Hobbit Fan Fellowship enjoys thrills and chills

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship took time out to experience some of the thrills and chills in Queenstown’s great outdoors.

Chosen from more than 140,000 entries following a global contest, the Hobbit Fan Fellowship is on a journey to visit locations that appear in The Hobbit Trilogy and meet behind-the-scenes creative talent involved in the films.

Middle-earth is everywhere in Queenstown - from the deep greens and blue hues of the ever-changing lake vistas and the restful dappled shadows of the beech forests on the shoreline, to the tops of great craggy mountain ranges.

From thrills to chills, the year-round resort town is a holiday destination with a different experience for each day so on day four of the journey, the Hobbit fans experienced some of Queenstown’s top tourism activities - cycling the Queenstown Cycle Trails, taking the vintage steamer ‘Earnslaw’ across Lake Wakatipu for a farm visit, sampling some of the region’s fine wines or heading out on jet boat and canyon swing adventures.

Hobbit fans were eager to try the jet boats and canyon swing on the Shotover River. The Shotover Jet boat is an iconic Queenstown experience that never fails to bring out the squeals of delight. Invented by a New Zealand farmer, the jet boat needs barely any depth of water to dash across rocky rapids, dodge the boulders and spin into 360-degree turns.

The famous red boats take passengers on a thrilling high-speed jet boat ride across rushing glacial waters flowing between the narrow rocky walls of the spectacular Shotover Canyon.

Upstream, the Shotover Canyon Swing is a different kind of adventure – the thrill of launching from a cliff mounted platform 109m on a giant 200m swing. There’s a 60m freefall and more than 70 jumping styles to try.

Meanwhile, other Hobbit fans were on the trail of the Central Otago wine region’s favourite vintages, and a chance to chill with lunch outdoors on the terrace at Gibbston Valley Winery, just out of Queenstown. Central Otago - the world's southern-most wine region - is renowned for award-winning pinot noir wines.

From Queenstown the journey moves on to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and Peter Jackson’s home town, for a private screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Often referred to as ‘Wellywood’, Wellington is the home of Peter’s filmmaking operations and a must-stop for film fans visiting New Zealand.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) - will be released on 11 December. It is the third film in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy.

About The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic The Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

The Hobbit Trilogy tells a continuous story set in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, which Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson and his team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.net