New Zealand's incredible scenery is the inspiration for many films. The Lord of the rings was filmed in New Zealand, you know. Many films were filmed in New Zealand, making New Zealand a great destination for movie enthusiasts. Here are 11 movies that you may not know were shot in this epic part of the world.
James Cameron's hit blockbuster has received nine Oscar nominations - three of which it won - and became the first film to gross more than US$2 billion worldwide. The story takes place in the middle of the 22nd century and focuses on the human invasion of Pandora, a habitable moon, which is highly desired for its supply of a valuable mineral called unobtainium. New Zealand's own Weta Digital studios are tasked with creating computer scenes created with science fiction computers, and part of the real-life elements have been shot in Wellington.
The Piano (1993)
Many people will be surprised to know that this movie offers viewers the best things Auckland has to offer, including both KareKare and Piha beaches. This is the breakout role of Anna Paquins (True Blood) at the age of 11.
King Kong (2005)
Peter Jackson's 2005 remake of this blockbuster classic was primarily shot and produced in Wellington. Auckland’s Civic Theatre also appeared with the Wellington's Opera House, in the recreation of the New York Broadway theatre from which King Kong escapes before the iconic spectacle where he climbs the Empire State Building.
Pete’s Dragon (2016)
The live action and CGI adventure movie Pete's Dragon is one of many great works of Disney to embrace New Zealand as its prime shooting location. This film is a remake of a musical fantasy in 1977 with the same name and tells the story of an orphan boy who befriends a dragon. Once again, Weta Digital was in charge of production - but this time, scenes were shot in some photogenic destinations. Selected locations for this film include Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Canterbury.
Once Were Warriors (1994)
A great film about an urban Maori family, not focusing on the beautiful scenery of New Zealand because it was filmed in Auckland. It was voted in 2014 as Best New Zealand Movie of all time, so it's worth watching. You can see some familiar faces in the movie! You can hear people quote this famous quote from the film while in New Zealand “Cook the man some f***ing eggs!”
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)
Upon its release in 2016, Taika Waititi's Hunt for the Wilder people broke the box office record by becoming the highest-grossing New Zealand film of all time, grossing a total of 8.4 NZ$ 8.4 million. The film is based on the book Barry Crump's Wild Pork and Watercress and tells the story of a juvenile criminal brought to live with a foster family in remote farmland. When the boy tried to flee into the surrounding forests, he and his new uncle became part of a nationwide manhunt.
Lord of the Rings – The Trilogy (2001-2003)
Must be mentioned otherwise I may have had a serious backlash, these films have created a whole sub-industry within New Zealand tourism, with tours focussed on taking you to all the stunning New Zealand film locations.
The Hobbit Trilogy (2012 – 2014)
You can't mention Lord of The Rings and then don't mention The Hobbit. Filming for this film took place throughout New Zealand with many scenes filmed in the Otago Region.