New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, so it’s understandable why so many blockbuster films were shot there.
Read on to find out where some of New Zealand’s most famous filming locations are.
Cathedral Cove – The Chronical of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Known for being in The Chronical of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Cathedral Cove is a hotspot for travellers and tourists. This beautiful destination is situated on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, where fans of the film will know the Cair Paravel – a fictional castle that overlooked this natural arch – also sat.
On arrival, the fine, white sand; turquoise waters and cliffs in the near distance will help you understand why this location was picked for the film. This secluded area works as a great spot for relaxing and soaking up the sun, as well as going for a hike along the various walking trails.
Central Otago – Mission Impossible: Fallout
Parts of the sixth Mission Impossible film were set in the magnificent Central Otago. Nevis Valley and Rees Valley were both chosen to be featured in the film’s most exhilarating scenes. During the film, you’ll see Tom Cruise perform his helicopter stunt over the rich, green forest in the Rees Valley.
When visiting you’ll be surrounded by an incredible landscape made up of snow-topped mountains in the background and gorges filled with fast-running rivers in the foreground. There are several walking and cycling trails you can use to explore deeper and see more of the filming locations in the flesh.
Hobbiton – The Hobbit trilogy & Lord of the Rings
One of the most famous film sets in New Zealand is Hobbiton, where The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies were filmed. Once the movies were completed, the set was left open for fans to visit and experience Middle Earth first-hand.
At Hobbiton, you can go inside Hobbit holes, see the mill and visit The Green Dragon Inn to taste some of their finest Hobbit ales. This is a place where you can let your imagination run wild and feel like a kid again. Tours are organised daily to take visitors around each attraction, explaining what happened behind the scenes.
Karekare Beach – The Piano
Karekare Beach played the focal point in the 1993 film The Piano, making it a popular tourist destination today, especially for newly-weds who wish to take unique wedding photos. This acclaimed film collected three academy awards and landed a young Anna Paquin an Oscar, launching her acting career. Why not try to re-create her iconic cartwheel by the water’s edge?
The quintessential scene in this film featured Ada, played by Holly Hunter, playing a baby grand piano on the beach. This stunning location provided everything needed for this shot to tug on the heartstrings of the viewers. It included dark, black sand; a dramatic coastline and plentiful amounts of greenery in the distance.
Mount Taranaki – The Last Samurai
For the 2003 film, The Last Samurai – starring Tom Cruise – Mount Taranaki in the Egmont National Park was used to resemble Mount Fuji in Japan. It acted as a dramatic backdrop for a climactic battle scene where nearly 500 extras were needed. A Japanese village was constructed on one of the nearby hillsides in the Uruti Valley to represent rural life in 1860. Some of this can still be seen today, so why not have a look?
This dormant stratovolcano is perfectly symmetrical and provides a good starting point for non-climbers. You’ll pass beautiful kamahi trees, rock pools and gentle waterfalls on your ascent to its summit.
If, after reading this blog post, you’d like to book a holiday to New Zealand to visit one of these amazing filming locations, contact us via our website or call us on 0800 021 3237. Alternatively, you can visit our Ipswich, Woodbridge or Framlingham travel agents to speak to a member of our team.