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June 2013


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New adventures in Middle-earth

12 Jun 2013

The jaw dropping teaser trailer for the second movie in The Hobbit film trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has been released.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug due to be released in December 2013, builds on the dramatic story of a band of 13 dwarves, a wizard and a hobbit off to regain their homeland, with New Zealand home of Middle-earth providing the scenic backdrop.

Official Warner Bros trailer: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Epic landscapes featured as locations in The Hobbit Trilogy are destined to become popular visitor destinations as landowners and local operators begin to market new tourism adventures that allow visitors to experience these places.

An array of tourism activities has already been created from locations in the first of the films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, including behind-the-scenes production tales as told by cast members in The Hobbit Trilogy locations.

New Middle-earth-themed experiences include:

Experience the Trilogy
The Experience the Trilogy Tour explores the North Island’s top tourism spots, including Hobbiton Movie Set Tours which appears in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.

The two-day tour leaves from Auckland - the ‘city of sails’, travelling south by coach through the Waikato region to Hobbiton Movie Set in the farming community of Matamata, and the setting-off-point for hobbit Bilbo Baggins ‘unexpected journey’.

The tour continues to Rotorua - New Zealand's Māori culture capital - to experience traditional Māori culture and cuisine, and the amazing Pohutu Geyser in the active thermal landscape of Te Puia Māori Arts and Crafts Centre.

A slice of adventure completes the tour at Waitomo Caves with a visit to Ruakuri Cave where sound track was recorded for the goblin cave scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Guided tours at Waitomo Caves reveal an ancient subterranean world of incredible formations, underground waterways and the natural lighting of millions of glow worms.

Dwarves in barrels
Barrels and canoes have inspired a new tourism activity in the Marlborough sauvignon wine region that takes tourists to the spot where a scene from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was filmed.

Pelorus Eco Adventures offer guided canoe tours down the Pelorus River to the location of the ‘dwarves in barrels’ scene. The three-hour trip in tandem inflatable canoes explores the crystal clear waterway, stops at waterfalls and introduces local wildlife such as rainbow and brown trout.

Visitors who want to stay for longer can spend a night in the Pelorus Scenic Reserve Campground - a great place for swimming and bush walks through native forest to visit a bat reserve.

Exploring Earnslaw Burn
Cast and crew described Queenstown’s Earnslaw Burn as one of the most stunning locations visited during the filming of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The alpine tussock valley surrounded by teaming waterfalls was used for the Misty Mountain pathways scenes. Second Unit Director Andy Serkis said this place "was alive with these incredible cascades. We were very lucky to go to some extraordinary locations."

Nomad Safaris - an established Queenstown tourism operator with over 20 years experience - takes tourists into New Zealand back country and The Lord of the Rings locations.

With the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Nomad Safaris are now able to take visitors into the region where the Misty Mountain Paths were filmed at Glenorchy - a 40 minute drive around Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown.

Heliworks - a local helicopter company that was involved with the film production - takes guests on an unforgettable wilderness flight into Earnslaw Burn for a landing and champagne picnic.

Odyssey Travel
Australian-based Odyssey Travel is launching a comprehensive new tour in October travelling through Middle-earth, visiting locations from The Hobbit Trilogy, and personally guided by a ‘Hobbit’ cast member.

Dwarves Graham McTavish (Dwalin), Jed Brophy (Nori) and Mark Hadlow (Dori) will host 10-day group tours of locations from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - sharing their experiences from filming, introducing spectacular scenery from the movies, and visiting top tourism activities.

Locations featured on the itinerary will include Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata, the Miramar film hub in capital city Wellington where the movies were produced, Mangaotaki Rocks near the North Island town of Piopio featured as Trollshaw Forest, and Lake Pukaki - near Mt Cook in the South Island - where the Wargs’ chase scene was filmed.

Odyssey Travel is a not for profit organisation that focuses on themed educational travel programmes such as film, nature and culture, with proceeds going back into student scholarships.

Hairy Feet Waitomo
Mangaotaki Rocks, near Piopio in the Waikato region, was used for numerous scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey including Trollshaw Forest.

Hairy Feet Waitomo offers twice-daily 90-minute van tours to movie locations including the scenes where Gandalf bestows Sting upon Bilbo, Radagast’s arrival and the attack of the Wargs and Orcs.

Hairy Feet owners Suzie and Warrick Denize are the third generation farmers on the Mangaotaki farm. The couple will personally guide tours, sharing insights from the film, along with local history and the story of their farm.

About 'The Hobbit' Trilogy
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduring and popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventures of title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a production of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens worldwide beginning on Friday, December 13, 2013.

More information

New Zealand - the real Middle-earth

On location with Jared Connon

Set Jetting around New Zealand

The Hobbit Trilogy

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Related Links
Other Sites
•  Experience the Trilogy
•  Hobbiton Tours website
•  Nomad Safaris website
•  Odyssey Travel website
•  Pelorus Eco Adventures website
•  Heliworks website
•  Te Puia - our heritage website
•  Discover Waitomo website


Hobbit location: Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve - click for more.
Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve - a location in The Hobbit:The Desolation of Smaug

Hobbiton, NZ - slice of Middle-earth
Hobbiton, NZ - slice of Middle-earth


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