Rivendell, the place where hobbits and dwarfs meet with men, wizards and elves. Our youngest explorer was delighted to be hobbit sized, whilst my friend, Nicola, and I were wizards. Sophie, aged 9, wasn’t so sure about being dwarf sized, but she’d have a lot of growing to do to be on a par with the elves. Our friend Rob was ‘man sized’ and a great companion to our young adventurers, who set off to explore a pathway, leading down to the river.
This beautiful location, the setting for the filming of ‘Rivendell’ in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, is in Kaitoke Regional Park, in the greater Wellington region of New Zealand’s lower North Island.
There are walks ranging in length from minutes to hours, and something for all ages and fitness levels. There’s a gorgeous camping area and, in summer, there are inviting swimming holes and picnic spots aplenty.
With an autumn chill in the air we didn’t have swimming on our minds, but the river stones invited us to play. Our friend, Rob, showed young Alice and Sophie how to skip stones and set up some targets for them to aim for in a game of stone throwing across the river. They delighted in finding the heaviest stones for Rob to throw in, causing giant splashes and a crashing sound in the river valley (much to our dog’s frustration – he wanted to run in after every stone and retrieve it!).
There was always a bigger and better stone – but some – like this boulder sized, monumental one, were made for climbing on!
Our young explorers enjoyed stepping across this swing bridge too.
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