When it comes to blockbuster films, New Zealand is a hidden gem to capture all those picturesque shots. Tall mountains, low valleys, deep greenery—check, check, check. State of the art animation? Yep, we’ve got it all.
So, if you’re anything like us and get a tad bit excited seeing the cabin that hid the Wolverine, or the exact spot that opens the doors to Narnia, then listen up… Calling all movie buffs, these are the best places in New Zealand you need to visit right this second!
Find your own slice of Middle Earth heaven at the Waikato Hobbiton set—probably the biggest tourist attraction our lil’ country has to offer! Snap a pic outside The Shire’s doors, learn all the best kept secrets about the set and end the day with a sunset view over the Kaimai Ranges.
If you’ve still got such a big crush on dream boat Prince Capsian then you’ll be pleased to know you can visit the beach where he actually set sail. Cathedral Cove, with its arching bay and crystal blue water, was the setting for much of the Chronicles of Narnia productions. Take a trip and walk through the cove, imagining you’ve just entered the seas of Narnia.
Believe it or not, the 2005 King Kong was not actually filmed in New York City despite, ya know, him climbing the infamous skyline and all. It was actually filmed in lil’ old windy Wellington. Yes, the capital played home to Skull Island, with the humble Opera House standing in for the Empire State Building. Also, check out the beautiful Lyall Bay to see where the dinosaur run took place! We guarantee that there probbbbbably won’t be any dinosaurs roaming.
Weta Workshops Studios
The world-famous Weta Workshops are situated in Wellington and responsible for about every amazing piece of animation you’ve seen. From Avatar to Thunderbirds to The Adventures of Tin Tin it all started here! Take a tour to learn the ins and outs of film animation and see real life movie sets in the Weta Cave.
Deer Park Heights
Bet you didn’t know parts of Marvel’s Wolverine series were shot in New Zealand. Milford Sound and Queenstown were both used as locations for the superhero saga and we couldn’t recommend a more beautiful place to visit! Plus, you’ll get to be walking where Hugh Jackman walked, eek!
If you’re up for some travelling, head on down to the very bottom of the South Island to see exactly where Burt Munro aka The World’s Fastest Indian practiced his racing along the dunes. Oreti Beach was the setting for the iconic New Zealand Film and it’s easy to see why as it seems to stretch on forever. Definitely one for the bucket list.
Remember Tom Cruise showing off his sweet sword skills in The Last Samurai? Well, that was filmed up on Mount Taranaki because it looks so similar to Mount Fuji in Japan #FunFact of the day! If you’re up for some fun in the snow and stellar views from the top, this is the place to be!
Perhaps you remember that the most heart-breaking children’s film ever—Bridge To Teribithia—was actually filmed in a very familiar city! Zooey Deschanel and Josh Hutcherson wandered the halls of Auckland Museum chatting art and history, even filming a couple of scenes out on the iconic memorial steps. You may also be interested in knowing that Teribithia is technically Woodhill Forest out in West Auckland!
Fiordland National Park
If you thought aliens have never touched down in New Zealand, then think again. The 2017 addition to the Alien series, Alien:Convenant was filmed down in the serene valleys of Fiordland National Park. If you’re down to getting a little spooked out, take a hike around the huge grasslands and see all the spots where aliens came to visit.
Who could forget the Kiwi comedy gold that was Hunt For The Wilderpeople? With Taika Watiti as the director, of course the movie had to be filmed in New Zealand! Follow in the footsteps of Hec and Ricky and go exploring in the Waitakere Ranges where the movie was filmed, while soaking up all the beauty Auckland has to offer.