It seems somewhat amusing that we travelled into the middle of breathtaking mountains just to find a small hill, but this understated looking hill has one of my new favourite views in the country.
Deep inland around the Ashburton Lakes in Mid Canterbury is the home of Mount Sunday. It sits in the middle of a valley and gets to soak in the mountainous views and the Rangitata River day after day. I was happy to get just one afternoon of this stunning sight.
This off-the-beaten-track place was the location used as Edoras in the Lord of the Rings films. I've read it has to be one of the most remote film locations from the movies which the public can actually access themselves (albeit by a fair bit of gravel road). I had also heard it frequently gets strong winds funnelled through the valley, but we were extremely fortunate to have a perfectly clear, perfectly still day. Perfectly amazing.
Because this destination isn't on a main tourist trail (or any other kind of main trail for that matter), we only encountered two other people - and they were leaving as we arrived, meaning we had the whole place to ourselves. The silence in this remote place was as beautiful to the ears as the view was to the eyes.