This is the view from the peak of Mount Sunday. Known from The Lord of the Rings, Edoras, a small town was actually built up on the hill for shooting the film but everything had to be removed afterwards. It´s a small hill with a height of 500 m in the middle of a huge valley. Just perfect for shooting a panorama.
Mount Sunday (Edoras) - Mount Somers visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Mount Sunday (Edoras)' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Canterbury.
Mount Sunday in Canterbury was made famous as the setting for Edoras, the fortress city of the Rohan people in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. The 500m high hill offers stunning views over the Rangitata River valley and Erewhon, considered one of the great vistas of New Zealand.
Mount Sunday is a glacial feature known as a roche moutoné formed during the last ice age. It lies in the middle of a wide valley down which the braided Rangitata River flows from its source in the Southern Alps to mouth at the Pacific Ocean 30km northeast of Timaru. Within the region are three remote sheep stations, Mesopotamia, Mount Potts, and Erewhon. Mount Sunday is so named because boundary riders from the high country stations used to meet there on Sundays.
Mount Sunday, Edoras and The Lord of the Rings
Alan Lee, the conceptual artist and set director for Lord of the Rings says that Mount Sunday was the ideal location for Edoras. He says, "Mount Potts, near Methven, provided some of the most glorious locations, with an isolated hill in wide valley, buttressed by sheer cliffs, which couldn't have been closer to Tolkien's Edoras. We built the exterior of the Golden Hall and surrounding building on top with the gatehouse and more buildings at it foot, with everything in between added post-production."
Set construction for Edoras took nine months with Golden Hall and surrounding buildings at the top of the hill and the gatehouse and more buildings at its foot. At the end of filming the set was dismantled and the area returned to its natural state. Day trips to Edoras from Christchurch are available from various LoTR tour companies.
TRAVEL DIRECTIONS AND GETTING THERE
Car: Mount Sunday is accessible by 4 wheel drive via Hakatere from Mount Summers. The sealed road stops at Hakatere airstrip and from, there to Erewhon the route (25km) is on a shingle road. It is about 170km from Christchurch.
The journey to Mt Sunday (Edoras) takes you through rural, exposed land where weather conditions can be highly changeable. The Alpine altitude means the area can experience extreme weather and temperature changes. For further information about petrol stops and precautions please see this Journey to Edoras pdf.