The world seems to be in a frenzy of blood-thirsty excitement as Team Edward and Team Jacob supporters prepare for the much-anticipated third instalment of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Singer-songwriter and huge Twilight fan Delta Goodrem joined Getaway for a jaunt around the Pacific north-west of the United States to explore some of the haunts from the movies. They visited the town of Forks, Quileute Reservation at La Push and the Olympic National Park.
The Twilight Saga is the biggest book-movie phenomenon since Harry Potter. About 25 million books have been sold and the three previous movies have taken more than $1 billion worldwide.
Twilight charts the life of Isabella "Bella" Swan, a teenage girl who moved to Forks, Washington, with her dad and fell in love Edward Cullen, a 107-year-old vegetarian vampire. They are played by Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in the film series.
Forks is the Twilight capital and the little logging town has a serious case of vampire fever. While most of the film was made over the border in Oregon, visitor numbers have risen from just 8000 a year to 20,000 a month since the first book was released in 2005.
Delta was lucky enough to be shown around by co-Twilight fan and Intrepid Travel guide, Austin Kelly. Austin told Delta that when author Stephenie Meyer was looking for a base for the series to be filmed, she just looked for the rainiest place in continental US and came up with Forks.
It's exactly as fans imagine. The town dates to the late 1860s when Native Americans burned the area to encourage the growth of wild berries to attract deer and elk. It was settled in the 1870s and was named Forks as it was at the meeting place of Calawah, Sol Duc and Bogachiel rivers. First industries were agriculture and dairy products and it grew during the gold rush. With a growing demand for forest products it became a prosperous logging town.
The Forks welcome sign is very recognisable, as is the high school on Spartan Avenue. It's not open to visitors and tourists are asked not to disturb students. It's quite all right to take photographs. Forks High School Spartans T-shirts are for sale at the administration building.
At the back of the Forks Community Hospital you will see a sign in the car park: "Dr Cullen Reserved Parking Only." The hospital is the setting for where Bella was treated after a car accident and Dr Cullen is, of course, Edward's dad. Visitors are asked not to enter the hospital unless they really have a medical condition.
You'll see Bella's 1956 Chevy truck at the Forks Visitor Centre. In the Twilight story, the truck once belonged to Jacob Black's father, and Bella's father, Charlie, bought it for her as a gift.
While 775 K Street has a sign saying "Home of the Swans" it is really a private residence and just for looking, not entering. The Cullen family home at 654 E Division Street is now a B&B. Photos and filming are permitted but it is asked that their guests are not disturbed.
Forks Outfitters at 950 S Forks Avenue is the setting for where Bella worked as a shop assistant. It was owned by Mike Newton's parents in the movie.
At Dazzled by Twilight you can stock up on some serious vampire merchandise.
When Stephenie Meyer was looking for somewhere dark and mysterious to bring her books to life, the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park was the perfect place. Delta felt she would run into a Cullen on the hunt at any minute.
There are plenty of mysteries and legends around. Many people have claimed to have spotted Big Foot, or at least the evidence of there being one. Delta did see the vampires' lair and checked out Jacob and the werewolves' home ground.
La Push is a small fishing village a few kilometres west of Forks and is where Bella has her famous cliff dive. It's home to the Quileute Native American tribe and Stephenie Meyer based her story of Jacob Black on their legends.
Jackie Jacobs is the spokesperson for the tribe and has fascinating stories to tell. Folklore has it that they were transformed from wolves, and Jackie stresses regular wolves, not werewolves. There's a sacred site where many chiefs are buried.
The massive trail is exciting and varied with so much to interest everyone. St Helens in Oregon is where most of the films were shot. Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock, Silver Falls State Park (great for hiking among lush forested canyons), Hood River, the Columbia River Gorge, the volcanic Mt Rainier (covered with glaciers) are all in the Oregon area and the town of Port Angeles is in Washington. What a fantastic place for a family holiday.
Washington in the north-west of the United States.
Intrepid Travel has 13-day Twilight Trail Tours from Portland to Seattle in the north-west of the United States. Groups have between four and 13 people and the price includes accommodation, transport, activities, visits to state parks and film locations. They start at $2255 per person twin share.
V Australia has flights to Los Angeles from:
- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane $1229
- Adelaide $1629
- Perth $1829
For sale until July 5, 2010, and travel between July 6 and December 9, 2010.
Connections to Portland are available.
Prices correct at July 1, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 1300 364 512
Dazzled by Twilight
11 North Forks Avenue
Ph: +1 360 374 5101
330 Ocean Park Drive
Ph: +1 360 374 5267
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse will be showing in cinemas across Australia from July 1, 2010.
Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months' validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz. Outlets take two-parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: Washington state is GMT -8.
Currency: The American dollar.
International dialling code: +1.