After finally deciding we had to leave Queenstown (which is near impossible) we headed to the northern tip of the South Island, Nelson. Which is one of the final stops on the South Island before heading to the North Island. We knew it was time to see what the North Island had to offer us. We also knew we would end up finding the One Ring in Nelson! YAY! (If you want to find some of the other Lord of the Rings locations make sure to check out our post about it here)
Nelson is closest to Picton which is where we boarded a ferry northbound across the Cook Strait.
Nelson reminded us a lot of our home land Canada! The weirdest part when we arrived in Nelson was driving through Richmond and Hope. Why? Because you have to drive through Hope and Richmond British Columbia to reach Nelson BC. It’s like being teleport-ed back home!
Déjà vu much?
Honestly we didn’t do all that much in Nelson, we basically just ate fish and chips and drank delicious coffee. Not to mention there isn’t a TON of things to do in Nelson itself it’s more of a gateway to Abel Tasman. AKA pristine beaches and hiking. Maybe there isn’t much to do in Nelson but we did find something that Nelson had to offer us nerds…
The One Ring.
Yes we mean THAT One Ring.
(If you’re still confused we mean the One Ring from Lord of the Rings)
Nelson is home to the maker of the One Ring, and no we don’t mean that Sauron lives here. Although that might make Nelson a lot more interesting! Rather Nelson is the home of Jeweler, Jens Hansens, designer and creator of the rings used in Peter Jackon’s trilogies. Their quaint little shop is easy to miss because it’s quite small and just off downtown. Thankfully we were drawn to a group of people who were leeching wifi from a nearby library. We thought something cool was happening, nope just wifi. Jens Hansen was right beside it though so the need for wifi saved the day.
Now be warned, buying one of these rings isn’t cheap you are buying real jewelry after all. If you want an engraved one that wont rub off you’re looking at the sterling silver version that is a little over $200. Want a gold one so you can become Frodo? Start saving because it will run you over a thousand bucks! You can get a ring that has the elvish script simply etched on it but the etching could rub off over time, those are only around $100. (These prices were as of 2015, prices always change!).
We did end up buying ourselves a sterling silver one. We are huge fans of the movies and books and this was one of the major souvenirs we just had to take home from Middle Earth. Not to mention we constantly get to pretend we are invisible.
The store is beautiful and the staff are amazing. They told us tons of stories about the rings being used in the movies and how they were made! Apparently there were over 40 designs before the film makers actually chose one a final one! They also had a special treat, one of the actual rings that was used in filming. It’s not exactly what you think though.
It’s actually a massive steel ring that is gold plated and was used in the first movie. To be exact it’s used in the scene when Frodo trips in the snow and drops the ring and Boromir picks it up. Why was such a massive ring needed you ask? Well Peter Jackson wanted both Frodo and the Ring to be in focus to show how powerful and important the ring is. The best and only way to do that is to make the ring just as big as Frodo is in the shot, movie magic!
It was a really awesome experience as a fan of the trilogies to be able to actually hold such an awesome movie prop!
Now maybe you could care less about the One Ring and you were more interested in the whole fish and chips and coffee. Honestly New Zealand has incredible fish and chips almost everywhere you go but Nelson was one of the best ones (our favourite BY FAR was in Kaikoura, we still dream about it). Haven Fish and Chips is along the wharf and was pretty dang good. It’s takeaway only so after you grab your food you can go sit along the wharf, enjoy the view and eat! Downside, SEAGULLS EVERYWHERE. They all are just waiting for you to drop a fry. The reviews on Haven are pretty mixed though, but for us it was great!
Now the coffee, Kush coffee is the bomb. They have a really cool atmosphere and with relaxed, chill staff. The first time we went there we actually walked in after they had closed and didn’t even realize it because the door open. The guy at the front was so awesome about it, he served us coffee anyways and made us feel incredibly welcome! We felt so bad and he was totally fine about it. That alone made us instantly fall in love with the cafe. We were in Nelson for two days and probably went there like six times.
Find yourself in Nelson? Get yourself a One Ring, eat some fish and chips, and grab yourself a road coffee!
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