Gandalf may have left Middle-earth at the end of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, but it seems he's been on another adventure to explore the rest of New Zealand.
Auckland photographer Akhil Suhas has been travelling around the country, camera and costume in hand, taking snaps of people willing to wear Gandalf's robe in landscapes far beyond the trilogy's film sets.
"I was watching the films for the fifth time when I realised New Zealand is known for mainly two things – its landscapes and Lord of the Rings," he told BuzzFeed. "That's how this project started."
Over six months he's covered some 15,000km and visited North and South Island destinations including Lake Wakatipu in Queenstown and Te Paki Sand Dunes in Northland.
He's even placed Gandalf into other mythical movie locations. Here he is at Cathedral Cove on NZ's Coromandel Peninsula, used in The Chronicles of Narnia film series.
And here, at the magical Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park.
New Zealand may be blessed with natural beauty, but taking the photos proved to be more challenging than it may appear.
"Some spots took five minutes to get to, but others [took] three to six hours of hiking. I face-planted once when I was running downhill in the dark. Having to carry camera gear and costumes, it's really a lot of effort, but it's worth it!"
Suhas takes photos as a hobby and his #GandalfTheGuide project is one of his first. It's paid off, with the country's tourism board promoting his work.
"I think it's great that people associate Middle-earth with New Zealand because when they travel here, even just for that reason, they realise that the country is more than just a beautiful film set."
The Istari approve.
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