Film locations

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New Zealand's popularity as an international film making destination means movie buffs are spoiled for choice when it comes to film locations to visit.

Whilst New Zealand has a long history in film making, its resurgence began in the 1970's. The last ten to fifteen years in particular has seen an increase in demand and respect for New Zealand film production; the high point coming with Sir Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003).

Since then, the list of international credits has been rapidly growing. And it's reputed that the success of the New Zealand film industry can be attributed to Kiwi ingenuity, creativity, versatility and innovation. 


t digital effects technology was showcased at its best with Avatar (2009) - largely created in Wellington's Weta Digital studios - proof of New Zealand film’s technical production capability.

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It's New Zealand's breathtaking landscapes and scenery that are the silent stars of the films, not only attracting film makers from around the world, but truly bringing the films to life.

The Taranaki region in the North Island presented the perfect vision of 19th century Japan for The Last Samurai (2004). The Southern Alps and Coromandel Peninsula were among several stunning backdrops used for The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (2004-05) and Prince Caspian (2008).

Local and highly acclaimed features like Academy Award winning The Piano (1993), Once Were Warriors (1994) and Whale Rider (2003), have added to New Zealand's success story; as well as launching international careers for their Kiwi directors and stars.

If you're a dedicated film enthusiast, make sure you add some of New Zealand's inspiring film locations to your must-see list.

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