The buzzing city of Wellington is at the heart of New Zealand's film industry. If you're a movie buff, don't miss these unique tours and filming locations.
Wellington is home to a hub of world-class production and special effects facilities, as well as a number of talented filmmakers.
Miramar, a seaside suburb of Wellington, is home to a neighbourhood of world-class movie-making talent and technologies.
Weta was formed in 1993 by a group of young New Zealand filmmakers including Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor, who were eager to push the boundaries of creative filmmaking. Later, the company formed two separate halves – Weta Digital (digital effects) and Weta Workshop (physical effects).
Weta’s reputation for creativity and delivery keeps the company in high demand from some of the world’s leading film studios. Legendary Hollywood director James Cameron chose Wellington to make the Oscar-winning film Avatar because he was determined to make a “ground-breaking” movie. Other Hollywood blockbusters Weta have worked on include King Kong, The Lovely Bones, The Avengers and Prometheus.
Park Road Production
A premier post-production facility created by filmmakers for filmmakers, Park Road is home to a huge number of resources to help filmmakers concentrate on the creative process. Only taking on a few projects every year, Park Road has worked on blockbusters like The Adventures of Tintin, District 9, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Last Samurai.
Stone Street Studios
Offering a range of production facilities including two massive purpose-built sound stages, a wet stage and four adapter warehouse stages, Stone Street Studios is another world-class resource for filmmakers.
“Wellywood”, as Wellington is affectionately known, offers a number of ways for visitors to experience the city’s film industry.
Expert tour operators such as Wellington Rover Tours and Wellington Movie Tours will take you to specific filming locations, showing and explaining what scenes were filmed there – you might even find yourself guided by an extra from one of the films! Many of these tours will visit the Weta Cave, a mini-museum featuring movie props, collectables, artwork and behind-the scenes footage.
Weta Cave - A mini-museum of Weta, Weta Cave showcases some of the characters, props and displays from the blockbusters Weta have worked on. Read about how they were brought to life,and watch an exclusive behind-the-scenes screening about Weta that includes interviews with Sir Peter Jackson.
Embassy Theatre - This historic theatre was built in 1926 and hosted the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Check out the name plates with the actors and characters’ names by the leather seats.
Roxy Cinema - Owned by Sir Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk amongst others, the beautifully revamped Roxy Cinema combines the style of the art deco era with the modern technology of 20th-century cinema watching. Enjoy the restaurant decorated by Weta Workshop.
Mount Victoria - The very first day of shooting for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy took place on Mount Victoria’s city belt, where the Hobbiton Woods was filmed. Mount Victoria also has fantastic views of Wellington City and harbour.