10 Of The Most Fantastic Movies That Were Filmed In New Zealand

Jack Saddler Jack Saddler

10 Of The Most Fantastic Movies That Were Filmed In New Zealand

There’s some corkers in here.

We all know how stunning the landscapes are in New Zealand, paving the way for some wonderful film shoots. Plus, we also know the beauty should be used more for some great pictures!

Nonetheless, there’s still a cracking selection of movies to choose from that are filmed or set in the wonderful locations across the nation. Here’s ten great movies that show off NZ to the world.

1. Lord Of The Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

Image: Dodd Lu, Flickr

Yes, this is the obvious one. But, could we really start with anything else? The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand. Mordor, Hobbiton, Helm’s Deep… yep, all in NZ spanned across over 150 different locations. And, you might have noticed some tourism has sprung up just a little from these films!

Read more: The Weta Cave In Wellington Is An Exhibition Of Props From The ‘Lord Of The Rings’ And Other Movies

2. The Hobbit Trilogy (2012-2014)

Image: Mark Gunn, Flickr

Ditto, pretty much all we’ve said above. The beloved Tolkien epic, The Hobbit, was also adapted into a film trilogy after the Lord Of The Rings films came to a close.

3. What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

Now, even though this is kind of cheating, we just couldn’t stand to leave out the epic What We Do In The Shadows. This hilarious gem sees a group of vampires getting up to know good in their Wellington flat. Despite being set in NZ, it was filmed in Toronto. But shh, don’t blow the gang’s cover!

4. The Last Samurai (2003)

Image: Travelbusy, Flickr

This Tom Cruise drama was set in Japan, but they happened to pick out the stunning Mount Taranaki to stand in for Mount Fuji. An excellent choice they made, too.

5. King Kong (2005)

A 2005 remake of the classic picture saw King Kong hit our shores. Wellington did a great impression of New York City and Skull Island as the famous beast climbed the tower.


6. Black Sheep (2006)

This light-hearted horror comedy is filmed in Wellington and Wairarapa. Basically, tune in if you want to see the many sheep of New Zealand turning angry!

7. Whale Rider (2002)

Based on the 1987 novel of the same name, Whale Rider follows a young Maori girl in Whangara going against family wishes trying to fulfil her destiny to become chief of the male-led tribe. The New Zealand landscape it shows throughout truly is stunning.

8. The Chronicles Of Narnia

Both The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) and Prince Caspian (2008) were filmed in New Zealand, showing off the glorious landscape as part of Aslan’s kingdom.

9. Boy (2010)

Boy is set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, and follows 11-year-old reuniting with his previously criminal father who has returned to look for a bag of money.

10. The Piano (1993)

The Piano is a period-drama set in the nineteenth-century, picturing a mute woman who is sent to New Zealand  for an arranged marriage with her daughter and beloved piano. It depicts the forests of North Island and more beautiful landscapes across the country.

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