Putting New Zealand in the picture with film tourism

New Zealand, with its diverse and spectacular landscapes, continues to take the movie making world by storm.

Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea, with a population of just over 4.5 million, New Zealand provides backdrops that are authentic and real. It also boasts world class production facilities and top creative minds.

As the official filming location of Ghost in the Shell, New Zealand is delighted to showcase more than its stunning locations, but a broader film making experience, the ability to transform New Zealand’s capital Wellington, into a futuristic Asian city.

Film tourism

Films have a powerful influence over people choosing where they want to travel. Because the locations used in films like Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are real, many film enthusiasts can immerse themselves in them, follow in the footsteps of their favourite stars, and eat, drink and explore the same places as they did.

  • New Zealand was voted* the number one film tourism destination in the world by HBO viewers, ahead of New York (Sex and the City) and Northern Ireland (Game of Thrones).
  • The same survey found one in four adults now choose where to go on their next holiday based on filming locations used in their favourite TV shows or films.
  • Britain’s Daily Mail cited a survey by 'Travelation' which found that in the UK 27% of travelers said movies and books inspire them to go on holiday.** This was led by Mamma Mia in Greece 17%, with New Zealand and Middle-earth in second place at 16%.

The Hobbit Trilogy continues to have a massive impact on film tourism in New Zealand.

  • Nearly one in five (18%) holiday visitors cite The Hobbit Trilogy as the reason for their initial interest in New Zealand.
  • 94% of visitors are aware of The Hobbit Trilogy being filmed in New Zealand.
  • 29% of tourists have a 'hobbit' visitor experience while in New Zealand. 

Ghost in the Shell

During the filming of Ghost in the Shell, cast and crew had the opportunity to experience some great adventures in Wellington and around the country.

Now visitors to New Zealand can have those same experiences and follow in the footsteps of their favourite stars. 

Why not visit the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, where actor Pilou Asbæk holidayed with his family.  You can ride the luge, zipline through native forests or just relax in the thermal pools.

For Juliette Binoche, it is important to connect with the place where she is filming. The French actress was able to relax at Annandale Coastal Farm Escape, just an hour away from Christchurch.   

New Zealand’s Top 10 film locations:

  1. Cathedral Cove (Chronicles of Narnia)
  2. Hobbiton Movie Set (The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit trilogies)
  3. Mount Taranaki (The Last Samurai)
  4. Paradise (Wolverine & The Hobbit Trilogy)
  5. Aoraki, Mount Cook (Vertical Limit)
  6. Flock Hill (Chronicles of Narnia)
  7. Kaitoke Regional Park (The Lord of The Rings & The Hobbit trilogies)
  8. Karekare beach (The Piano)
  9. Oreti Beach (The World's Fastest Indian)
  10. Lyall Bay (King Kong)