Unnamed peak could be named Mt Tolkien

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2012
Tolkien
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A view of the Fiordland peak which could be renamed Mt Tolkien if an application to the New Zealand Geographic Board is successful.

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A Fiordland peak could be named Mt Tolkien, after the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, if a Manapouri man's proposal is accepted by the New Zealand Geographic Board.

Aaron Nicholson has applied to name the peak, near Gunns Lake on the Milford Rd, Mt Tolkien, after the author J R R Tolkien.

The 1757m unnamed peak is 1.8km from Consolation Peak, which is 1851m. Both lie at the northern end of the Earl Mountains.

Mr Nicholson said he understood the mountain featured briefly in the Lord of the Rings movies and he felt naming it Mt Tolkien could attract tourists.

It is not the first time he has tried to rename Southland geographical features after The Lord of the Rings and its author.

Mr Nicholson was involved with efforts to have part of the Waiau River, used in filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy, renamed Anduin Reach.

This was scuppered in 2009 by the board's policy of not naming landmarks after popular culture.

However, he said naming a mountain after an author who had a significant effect on New Zealand ought to be possible.

With the release of The Hobbit movie, the time was right to try it again, he said.

The peak itself is not particularly notable by the standards of Fiordland.

"It's not one of the more exciting peaks, but if you were to climb it it might be a different story - it has commanding views of a lot of scenery," he said.

Its location means it would be easy for tourists to see.

The christening could mark J R R Tolkien's 121st birthday, on January 3, he said.

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- The Southland Times

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