The Place That Brought Tears To My Eyes: Rangitata Valley.
It’s like when I go the opera: If everything fits together perfectly, chances that one or the other tear will roll down my cheek are pretty high. And it’s the same when travelling; once every couple of years I come across a place that overwhelms me so much that I can’t help it but cry. Simply because the beauty and atmosphere are overwhelming. The last time this happened was during my trip to Angkor Wat. And only when travelling through New Zealand a couple of months ago did I experience that feeling all over again…
I knew that I wanted to visit the Rangitata Valley from the moment I booked my ticket. Not only because the images from the Lord of the Rings films were amazing (yes I booked some of the destinations in NZ according to the LOTR), but also because Mt Potts station looked like a hell of a place to stay at.
Mount Potts is on private land, yet still has an easy access point from the Mount Somers road. Driving those approx. 50km to Mt Potts station gave me an absolute adrenaline rush, because I’ve never been so impressed with my surroundings… Imagine driving along a gravel road, all by yourself, no cell phone reception and no cars or houses in sight for kilometres, while listening to “The Fellowship Reunited“… then you turn around a left corner when all over sudden you’re in the centre of the vast Rangitata Valley; the Southern Alps in the background, the river plains in the front and Mount Sunday right in the centre without any connection to the outer world.
Mount Sunday sits all alone in an expansive river plain surrounded by the dramatic mountains. In the LOTR, Rangitata Valley is known as Rohan with Edoras (Mount Sunday) as its capital city. Quite an impressive site. I spent 4 full days in this area and I must say that apart from the Milford Track, this my the highlight of my New Zealand adventure!
I really did my best to capture the moment through my photos, but in this case they will only give you an impression & can never give you the full-on experience.