It’s been a long while since I’ve been writing about filming locations cause I’m here in New Zealand right now and I haven’t been catching much on K-dramas but.. guess what! Few months ago, some time in September, my friends (who are BTS fans) started messaging me all of a sudden telling me to keep a look out for BTS as they have just landed in New Zealand. As I was working, I couldn’t really go all out on this needle in a haystack search so.. nope, I didn’t manage to see a single glimpse of them but.. over the next few months, I did visit the attractions and places that they visited (not on purpose) and I thought that I should compile a summary list + insane amount of details (my expertise) for the fans who want to ‘follow their footsteps’ and visit this beautiful country.
This will be a work in progress entry as the Bon Voyage series just started yesterday night and it will be broadcasted weekly till January. So do check back for updates as I strive to keep it as updated as possible 😀
Also, as I am not a fan, please forgive me (and inform me) if I do have incorrect information anywhere. I’m doing this base on google/twitter search plus the help from my ARMY friends. Hope you guys will enjoy it ^^
[EP 1&2] Day 1 (Christchurch > Castle Hill)
- [09:40] 6 members arrive at Christchurch (Seoul-Singapore-Christchurch)
- Visited Britz to get their campervan
- [13:00] Jin arrived at Christchurch (Seoul-Auckland-Christchurch)
- Lunch @ The SPEIGHT’s Ale House Christchurch
- Address: 2 Troup Drive, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011]
- Ordered Chicken Salad, Carbonara, Steak, Fish & Chips, Korean Fried Chicken
- Address: 2 Troup Drive, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011]
- Shopping @ Kathmandu, Tower Junction
- Address: Tower Junction Mega Centre Blenheim Road, Foster Street, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011]
- Shopping @ Kosco (Korean Mart), Upper Riccarton
- Cafe with Sheep @ Highway Cafe
- Address: 5695 West Coast Road, Springfield 7681
- Photo taking @ Lake Lyndon
- Accommodation @ Porter’s Lodge (prices from $69/night for bunk bed or $140/room)
- Address: Porters Ski Area Access Road State Highway 73, Castle Hill 7580
[EP 3] Day 2 (Castle Hill > Geraldine > Tekapo)
- ‘Z’ Petrol Station @ Geraldine (Where 1 member gets left behind)
- Address: Cnr Waihi Terrace &, Pine Street, Geraldine 7930; W66V+22 Geraldine, Canterbury
- Shopping at Gift Shop @ Kiwi Country (beside Z petrol station)
- Lunch @ Farm Barn Cafe, Fairlie (Where they fed the sheep as well)
- Address: 4 Mount Michael Road, R D 17, Fairlie 7987
- Grocery Shopping @ FOURSQUARE, Lake Tekapo
- Address: State Highway 8 22 Rapuwai Lane Tekapo-Twizel Road, Lake Tekapo 7999
- Playground with ‘flying fox’ is beside the Foursquare
- Mount John observatory, Tekapo for sunset views, tiktok videos and Mt John Observatory stargazing
- Address: Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7945 (Mt. John summit)
- Accommodation @ Lake Tekapo Kiwi Bach (from NZD 325 per night)
To be continued next week..
[I have mapped out the locations in this google maps: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1B10DZniGvRFl5e4fIUqns7vadBNKKSTh&usp=sharing]
Arrive: 17/18 Sep 2019
Depart: 23/24 Sep 2019
According to the information I found online, it seems like they (well 6 of them) took Singapore Airline’s Business Class from Incheon (with a stopover in Singapore) to Christchurch. It is an 18 hours flight, departing Seoul at about 12:35, reaching Singapore at 18:20, followed by a layover of 1.5 hours before departing at 19:50 and arriving Christchurch at 09:40am the following day. (Note that arrival timing will change depending on the ‘daylight savings’ nonsense.)
Guess what, their Singapore to Christchurch flight itinerary was exactly what I did back when I arrive in Christchurch back in end Jun 2019.
Okay so there was also one member (Jin) who flew Seoul > Auckland > Christchurch cause someone got the documents wrong or something along that line.
According to the current photos/videos spotted, they rented their Campervan from Britz (yes that orange logo).
(Note: There’s 3 mainstream/popular campervan brands in NZ: Apollo, Maui and Britz.)
Campervan means that you have a kitchen, fridge, bathroom and toilet within the vehicle. It is usually quite a pricey experience given that you have to pay for both your transport and accommodation at the same time. The price ranges a lot from winter to summer. A quote right now (end Nov 2019) will set you back at about $240/day and if you add on the insurance which gives you lower or no excess, it will be additional $45/55 per day.
- Christchurch (started and ended)
- Mt. Cook
- Hot Tubs @ Omarama
- Website: http://www.hottubsomarama.co.nz/
- Glider Plane @ Omarama
- Website: https://www.glideomarama.com/
- $386 NZD for 30 mins
- Mt. John Observatory (Astro Cafe) @ Tekapo
- Hooker Valley @ Mt. Cook
- Helicopter Ride @ Mt. Cook
- Lindis Pass Summit Lookout
- Skyline & Luge @ Queenstown
- $61 NZD for Gondola + 2 Luge rides
- Nevis Swing; AJ Hackett @ Queenstown
- $225 NZD, 300m arc swing
- Horse Riding @ ??? (I will figure this out)
- Fishing @ ??? (I will figure this out)
Hot Tubs @ Omarama
The price starts from $56 for one person and you get to have your own private tub!
Address: 29 Omarama Ave, New Zealand Main Omarama Twizel Highway (State HWY 8)
Seems like they had their hands on flying their own glider planes! It is definitely not a cheap experience but it is kind of a compromise if you’re not daring enough to try skydiving. I’ve not tried it before but a friend of mine who has tried it said it was really cool! I mean, how often can you get to be your own pilot? Please note that this activity is very weather dependent and strong winds could mean plans cancellation. I guess they were really lucky.
Address: Terminal Building, Airport Road, Omarama 9448
Mt. John Observatory/Astro Cafe @ Tekapo
Okay, so I was wrong about this photo being sunrise. It is sunset and they kind of got ‘after hours’ access because the cafe closes at 5/6pm and the access road will be closed after that. The only vehicle that can go up after that timing is the star gazing vehicle. I guess they have applied for special access and had a private stargazing session after that.
I visited this observatory/cafe twice. The photo (or rather tik tok) they took was right outside the cafe which had these stone benches.
The first time (probably 2 weeks before BTS), I drove up and had to pay $8/car to use the access road.
The second time, I hiked up (1 hour) from the bottom and didn’t have to pay anything.
The wind is very strong up there and they were probably freezing filming it as I suspect it was early in the morning too. The access road only opens to public from 10am and chances are they had permission to go in early for filming purpose. Let me verify this when the actual episode is aired.
Yep, this is a screenshot from my IGstory featuring the stone bench.
The drinks at astro cafe was rather pretty as well.
Address: Godley Peaks Road, Lake Tekapo 7945 (Mt. John summit)
Stargazing at Mt. John
Just FYI, Lake Tekapo is an international Dark Sky reserve, where they will limit the amount of light pollution at night. Which means that it is one of the best places for stargazing and perhaps aurora hunting (during winter). The stargazing experience at Mt. John is the most expensive one at $175. If you’re feeling poor, you can opt for the other experiences with prices less than $100 but you will note get a chance to go up Mt. John (the place they went).
Depending on the season that you are here, you will get to see different stars and constellations in the sky. I have done two stargazing experiences to date in my stay in New Zealand. First at Geraldine (Peter is really awesome and his NASA setup is the coolest I’ve seen to date) and the second time at Cardrona (also alpine conditions).
When I did my stargazing back in Sep (probably around the same time as them), I could see Scorpio too! Also just a tip, stargazing is best to be done on a no moon night. The brighter the moon, the lesser stars you can see because the moon just overshadow the stars. The coolest part was I even got to see saturn, with the ring around the planet! This is definitely worth a try as the stars/constellations you get to see in Southern hemisphere would be different from the Northern hemisphere.
Hooker Valley Track @ Mt. Cook
To get to this view, they would have to walk about 1.5 hours from the carpark. The loop track takes about 3 hours long (for people with long legs and not stop to take photos) and to date, it is my favourite track so far. The difficult level is considered easy and you will be rewarded with very scenic views of the snow mountains on a good weather day. I’m not sure if the snow mountains will still be around in summer. From the photo of the sun positioning, they probably visited really early at about 7-8am in the morning; which explains why nobody spotted them despite it being such a busy and popular walk.
I visited in mid October and this was my view:
It is a very scenic walk and you get to cross 3 suspension bridges.
Helicopter @ Mt. Cook
There are many companies that offer Helicopter rides up the alpines and providing a landing at Tasman Glacier. Let’s see if I can source for the actual company after the episode is aired. Now that I only have the ‘tail’ of the helicopter as a clue, it seems a little hard.
Lindis Pass Summit Lookout
While I am not 100% sure of this exact location but it definitely seems similar to the Lindis Pass Lookout (see instagram location for more photos: https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/2167895143526166/lindis-pass-summit-lookout/) You will be able to drive pass this area whenever you’re driving from Omarama to Cromwell/Queenstown/Wanaka area. I did stop by at this place before but my photos look bad as it was a bad weather day.
One thing to note, there’s no mobile signal here and it was one of the drive I didn’t like as there’s a lot of curves and turns. Oh wells, maybe some day my driving will improve.
Address: Omarama-Lindis Pass Road, Lindis Pass 9382
Skyline & Luge @ Queenstown
This is one of the easiest recognizable location of it all! I tried it about three weeks ago. It was pricey but I think definitely worth a try despite myself being not a speed demon. I was constantly breaking all the way.
It is easily accessible from the main town of Queenstown so assuming you can’t drive or don’t intend to drive in your visit to New Zealand, this is the one attraction that you can try out!
Lake Wakatipu @ Queenstown
This is just a wild guess but I believe it should be the main lake @ Queenstown.
Nevis Swing; AJ Hackett @ Queenstown
AJ Hackett is the birthplace for Bungee Jump but it seems like the members took on the ‘Swing’ challenge instead. Unlike the Bungee, you are not tied to ropes at your ankles which makes the blood rush to your brain, but it is equally scary to be dropped down at a height; even if you’re sitting down.
I haven’t been able to figure this mountain out. I suspect it could be Queenstown/Glenorchy but there’s horse riding everywhere in New Zealand so please be patient with me while I figure it out.
I’m equally clueless about this. Given that the only two coastal cities they visited was Christchurch and Queenstown, it should be one of the two. I know Kaikoura have good fishing activities but I doubt they traveled that far for it. Let’s see.
‘Z’ Petrol Station @ Geraldine
Address: Cnr Waihi Terrace &, Pine Street, Geraldine 7930
W66V+22 Geraldine, Canterbury
Note: Geraldine is a small town about 2 hours drive from Christchurch. You will have to pass by this town on the way to Lake Tekapo.
Okay, that’s all I have for now!
Glad I made it in time to publish this post one day after the airing of Bon Voyage.
Whoever that’s reading this, hope you fill find this useful and feel free to share your feedback/comments/improvements that I can make to this post.
Well, the ultimate goal is that I will do up a map + itinerary + costing of their entire trip but I can only do so after all the episodes are aired in order not to miss out on anything. Hope that you enjoyed it and please share this with your friends 😀