Best Movie locations in new Zealand

Filming Locations New Zealand

New Zealand has become a haven for film makers since the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar. The locations in these popular movies have become a tourist attraction. Some of the great locations which have been filmed in movies are:

  • The Taranaki region of Northern island – This region was used as a backdrop for the movie The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise. You must have thought the movie was filmed in Japan. Isn’t it? The whole movie was filmed in New Zealand. The technicians who made the sets for the movie made it look like Japan. Really amazing.
  • The Southern Alps – The snow-capped peaks and the accompanying green forest have been part of many films. But two of Chronicles of Narnia films – The Lion,The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian showcased the best part of the region. Yes the lakes and forest were all in New Zealand and not in a fairyland Narnia.
  • Aotearoa New Zealand – This is the middle earth shown in the Tolkien trilogies Hobbit and Lord of the rings. The landscape really looks out of the world. You have to visit New Zealand and see the location yourself to believe that it exists on our planet.
  • Auckland the capital – The award-winning The Piano was filmed in whole of Auckland. It showed all locations and fit the script perfectly. The film won many hearts and New Zealand was horded by tourists, which continues till date.

If you are a film buff and a traveler too, visit the locations of shoot from your favorite movies to get the real feel.


JRR Tolkien and New Zealand



The films like Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are among the most watched and followed throughout the world, with numerous awards adorning the walls of cast and crew. Not only are the films identifiable art forms in themselves, but so are their associations and consequent branding of New Zealand. There are a whole number of differing benefits they bring to the country and economy, and we are yet to see the full spectrum as the last Hobbit film is quite a spectacle. On a local level, the sheer scale of filming requires huge assistance and with the location of the majority of the film, people and organisations from the surrounding area are needed. When the films do get released, huge groups descend upon our islands as the whole world views premiers and other associated events. When the frenzy is over, tourists continue to visit with both franchises high up the list of reasons they came. But, as the media machine continues to work its magic, it is all to easy to overlook those who may need it.


Animals are an integral piece of the films and with the sheer size of the production it is a wonder how such quantities are kept under control.

The trilogies of the JRR Tolkien’s fiction series are amazing to read as well as watch. The locations in New Zealand make it look real. The series has characters which can be imagined only by Tolkien. The concept of middle earth  and shire is really amazing. I hope they have more movies coming from his novels.

5 Reasons Why more Movies are headed for New Zealand

All the trilogy movies seem to be headed for New Zealand. First it was Lord of the Rings trilogy, then The Hobbit. The latest to join the list is “Avatar”. Avatar which was originally planned as a two movie project has been turned into a trilogy.

Avatar in New Zealand

Avatar in New Zealand

Originally only parts of the second Avatar were to be shot in New Zealand. But the plans have changed. Now the trilogy will be completely filmed in New Zealand, as confirmed by the Government.

There are many reasons for the film makers choosing New Zealand.

  • Exotic Locations – New Zealand has one of the best locations. Everyone who saw New Zealand in Lord of the Rings series will agree to this fact. Diversity in a small area add to the value of filming.
  • Financial Advantages – The government has special incentives for international crew. A 20 percent cash grant attracts new as well as established film makers. Also there is 40 percent grant for co-production in New Zealand. These policy measures have helped in attracting big banners to New Zealand.
  • Expert support crew – Due to policy measures, there is no dearth of support crew talent in the country. It is convenient for the Directors and Producers who can easily get skillful people.
  • Post Production Value – New Zealand has excellent post Production studios. The visual and action effects can be done right here.
  • Snow in the summers – When it is summer in Northern Hemisphere (Europe and United States), it is winter here. This helps the film makers to make up the lost time.

The advantage of filming is attracting and encouraging Film making from all over the world.

Can We Have More Movies, Please?


Well, first we had the Lord of the Rings, and that was awesome. New Zealand was on the international map. Look at all their beautiful scenery. Peter Jackson’s affinity for this nation really helped to boost tourism and reputation. But that all kind of faded away in the years after Return of the King. However, Jackson decided to stretch out another one of Tolkien’s novels into three movies, this time going with the Hobbit. But, let’s face it: Although the exposure has been pretty cool, the last movie is now out, and New Zealand will once again fade from memory.

This is why we need another franchise and soon! Give us something good, Mr. Jackson. This entire genre is fantasy anyway. Who says you have to remain true to the Tolkien works? You can flesh it out and actually combine the two.

Who’s up for seeing a merging of the Hobbit and LOTR? Let’s have a three-part movie series where the stories overlap, the end of the Hobbit and the beginning of Frodo’s journey. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Give us some more Gandolf. Give us some more Orcs. And keep propping New Zealand up as an awesome place!