History & heritage
Lord of the Rings location
Lighting of the beacons that run along The White Mountains (Ered Nimrais) from Gondor to Rohan was filmed at Mount Gunn, near Franz Josef, West Coast.
Mount Gunn is located in the Waiho Valley near Franz Josef.
The best way to view this location is via a scenic flight, there are numerous operators to choose from as many offer flights over the Franz Josef Glacier in this area too. Another option is to view the mountain range from the Franz Josef Glacier access track.
In the Lord of the Rings movie Return of the Kings, the beacons are lit to call for aid.
Coordinates for view of Mt Gunn: 43° 25.720'S 170° 10.105'E
From Franz Josef township drive south over the Waiho River bridge. Turn left after the bridge on to the Franz Josef Glacier Access Road. This road has an unsealed surface but is suitable for cars, campervans and buses. Please take care, keep left, and keep your speed down. Most of the walking tracks are accessed from the car-park at the end of this 4km road.