I found a great money-making scheme. It goes like this: I hop in my rented Nissan and cruise down Main Street in search of tourists willing to take me up on my offer to give them a “tour” of sites where “Lord of the Rings” was filmed. This deal even includes refreshments all for the bargain price of $140 per person.
This is basically what I got when I signed up for a 4WD “Safari of the Scenes” excursion in Queenstown. Our group of six was driven around Skippers Canyon, where we stopped frequently to view a riverbed or valley while our guide held up a tattered book of illustrated scenes from the film to verify that we were, in fact, standing on Middle-earth territory. The refreshments consisted of some kind of fruitcake (I don’t even eat the stuff on Christmas) and a thermos of hot water for tea or coffee. I could have bought myself a copy of the book about the making of the movie, ordered me a big vanilla latte from Starbucks, and rode around the highway in my rental car for a heck of a lot less money. I guess I can’t complain, seeing as the girls and I met someone who got us on the tour for free. But still, it’s the principle! I don’t think Frodo would be pleased.