Explore Wellington film locations
Take a tour through Wellington’s filmmaking history and explore the locations where the magic of the movies has been brought to life
Wellington Airport Stewart Duff Drive, Rongotai, Wellington
As soon as you land at Wellington Airport you know you've reached the home of Sir Peter Jackson's movie-making empire. Greeting you in the arrival hall are massive Middle-earth giants - Gandalf and the giant eagles and Smaug the dragon. These epic installations were created by the talented craftsman of Oscar-winning Wētā Workshop and are a lasting reminder of the impact The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies have had on Wellington.
Park Road Post Production
141 Park Road, Miramar, Wellington
Developed by Sir Peter Jackson for filmmakers, Park Road Post prides itself on the highest standard of technical infrastructure. Built in 2005, it houses a unique combination of services; from a world-class laboratory, through telecine, digital intermediate and HD post-production, to Academy Award® winning sound post-production. The facility’s select filmography includes Jackson's The Hobbit Trilogy, The Lovely Bones and The Lord of the Rings trilogy; Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin; and popular New Zealand films Boy and Two Little Boys. Park Road Post Production is not open to the public.
10 Kent Terrace, Mount Victoria, Wellington
Grand old picture palace Embassy Theatre was originally built in 1926 and was fully refurbished inside and out in 2003 for the world premiere of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Since then, the theatre has hosted the Australasian premieres of Peter Jackson's King Kong and The Lovely Bones, among many of Wellington's finest film and arts festivals. It's also where the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was held on 28 November 2012.
16 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington
At the top of Courtenay Place near Embassy Theatre you’ll find a towering, threatening creature poised to run amok – but look closely and you’ll see it’s made from recycled mechanical parts including old camera reels, Nintendo Gameboys, and a toasted sandwich maker. Wētā Workshop was commissioned to create Tripod in 2005 to celebrate Wellington’s film and television industry and used recycled materials to pay tribute to the New Zealand screen industry's number 8 wire attitude and ability to create with whatever is at hand.
Mount Victoria, Hataitai, Wellington
Mount Victoria Lookout is one of the city's most popular visitor sites, offering panoramic views across the city and was the setting for some of the very first footage for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. "We found a really good, spooky-looking road for the scene where the four hobbits run and hide under the tree roots as the Black Rider approaches," Sir Peter Jackson says of the site on Mount Victoria, which was used in the famous 'get off the road' scene.
Lyall Bay, Wellington
A cliff face by Lyall Bay, a popular surf beach along Wellington's rugged South Coast, was the setting for Dunharrow in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. On their days off during filming Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) learned to surf at Lyall Bay, with Mortensen famously having to be shot as a right-to-left profile for some scenes after an incident with his surfboard. Filming for King Kong's Skull Island also took place here.
Stone Street Studios
1 Stone Street, Miramar, Wellington
Co-owned by the Oscar-winning trio of Sir Peter Jackson, Sir Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk, Stone Street Studios' facilities were extensively used by New Line Cinema, Universal Pictures, and Warner Brothers for the production of The Lord of the Rings, King Kong and The Hobbit Trilogy. Stone Street Studios and neighbouring film infrastructure Wētā Workshop, Weta Digital and Park Road Post Production make an enticing "one-stop-shop" for overseas productions to New Zealand and provide local filmmakers with facilities of international quality. Stone Street Studios is not open to the public.
Sky Stadium, 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington
To help create the sound of 10,000 chanting Uruk-hai orcs during the Battle of Helm's Deep for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, director Sir Peter Jackson recorded 30,000 enthusiastic cricket fans chanting in the Black Speech during the lunch break of a BLACKCAPS cricket match at Wellington’s Sky Stadium in 2002. You can head along to a sports match at the stadium and recreate some stomping and chanting of your own.
Mount Crawford, Maupuia, Wellington
Five Armies film for Dale - the town of men that sits in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. An entire set was built at Mt Crawford to depict the village but was burnt down as a part of the filming. The location is on private land, however, you can view this location by looking across from neighbouring Mount Victoria - the site of many other locations in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy including the famous 'get off the road' scene.
Frank Kitts Lagoon
Frank Kitts Park, Wellington
Top Bollywood filmmakers used downtown Wellington as a setting for a remake of The Italian Job, Players, in 2011. It featured popular Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor and Bipasha Basu and was the first film to be shot in New Zealand by well-known director brothers Abbas - Mustan. The around Whairepo Lagoon was used for the legendary car chase scenes and filming also took place on the City to Sea Bridge that connects Te Ngākau Civic Square to the waterfront.
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