New Zealand

Exploring New Zealand’s Film Industry: From Hobbiton to Weta Workshop

From mystical Middle-Earth to Narnia, New Zealand is home to some of the most breathtaking backdrops of the silver screen. If you’re a bit of a movie buff and want to check out the scenery from some of the world’s most popular cinematic productions, be sure to mark these movie locations on your map. 

Hobbiton: A Journey to Middle-Earth

No film tour of New Zealand is complete without a visit to Hobbiton, where the rolling hills of Matamata were transformed into the iconic Shire from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. Peek through hobbit hole windows and pop in for a cold drink at the Green Dragon Inn as you stroll through the town where fantasy comes to life.

Fiordland National Park: Majestic Milford Sound

A natural wonderland that became the mystical Fangorn Forest in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” Fiordland National Park is a jewel of the South Island. Cruise through the tranquil waters of Milford Sound and look up at the same towering cliffs that Frodo gazed on during his journey through Middle-Earth.

Puzzlewood: Narnia Beckons

Reimagined as the setting of C.S Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Puzzlewood is every bit as other-worldly as it sounds. A mystical forest in the South Island, it is home to ancient trees, moss-covered rocks, and meandering pathways that transport you to a world of wonder and adventure.

Lake Pukaki: Adventure Awaits

From land to lake, New Zealand’s landscape has captured the essence of multiple Narnia settings. The crystalline waters and snow-capped backdrop of Lake Pukaki have set the scene for multiple blockbusters, including many memorable scenes in “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” 

Wellington: The Creative Capital

To cap off your cinematic travels, be sure to visit Wellington, New Zealand’s creative epicentre and home to the renowned Weta Workshop. Creating special effects for numerous blockbusters, including “Avatar,” “King Kong,” and “District 9,” they offer behind-the-scenes tours for all ages.

Sarah Todhunter is a writer, mother-of-two and a dual citizen of New Zealand and the UK. As the sole proprietor of Fyxen Copywriters, she has navigated the ups and downs of moving a business and family across hemispheres, sharing the lessons she’s learned along the way. 

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