Filming 'What a Drag'
by Sarah <>

Wednesday 29th March 2000 Page 1 of 8

During March and April this year, I was lucky enough to be able to spend almost 3 weeks in NZ between a couple of business trips to Oz and the Far East. Being a huge fan of the show, I took the opportunity to visit several of the locations that had appeared in Xena: Warrior Princess (X:WP). While visiting one of these locations, I saw a little more than just beautiful scenery.
Dune with lake in the background On Wednesday 29th March, I had decided to revisit the Wainamu Reserve in order to try and spot the tree that Melas was tied to in the episode "Callisto". I had been reliably informed that this tree was (horizontally) located very close to Lake Wainamu, aka the Alkonian Lake/home of Solaris etc. I had already visited the lake on the previous Wednesday, which had been my first full day in NZ, but had been unable to locate the tree during that visit.

The lake is about a thirty-minute walk from the car park and the route is a Xenite's dream as it passes through the location used to shoot the chariot chase in "Chariots of War", which was also where Boadicea tells Xena that she needs to polish her sword in "The Deliverer" and it has been used in many other episodes.

At the side of the track is a very large and impressive sand dune, which you have to walk over to get to the lake. I regularly watch old episodes of X:WP and since visiting the dune I have been amazed to discover how many episodes it has appeared in.
Dune with lake in the background

"It's flawless"

Click for large version (750x500 - 56K)
As I walked along the track I noticed a lot of hoof prints that had not been there on my last visit. I also noticed a portoloo on the dune, which I know from previous experience, could well indicate that there is a film crew in the area.

Quick tangent: My previous visit to NZ had been in November/December 1998 for three weeks. My objective for this trip was to visit as much of NZ as possible. During the holiday, I drove four thousand miles and visited glaciers, an active volcano, sulphur lakes, a hole in a rock, glow-worm caves etc. However, I also wanted to visit Bethells Beach as I knew that this location had been used in various episodes of X:WP. What I didn't know, is that most of the maps and guidebooks refer to the beach as "Te Henga", so it was only on the last day of my holiday that I found out where it was located.

As soon as I discovered this information I raced off to the West Coast in my car. Once at the beach car park, I climbed carefully over the sand dunes to get to the beach (I didn't realise at this time that there was a much easier way of getting to the beach from the far right hand side of the car park).
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