Top 10 Film Locations

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Discover the 10 must-see locations for any movie buff

The home of world-class directors, outstanding scenery and a top production company, New Zealand is a movie buff’s dream.

1. Cathedral Cove (Chronicles of Narnia)

The set for the ruins of the castle Cair Paravel, in the Chronicles of Narnia- Prince Caspian, was built on the nearby Hereherataura Peninsula, overlooking iconic Cathedral Cove. From beautiful Hahei Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula you can walk to Cathedral Cove.

New Zealand
Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

By Tourism New Zealand

2. Hobbiton Movie Set (The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit Trilogies)

Hobbiton Movie Set - in the lush rural Waikato region - continues to attract international visitors looking to experience their own slice of Middle‑earth in New Zealand. This set was used for filming Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. 

New Zealand
Hobbiton Movie Set, New Zealand

By Tourism New Zealand

3. Mount Taranaki (The Last Samurai)

Most of the filming of The Last Samurai, starring Tom Cruise, took place near New Plymouth in Taranaki. A Japanese village was constructed for filming on the hillsides of the Uruti Valley, with Mount Taranaki standing in for ‘Mount Fuji‘.

Mt Taranaki, Taranaki

By Kathrin & Stefan

4. Paradise (Wolverine & The Hobbit Trilogy)

Paradise - a real place at the end of the Queenstown - Glenorchy road in New Zealand's Southern Lakes region - set the scene for Beorn's House in The Hobbit Trilogy. Scenes from Wolverine were also shot at this picturesque location. 

Gorgeous Glenorchy, Queenstown

By Tourism New Zealand

5. Aoraki, Mount Cook (Vertical Limit)

Vertical Limit,the thriller about climbing and falling from mountains was directed by New Zealander Martin Campbell. Filming took place on New Zealand's highest mountain (3,754m), Aoraki, Mt Cook.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Hooker Glacier Lake, Mt Cook, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Fraser Gunn

6. Flock Hill (Chronicles of Narnia)

New Zealand director Andrew Adamson chose Flock Hill Station, near Arthur’s Pass in Canterbury, as the setting for the climactic final battle between Aslan’s forces and the powerful army of the White Witch, in the Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.

Christchurch - Canterbury
Flock Hill, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Tourism New Zealand

7. Kaitoke Regional Park (The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit trilogies) 

North of Wellington lies the Kaitoke Regional Park, the location used for Rivendell, the home of the elves, in Middle‑earth Trilogies. Although film sets have been dismantled and the park returned to its natural state, the area where Rivendell was set is a beautiful picnic spot with river swimming and bush walks.

Kaitoke Regional Park, Wellington

By Juergen Schulte

8. Karekare beach (The Piano)

The breathtaking Karekare beach in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges was made famous in the 1993 movie The Piano, directed by New Zealander Jane Campion. It also landed Anna Paquin an Oscar and launched her international acting career.

Karekare beach, Auckland

By Tourism New Zealand

9. Oreti Beach (The World's Fastest Indian)

Oreti Beach, just a few kilometres from the city of Invercargill, offers a vast expanse of sand, surf and sunshine. It was here Burt Munro, subject of the film The World’s Fastest Indian, created speed records on his modified Indian Scout motorcycle.

Oreti beach, Southland

By Tourism New Zealand

10. Lyall Bay (King Kong)

Wellington has produced some of Hollywood’s biggest movies in recent years. King Kong."Skull Island" was located in a large-scale set built above Shelly Bay, on the Miramar peninsula and the dinosaur run scene in the movie took place at surfing beach Lyall Bay.

Lyall Bay, Wellington

By Positively Wellington

For more inspiration, check out #NZMustDo on Instagram

Next on your journey

Wellington: Film capital of New Zealand →

Home of Middle‑earth →

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy filming locations →