Wanaka Tree In Lake
Places Travel

Movie Locations To Visit In New Zealand

The top 3 movie locations to visit in New Zealand are Wanaka, Matamata and Oreti Beach!

So you’ve seen the movies and now you want to visit the locations! Great idea! Let me tell you a little bit about each location –

Wanaka

The movie starring Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon, A Wrinkle In Time, was filmed in beautiful scenic and serene Wanaka in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. Parts of The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies were also filmed here.

Surrounded by snow capped mountains, Wanaka is about an hours drive from Queenstown.

A willow tree growing inside the lake is a famous tourist attraction which features in lots of people’s Instagram feeds. Apparently the tree had its lower branches cut by vandals in 2020.

Willow tree in Lake Wanaka
The Lake Wanaka willow tree – photo credit to Ken Cheung

Things To Do In Wanaka

  1. Climb alongside the highest waterfall in the world, Twin Falls
  2. Go on a tandem paragliding flight from  Treble Cone Mountain down to the lake.
  3. Go skydiving
  4. Climb and abseil through the canyons
  5. Go on a wine tour
  6. Check out the famous willow tree in the lake and feed your Instagram
  7. Check out the lavender farm
  8. Visit Mount Aspiring National Park
  9. Go on a bike trail at Cardrona Bike Park
  10. Go fishing on a charter boat
  11. Hire a kayak or paddleboard and go on the lake tour
  12. Go for a horse trek
  13. Go on a helicopter scenic flight and land on a glacier
  14. check out these local attractions – PuzzleWorld, National Transport and Toy Museum, Warbirds and Wheels.

As you can see, there is plenty to do in beautiful Wanaka! For more Wanaka information, click this link https://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/

Matamata

Another great place to visit in New Zealand is Matamata, a town in the North Island, about 2 hours from Auckland. The Hobbiton movie set from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies was created here.

Hobbiton and a bread board
Hobbiton – photo credit to Omid Photos

The hobbit holes that were created for the movies were left there as a tourist attraction. There is also a  “Welcome to Hobbiton” sign at the entrance of the town. You can take guided tours through Hobbiton which has more than 44 hobbit holes and you can hear a commentary about how Hobbiton was created.

What To Do In Matamata

  1. Visit Hobbiton
  2. Check out the Wairere Falls
  3. Go for a walk along the Matamata Heritage Trail
  4. If you’re up for a challenge then head to the Trapd Escape Room
  5. Try some New Zealand cheese at Kaimai Cheese in Waharoa
  6. Have a swim at the outdoor hot pools at Opal Hot Springs
  7. Check out the beautiful garden at  Roam Daltons Plantation
  8. If it’s a rainy day, head to the Wallace Art Gallery
  9. Fly in a glider plane
  10. Visit the Te Panui Scenic Reserve

For more information on Matamata follow this link https://matamatanz.co.nz/

Oreti Beach Invercargill

One more must see filming location to visit in New Zealand is for the movie about Burt Munro, The World’s Fastest Indian, the amazing Oreti Beach.

Oreti Beach is just minutes from Invercargill’s city center.

Oreti beach Invercargill New Zealand
Oreti Beach – photo credit to Nathan Cowley

This is a great beach for families or adrenaline junkies. It’s a great place for horse riding, riding motorcycles or 4 wheel drives, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, swimming and building sandcastles or just watch the stunning sunsets.

This beach is around 26kms long which is why it was a perfect place for Burt Munro to test his motorbike. Oreti beach is one of the only beaches to allow vehicles on it.

There are plenty of places to stay and cafes to have a bite at and while you are there visit the Chiaroni art gallery.

For more information visit https://southlandnz.com/invercargill/natural-attraction/oreti-beach

I guarantee you will love these locations! Do you have any plans to visit?

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7 Comments

  1. I did know that parts of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings movies were shot in New Zealand. I was surprised to learn that A Wrinkle in Time was as well. What a great book and a great movie! New Zealand has so much incredible scenery.

  2. These do not look real! They really do like they’re out of a movie. I’d love to just peacefully in any of these spots!

    1. I know, me too! Stunning isn’t it?!

  3. That’s so beautiful! I would love to visit someday, although NZ is literally on the other side of the world from me. But honestly, right now, I just want to travel SOMEWHERE. Traveling is my greatest pleasure, so I’m looking forward to being able to do it again soon.

    1. Me too Adrian! I was meant to travel to Europe last year but then Covid happened, so I cant wait to be able to travel again one day even though I still think it will be quite a while away yet!

  4. Love your work! Definitely must add in our bucketlist!

    1. Thanks Jemima! I hope you can make it here one day!

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