Oscar winning filmmaker James Cameron shares his passion for New Zealand in new global video.
James Cameron and his wife chose New Zealand as their second home four years ago. Now the Hollywood filmmaker wants to show the world why he is so passionate about the place he describes as ‘my kind of country’.
James Cameron is sharing his love of New Zealand, fronting a new video that gives the world a glimpse of what it is about the country that captivates him like nowhere else.
Cameron’s personal connection with New Zealand stems from his very first visit in the mid-nineties. “I came as a stranger, I knew very little about New Zealand, and I left in love with it. Not just the beauty of the land that is very seductive, but the dynamic spirit of the people. I had never felt a connection to a place that strongly before. And I never really lost that dream.”
In a collaboration with Tourism New Zealand, Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron spent four days filming, taking in the natural wonders of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. The couple walk on the Tasman Glacier, kayak through a Dart River canyon and take in the sweeping views of Blanket Bay by helicopter. They hike on the alpine Routeburn Track, cycle beside Lake Pukaki and visit Mount Alfred in the Glenorchy area near Queenstown.
The Cameron family have a coastal estate north of the capital city, Wellington, where he is immersed in the development of the next Avatar. They divide their time between New Zealand and California. He says: “There is so much to see and experience and you can do it all because everything is so close together. We go on hikes, cycle the incredible trails, kayak in the ocean and walk through the forest. If you enjoy the outdoors and you enjoy a sense of adventure, you’re not going to be able to beat this place anywhere in the world.
“If you happen to like helicopters like I do, you could see ten of the most stunning places you’ll see in your lifetime in a day. If you are driving, an hour and a half or two hours, the country just unrolls toward you like an IMAX film.”
A world renowned explorer and environmentalist, Cameron is passionate about discovery. “When you see something you have never seen before, it’s a wonderful experience. It’s like a living painting; it’s never the same view two days in a row.”
The Cameron video will roll out in Tourism New Zealand’s key markets around the world and Chief Executive Kevin Bowler is confident it will inspire more people to visit New Zealand. He says: “Having someone of the calibre of James Cameron sharing his personal stories and insights while exploring some of New Zealand’s most beautiful places is of immeasurable value for New Zealand. James and Suzy have chosen to have a home in New Zealand and continue to be inspired by our beautiful landscapes and welcoming, creative people.
‘‘I am sure that this video, which perfectly captures James’s passion for exploration and his curiosity, will inspire many more people to travel to New Zealand and discover the country for themselves.”
Daniel Borgman, the Auckland resident and New Zealander who directed the video says: “Having been born and bred in the South Island, it has been a poignant moment in my career to be telling its story through the eyes of James Cameron. As one of the most respected filmmakers of our time, to have him in front of the camera has allowed us to create a really special and atmospheric piece of content we are all extremely proud to share.”
Locations featured in the James Cameron/100% Pure New Zealand video:
Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park – in the spectacular Southern Alps, New Zealand's highest alpine park encompasses 19 peaks rising to 3000-plus metres and numerous glaciers covering 40 percent of the land area. The skies above form the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, recognised for the rare quality of its almost light-pollution-free skies.
Tasman Glacier – Tasman Glacier, at 27km New Zealand's largest and longest glacier, terminates close to Mt Cook Village. Visitors can hike on the glacier, explore ice caves or take a boat ride through the icebergs in the terminal lake.
Lake Pukaki - Lake Pukaki is the largest of three lakes occupying ancient glacial valleys in the Mackenzie Basin. The lake’s distinctive deep turquoise tones are from finely ground minerals carried in the glacier-fed waters originating from iconic Aoraki Mt Cook.
Glenorchy – the 45-minute drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy, on the northern shores of Lake Wakatipu, has been acclaimed as one of the world’s Top Eight Scenic Drives. The small tourist town is the setting-off point for hiking and jet-boating adventures in Mt Aspiring National Park.
Paradise – 20km beyond Glenorchy, Paradise is a remote farming valley that has long been a popular excursion destination for visitors. It featured as a location in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, and the much-photographed valley vistas include Diamond Lake and iconic Mount Earnslaw.
Dart River – the braided waters of the Dart River flow from the mountains of the Southern Alps into Lake Wakatipu. The best way to enjoy this remote forested alpine landscape is by jet-boat on a Dart River Safari from Queenstown or Glenorchy. There are also more relaxed ‘funyak’ inflatable canoe rides.
Routeburn Track – one of New Zealand’s nine ‘Great Walks’, the 32km Routeburn Track is a two to four day hike via alpine meadows, reflective tarns and alpine gardens, with spectacular vistas over vast mountain ranges and valleys. The walking season runs from October to May, and bookings are required for the huts along the track.
Mount Alfred – from the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, Mt Alfred is a popular day hike. The 4-6 hour return trip begins from the western side of the Dart River valley and the track zigzags uphill through native beech forest for most of the way. A good level of fitness is required but the reward is some of the best lake, river and alpine views to be found in the Southern Alps.
Blanket Bay – this exclusive luxury lodge, on the shores of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown, is a home-away-from-home for the rich and famous looking for privacy, relaxation and pampering, or the endless outdoor adventures on the doorstep. The 13-room lodge has lake views and award-winning cuisine.