Go searching for Edoras and you won’t find it. Though the crew of Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers spent the best part of a year erecting the Rohan capital city, everything was removed after filming. What you do get is Mount Sunday, a 100m-high glacially levelled outcrop (roche moutonnée) surrounded by open river flats a 48km drive west from the village of Mount Somers. Over half of the journey is on rough gravel but it is a beautiful drive, bounded by big, grassy, round-shouldered hills sheltering a flat valley, with the main icy backbone of the Southern Alps up ahead.
You should put an hour aside to wander across the fields (and cross a couple of streams) to get to Mount Sunday. Once you’re standing on top surveying the grasslands all about, you can imagine the bleats of the sheep are the battle cries of…well, maybe not.
Hassle-free Tours (t 0800 427 753, w hasslefree.co.nz) run fun day-trips here from Christchurch.