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“Partly good, partly a bit disappointing”

Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours
Ranked #17 of 159 Tours in Queenstown
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Travel along N.Z's most scenic highway and view some of the most world's most spectacular scenery. Visit Lord of the Rings Locations and take a journey with us deep into Middle Earth, encounter Isengard, Amon Hen, Lothlorien Forest and Ithilien! Also visit a location from the recently filmed The Hobbit. Stories and secrets will be shared by guides who have great insight into the filming. Take in the diverse landscape of ancient beech forest, braided rivers, glacier carved valleys and towering snow capped peaks. Explore Mt Aspiring World Heritage Parks unique flora and fauna. Encounter birdlife and animals. Leave with magic memories and the most amazing photo's. - Small personalised groups - Complimentary delicious picnic - Free photo C.D - Locally owned & operated family business - Comfortable 4WD mini-vans - Departs Queenstown 8:00am & 1:45pm - Duration 4 - 4 1/4 hours - Qualmark Endorsed - DOC Concessionaire - TIANZ Member
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Melbourne, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Partly good, partly a bit disappointing”
Reviewed June 15, 2013

Good:

- We had two guides, both locals of the area -- one was a trainee, but they did answer lots of extra questions.

- we were shown a lot of locations that we would not have so easily recognised ourselves, particularly because of the way how Jackson changed landscapes through props, filming angles, and digital aftertouches.

- it was nice to be told lots of intimate details of the filming and of how locals were asked for help, and how landscapes were altered or made to appear different. E.g. How wide shots of the Death Marshes are remote shots of a swampy area that really looked quite 'dead' but the closeups were filmed in a car park in Wellington with an installed bathtub... :-) or how the children of nearby primary schools helped to paint the Lothlorien leaves golden.

- The sandwiches were yummy, but not homemade as another review writes; hot chocolate with only water and a splash of milk is just not right, but on other trips, it was obviously not offered at all, so this was a nice touch, probably owed to the weather (cold and rainy).

- complimentary CD with images of the trip, so we didn't need to take them all ourselves and weren't dependent on the weather (we had very low-hanging clouds and couldn't see the mountain tops).

- a copy of the LOTR location guidebook by Ian Brodie on every seat.

Partly disappointing:

- Yes, they were only locations that were in the LOTR location guidebook which you can get all over New Zealand.

- it was essentially just up the road from Queenstown, a bit past Glenorchy on a gravel road, but nothing we couldn't have done with our own rental car, and back. Not going to the other side of the lake, no really remote location that really needed 4WD access.

- what's worse, if you had the guidebook and entered the GPS coordinates given there into Google maps or a GPS device, then you noticed that we didn't even go up to all the locations that Ian Brodie specifically names, but stopped 8 km short of them. We did not go to Dan's paddock, and....

- what we were told was a view of Nan Curunir was not the one from the guidebook, as I later found out; that one actually was taken from a point we did not go to. We were made to believe that Nan Curunir was taken as a view across lake Wakatipu with the lake later digitally taken out, but the guidebook shows a paddock in the front, which does not require that terribly much editing to edit away, and by the GPS coordinates, would have been the said 8-10kms further north.

- Mark certainly knew a lot about the (making of the) LOTR films (and others like Wolverine), but how much did he know about the books?

I can't give this a Very Good but would place this somewhere between Average and Very Good, but Tripadvisor doesn't allow me to do this.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Barbara_Triominos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puregy, Owner at Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
Hi Barbara, thanks for your review.
We are glad to hear you enjoyed most of the tour, you are certainly the biggest LOTR fan we have had for a while.
It's great you enjoyed our local knowledge. We like to share our stories and answer any questions.
Yes our sandwiches are locally made and are enjoyed by many customers, we will work on the hot chocolate.
The free c.d is a added bonus and like you say appreciated especially if you can't see all the views because of the weather.
Sorry for the misunderstanding, I meant when we were veiwing nan curunir this is what its like on a stormy wet day, due to the weather (low cloud/rain) we veiwed it from afar which I mentioned.
We are sorry you feel you could have done the tour yourselves. We feel you would then miss the experience, your questions answered and a lot of the background info.
Due to weather and timings we didn't get to go to dans paddock on this tour which I explained on tour. More time was spent viewing other LOTR locations.
Thank you for coming out with us and we hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday.
Mark Holmes
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342 reviews from our community

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York, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Updated review: Fantastic customer service”
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I should first make it clear that I actually visited Queenstown and experienced a Pure Glenorchy Tour in March of 2012. It was a negative experience and I ended up leaving a 1* review. I have, however, updated this review based on the experience that I have subsequently received from Mark and Trina.

In December 2012 they contacted me (nine months after my trip and review) to let me know about the changes they had enacted since my review (detailed below). The fact that they took the time to write to me to let me know about the changes, and to offer me a refund and a free tour for when I'm next in Queenstown, is consistent with the exemplary customer service that I have come to expect from Pure Glenorchy.

I have updated my review 4*s as I now feel confident that myself (and others) would have a truly positive experience of this company. I have not given it 5*s as I have yet to experience this for myself, but I do hope to do so in the not-too-distant future. Thank you for getting in touch with me, Mark and Trina. I really appreciate the honesty and sincerity which you have consistently shown me, and I hope to be able to meet you properly soon; sorry it's taken me so long to update this!.

Below are the main issues that I previously had, leading to a 1* review, with the changes that Mark and Trina have told me they made:

Poor experience with a tour guide who was not particularly interested in LotR
* The guide no longer works for Pure Glenorchy

Our LotR tour was combined with a 'scenic tour' that the company also runs, meaning that we were sat with people who had no interest in LotR
* The company no longer runs the two tours together, meaning LotR fans will always be with other LotR fans!

Our dietary requirements were not requested prior to the trip (or I missed this part of the form)
* Dietary requirements are a compulsory (and clearer) part of the booking form

Our tour guide only took us to places that are in the 'LotR guidebook' that you can buy all over New Zealand, leaving us feeling that we could have easily done the tour ourselves
* All guides take visitors to more inaccessible places, and go to the other side of the lake too (which our guide didn't have time to do)

I hope this review is helpful, and I will certainly be updating it again once I have been back to Pure Glenorchy. This review has been based exclusively on the feedback from Mark and Trina - they did not ask me to update the review, and I received no financial incentive to do so.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicky M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puregy, Owner at Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
Hi Nicki,
Thank you for your updated review from March 2012.
It's been a pleasure to deal with you and try to rectify your experience.
Thanks for your feedback, we have been happy to make changes based on your review
We are pleased you now feel confident that you would receive a positive experience.
We would love to take you out on tour again if you are ever in Queenstown, just give us a bell.
Thanks again and kind regards,
Mark and Trina Holmes
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Bristol
Level 6 Contributor
379 reviews
137 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 219 helpful votes
“Excellant Day out”
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We are both LOTR fans so wanted to try and see some of the scenery so opted for this tour which we booked at the i-site in Queenstown. The young woman leading the tour was a local that really loved the area and it showed. She took us to quite a few LOTR sites - you have to use your imagination. She helps you understand how the film makers literally moved mountains when making the movie. A decent lunch was included, including pick up and return at our campsite.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank TravelNutBristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puregy, Front Office Manager at Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Thanks for being a fan! That's what we like to hear, great that you had a awesome day out with our guide Alana. We love that she has a real passion for the area and movies and are stoked this shone through.
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Barcelona, Spain
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Amazing!”
Reviewed April 22, 2013

One of the best tours I've had in my life! It was absolutely amazing! A great way to see Lord of the Rings scenary + enjoy good stories, places and a lovely pique nique from a local backery. Our guide Mark was incredible! We got picked up at our hotel. It was just me and my husband so it made it very private. We got insight stories about the movie, and got to take pictures on the actual movie settings.If you're a lord of the rings fan, TAKE THIS TOUR. And if not, take it as well, just the ride is around Queenstown, all the way to Glenorchy and Paradise farm is all worth it. Thumbs up for this one!

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank cuegar84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puregy, Owner at Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours, responded to this review, June 20, 2013
Hi Guys, Thanks so much for your lovely review! It was my pleasure to meet you both! Yes you were a bit lucky having the tour to yourselves and the weather was great also. Thanks again for your comments and we hope the rest of your holiday went as well.
Kind Regards, Mark and Trina Holmes :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Fantastic views and intimate experience”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

There were many LOTR tours to choose from and I'm glad I made the right choice in choosing Pure Glenorchy LOTR tours. From the start, we were picked up in a comfortable van and we drove along the Glenorchy-Queenstown road. Along the way, Mark stopped at spots that were used to shoot the LOTR movie - most notably from the The Fellowship of the Ring & The Two Towers. His explanations were very informative and there wasn't a dull moment during the tour.

Lunch consisted of homemade sandwiches, coupled with delicious cake and hot tea & coffee. It had a very homely feel and to eat with such stunning scenery around you made it all more enjoyable.

I highly recommend this tour for LOTR fans and if you're not, the stunning views of the Glenorchy countryside is enough to make you want to stay.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank wtchuah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
puregy, Front Office Manager at Pure Glenorchy Scenic Lord of the Rings Tours, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Thank you for your lovely comments and recommendation. It is fantastic to see you enjoyed your experience with us. Your photos are amazing and we are glad you captured the stunning scenery.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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