COVID-19 UPDATE: As a result of the unprecedented global effect of COVID-19 (including ongoing border restrictions) on the tourism industry, Dart River Adventures is currently closed. If you have an advance booking or voucher and would like a refund, please contact our friendly team on email@example.com or 0800 327 853. If you have purchased tickets via a third-party company, please contact the company directly. Please check back here for updates. Thank you for your patience and support.
In a perfect parody of the world-famous Tolkien books and movies, a Chinese couple are now “eternally blessed” after a stroke of good luck brought their lost wedding ring back into their lives.
Elaine and Rong Hua were visiting New Zealand on their honeymoon last month and it was during an “amazing” Dart River Jet trip in Paradise – commonly known as Lord of the Rings country -- that husband Rong inadvertently lost his wedding ring.
The couple, who had to leave Queenstown the next day, only realised it was missing once they returned from the trip to Glenorchy.However like a scene out of one of the movies, the power of the ring was so strong that it miraculously found its way back to them.
Dart River Jet driver and guide Rod Spackman took another group into the Dart Valley wilderness the next day and “kept his eyes peeled” for the missing ring. “When I heard the news I really felt for them. Here was this obviously in love newlywed couple enjoying their honeymoon, when this happens. In those first few days and weeks after your wedding day, your wedding ring is so precious,” he said.“It really was a long-shot that we’d find it, but I kept a lookout anyway. The bush is dense, muddy and wet so chances were it had been entrenched into the mud and lost forever. “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 simply couldn’t believe it.”
Mr Spackman certainly is a lucky omen as this is the third wedding ring thought to be lost forever in Paradise that he’s found in his eight years at Dart River Jet. “I don’t know how I do it, but yes this is the third ring I’ve located. 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 had been home in China less than three hours when they received the call from Dart River Jet with the good news. The happy couple wrote a touching letter to Rod and the Dart River Jet saying “we never thought we’d get it back”. “Worried about our English speaking, Dart River Jet kindly had a Chinese staff member call us and tell us it had been found,” said Mr Hua. “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.”
The One Ring from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which was filmed in the area known as Paradise near Glenorchy, is thought to bring special power to those that wear it. “We believe the ring that was lost in Lord of the Rings land now has magic to bring eternal blessing to our marriage forever,” he said. “We can’t thank Rod and the Dart Team enough for finding my ring.”
“The inscription on the Lord of the Rings One Ring says “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,” said Mr Spackman.
“I certainly think for this lucky couple their ring will bind them forever. What’s more I think this happy ending has made their memories of New Zealand even more special.” “I think it’s incredibly good luck I found it, so maybe something magical was at play in the forest that day,” he said.