At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

The magnificent Putangirua Pinnacles is my starting point for a big trek to Wellington in this leg of the journey. The path will take me around the cape of the Wainuiomata Coast, following the Ocean Beach Rd to the suburb of Days Bay and the Days Bay Wharf. Hopefully I’ll be able to catch a ferry to the Seatoun Wharf from here to start visiting the many locations of Wellington, including Bree, Weta Workshop, Dunharrow and the multiple Mt Victoria Film Locations.


Lake Ferry

The first challenge I have is to cross Lake Onoke next to the town of Lake Ferry just North-West of the Pinnacles. This area is sparsely populated and it is hard to determine whether the Ferry is actually still operational from my location, so its a shot in the dark for me and I’m hoping for the best. It is only a few hours walk from the Putangirua Pinnacles to Lake Ferry, leaving early enough should hopefully mean I can get a midday ferry and be on the Ocean Beach Rd ASAP.

Putangirua to Lake Ferry
Putangirua Pinnacles to Lake Ferry

If there is no ferry to cross I am left with 2 options:


  1. Head 4 hours North to the closest bridge and another 4 hours back south to the opposite side of the lake.
  2. Attempt to cross at the entrance to the ocean where the lake/river is thinnest. (This is potentially dangerous and will be considered as a last resort option)

Let’s hope there’s a ferry!


Days Bay

Once I’ve made my way across the Lake (however that happens!) I will be following the Coastal Road to the town of Days Bay, specifically Days Bay Wharf. There are Ferry’s across Wellington Harbour that take off from here each day and is the easiest method to get across to Wellington Proper, avoiding the long trip around the harbour.

Lake to Ferry
Lake Onoke to Days Bay

I’ll probably stay somewhere along the coastal road, potentially checking out the lighthouse which is about halfway in this trek. The road appears to be mostly unsealed or beach road and will make for an interesting day or two, I imagine it is unlikely that I will see too many people during this time or have many places to stop for supplies, so Lake Ferry is the best bet to stock up.

Days Bay to Queens Wharf

The ferry is only a quick 40 minute trip, stopping at Matiu/Somes Island before reaching Queens Wharf in the heart of the city.

Wellington City

Wellington is the home of Lord of the Rings and for good reason, there are a great number of gorgeous filming sites in close proximity to the city. It is also the home of Weta, the main source of many of the physical props and digital effects used in the trilogy.

Wellington Proper


From top down the sites above are:

  1. Embassy Theatre – Premiere Location for the 3 Lord of the Rings films, including World Premiere for The Return of the King
  2. Mt Victoria – The Shire Outskirts, including the Hobbits escape from the Nazgul.
  3. Weta Cave – Lord of the Rings production/art and design location. Lots of cool artifacts and tours.
  4. Fort Dorset – Set for the Village of Bree
  5. Lyall Bay – Dunharrow
  6. Red Rocks – The Black Gate


Wellington will be a great time to relax and visit multiple filming locations, taking tours over a number of days. I’ll see a movie or two at the Embassy Theatre and get re-accustomed to society before setting off to the South Island.


Next on our trip is the Fabled South Island of New Zealand and the area of Nelson.

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