did you know there are more sheep than people in New Zealand? It is here that Oliver finally realized his dream to yell “BAAA” out of the car at sheep and the sheep answered back. We’ve got ourselves a sheep whisperer.


Hakatere Conservation Park was beautiful, and the drive to our trail head was stunning. I had to stop and take a lot of pictures so it took us a while to get started. Ada loved the fresh mountain air and Oliver enjoyed being able to run around freely and pick up rocks to put in his pockets.


This hike was supposed to be an hour round trip, but it took us a of couple hours. Oliver walked about half of the time which meant we progressed very slowly, but he was happy. The path was washed out in some places because of all the rain and melting snow from the mountains, but we were not deterred. The only place we had trouble was the last incline to the top which was very steep. I had Ada on my back and didn’t feel comfortable risking the climb. Luckily I found an alternative path which was less traveled and safer.

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The view from the top of Mount Sunday was spectacular. Mount Sunday was the location of Edoras, the capitol city of Rohan from Lord of the Rings. The entire set was built on the hill and used throughout the LOTR trilogy. Once filming was over it was torn down and the hill was restored to its natural state. I confess I was humming music from the film in my head the whole time we were walking. It was a stunning view and a great start to our tramping holiday. Tune in for more about our NZ holiday!

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