With outstanding scenery, friendly people and great food and wine, New Zealand seems to have everything you could possibly want. Now, the Land of the Long White Cloud is earning quite the reputation for films to be made.
This is in part due to the success of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies, which were the product of years of hard work from New Zealand’s very own Sir Peter Jackson. The films really show the diversity of what the country has to offer. If you are looking for things to do on New Zealand tours in your free days, take a look at some of our suggestions.
Arguably the most famous location throughout all of the Middle Earth films, Hobbiton is beset with Hobbit holes, and has the famous double-arched bridge and the Mill. It even features the Green Dragon Inn, where visitors can stop for refreshments, including a Hobbit style feast.
Hobbiton is located near Matamata, which is located just over two hours from Auckland. Guided tours of the town can be taken, where visitors will be treated to little known facts and trivia about filming throughout both the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies.
Piopio (Photo Credit: media.newzealand.com)
Also located on the North Island is the small farming town of Piopio. Visitors to this small farming town may recognise it from the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, where is depicted Trollshaws Forest. A favourite of fans visiting this location is to see where the troll campfire scenes were filmed.
Just a short distance north from here are the famous Waitomo glow worm caves. Not only are these beautiful caves illuminated with thousands of glow worms, but it also features Ruakuri cave within them, which provides the sound for the goblin cave scenes throughout the same film. Tours around both of these areas are available for those who want to find out more behind the movie magic!
One of the locations featured in our New Zealand tour packages is Wellington, which played host to the cast and crew during filming of both trilogies. Affectionately dubbed “Wellywood” because of how the film industry is starting to flourish, visitors to Wellington can follow in the footsteps of the Hobbits and learn film secrets.
Wellington is also home to Sir Peter Jackson’s Weta Cave Workshop, which is where a lot of the magical props and effects for both trilogies were born. Offering a guided tour, it features a mini museum and a behind the scenes movie showing off the work done by visual effect artists.
Located on the South Island of New Zealand is the Marlborough region, which we pass very closely to when visiting bordering Nelson. For the more adventurous amongst you, there is journey which travels down the Pelorus River in tandem, inflatable kayaks. This tour looks in detail at the beautiful surrounding countryside and crystal clear waters, whilst stopping at stunning waterfalls. This is the spot where the dwarves travel down river in the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was filmed, allowing you to follow their route downriver as seen on screen!
The organisation and communication were first class. The flexibility in travelling to the destination was impressive and the hotels where we stayed in were all of a good standard. Our Coach was driven by Ken, who was a character and nothing was too much for him.
Mr & Mrs Hall, Magnificent New Zealand
We both enjoyed the Magnificent New Zealand holiday immensely. The Coach Driver/Tour Guide was excellent and the hotels were really comfortable. The holiday was extremely good value and I would recommend it to anyone waning to taste the Antipodean holiday experience.
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