Everyone who goes to Wellington falls in love with the fun, foodie and fashion-focused city that sits at the southern tip of the North Island
New Zealand – The Real Middle-earth
With last week’s world premiere of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in New Zealand, and the Canadian opening on December 14, a trip to experience Middle-earth is likely on the bucket list for many fans. Below are some of the top New Zealand tourism activities focused on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Near Matamata, a picturesque town just two and a half hours from Auckland (New Zealand’s largest city and the gateway to Middle-earth), visitors can enjoy a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set. Hidden in the magical, spectacularly green, rolling hills of the area is Hobbiton, the film set made famous in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Along with 37 Hobbit holes, fans can check out the Green Dragon Inn, The Mill and other structures used in the upcoming films. Not only has Hobbiton gained fame as a movie set, it is also a working farm experience, café and conference facility. It’s definitely a must for anyone who wants to truly experience the “Shire” when in New Zealand.
Four-Wheel Drive Safari of Scenes in Queenstown
Any reason to visit Queenstown, on New Zealand’s South Island, is a good one, and a four-wheel drive adventure through Middle-earth gives visitors a great reason to go. The Queenstown area was prominently featured in the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Nomad Safaris offers two different tours designed specifically for fans. The guides are definitely one of the highlights of the tour; many were extras in the films. They know, and are happy to share, all of the local gossip about what the stars of the movies did while they were filming in the area.
Everyone who goes to Wellington falls in love with the fun, foodie and fashion-focused city that sits at the southern tip of the North Island. Known to many as “Wellywood” because of its flourishing film industry, fans can experience the ultimate Middle-earth full-day tour with Wellington Rover Tours – where fans can follow in the footsteps of Hobbits, and spend the day learning film secrets. Wellington also boasts the Weta Cave, which screens a behind-the-scenes look at Weta and interviews co-founder Peter Jackson, among others; has a mini-museum with some of the characters; and features props and displays from The Lord of the Rings films. For the duration of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey world premiere week, Wellington will be known as “The Middle of Middle-earth” and will be host to the premiere, where celebrities, filmmakers, fans and entertainment journalists from around the globe will all converge to celebrate the release of the first of three Hobbit movies.
Air New Zealand (www.airnewzealand.ca) has direct non-stop flights from Vancouver to Auckland and offers flights from many other North American cities. For more information about New Zealand, please visit: www.NewZealand.com.
Hobbiton Movie Set Tours
Wellington Rover Tours