Wedding ring lost (and found) in Paradise
Two Chinese newlyweds unwittingly played out a Tolkien-esque scenario after losing and being reunited with a wedding band in "Lord of the Rings country" near Queenstown on their honeymoon.
On the last day of their New Zealand honeymoon last month, Elaine and Rong Hua took a trip on the Dart River Jet. They explored Paradise north of Glenorchy, which was used as filming locations for The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit films.
Then husband Rong Hua lost his wedding band.
The couple, who had to leave Queenstown the next day, realised it was missing only after they finished the trip.
However, the lost ring seemed to play a reprisal of the role played by a magical ring in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy – and found its way back to the couple.
Dart River Jet driver and guide Rod Spackman took another group into the area the next day, and, using a freakish ability to sniff out lost nuptial rings, found the couple's treasure.
"When I heard the news I really felt for them," Spackman said.
"Here was this obviously in-love newlywed couple enjoying their honeymoon, when this happens.
"It really was a long shot that we'd find it, but I kept a lookout anyway. At one point we stopped to talk about the surrounding forest and I looked down into the leaves and saw this ring sparkling at me. I couldn't believe it."
Spackman's ability to find lost wedding rings was proven, as this was the third wedding ring lost in Paradise that he had recovered in eight years guiding for Dart River Jet.
"I don't know how I do it, but this is the third ring I've located," he said.
"It's a really good feeling to be able to reunite people with something so special. One couple had been married 40 years and lost their ring, they were so grateful when I found it."
Elaine and Rong Hua had been home in China less than three hours when they received the good news call from Dart River Jet.
"Worried about our English speaking, Dart River Jet kindly had a Chinese staff member call us and tell us it had been found," Rong Hua said.
"We thought our ring would be lost in Paradise forever as the environment is so complicated.
"It left us so moved and our passion and love of New Zealand has grown stronger. We believe the ring that was lost in Lord of the Rings land now has magic to bring eternal blessing to our marriage forever."