filming locations new zealand

The 7 Must-Visit Filming Locations In New Zealand

It’s no secret that New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, which explains its popularity with film scouts. Some of the best filming locations in New Zealand include spots from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, King Kong: Skull Island and more.

You can’t travel around NZ and not stop off to see some of these famous sets. Here’s the seven best filming locations in New Zealand that every movie fan needs to see.

Best Filming Locations In New ZealandHow do these rankings work?

1. Hobbiton Movie Set – The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit

Hobbiton Movie Set – in the lush rural Waikato region – is ideal for 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.

2. 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 made for filming on the hillsides of the Uruti Valley, with Mount Taranaki standing in for ‘Mount Fuji‘.

3. Lyall Bay – King Kong

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

4. Kaitoke Regional Park – The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit

North of Wellington lies the Kaitoke Regional Park, the location for Rivendell, the home of the elves, in Middle‑earth™ Trilogies. Although the movie sets are no longer here, the area is still beautiful. It’s a perfect picnic spot with river swimming and bush walks.

5. Karekare Beach – The Piano

The breathtaking Karekare beach in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges is famous thanks to the 1993 movie The Piano, by New Zealander Jane Campion. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the region.

filming locations new zealand

6. Flock Hill – Chronicles of Narnia

Flock Hill Station, near Arthur’s Pass in Canterbury, was 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.

filming locations new zealand

7. Tongariro Alpine Crossing –The Lord of The Rings

Make the walk to ‘Mordor’. One of New Zealand’s ultimate outdoor experiences, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing traverses an otherworldly, volcanic landscape. Lord of the Rings fans will recognise the shape of Mount Ngauruhoe, as the mountain that stood in for Mount Doom in the trilogy.

filming locations new zealand

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Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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