New Zealand is in a unique position to capitalize on its scenery. Since it was featured in The Fellowship of the Ring and the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Mount Olympus has become a spot for Tolkien tourists. Many experts and New Zealanders are hoping for a renewed Tolkien effect due to the fact that The Hobbit trilogy was also filmed here. However, there is one place you probably haven’t heard much about: South Island. With a population of just 31,000 people, the West Coast retains the feeling of a pioneer frontier. It’s a known for mountain peaks, massive glaciers, bizarre limestone landscapes, mysterious lakes and raging rivers, lush rainforest, magnificent, wild coastline and geological treasures. Continue reading for more pictures and information.