WellingtonSee & Do
3 people outside Wētā workshops, poking swords at a hill troll from Lord of the Rings.

Wētā Workshop Tours & Wētā Cave

Tucked away in a quiet suburban Miramar street, a short drive from Wellington’s city centre lies a cinematic gem. Wētā Workshop crafts special effects and props for some of the world’s most renowned films and TV shows.

The design and manufacturing facility combines cutting-edge technology with hand-crafted artistry to serve up Oscar-winning props, costumes, and creature effects. And, best of all, it opens its doors to fans who want to see exactly how the magic is made.

On the big screen

Wētā Workshop is best known for its Academy Award®-winning work on ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ trilogies. But there are plenty of other movies and shows its had a hand in. Its constantly growing list of blockbuster credits includes ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Avatar’, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’, ‘Dune’, ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’, and many more.

2 people airbrushing a large gorilla mask in the SFX area of the Wētā cave workshop tour.

Take a tour

The Wētā team are happy to take the public behind the scenes in their creative workshop tours. Guests can explore different sorts of prop-making, costumes, and special effects that go into making movie magic. There are plenty of recognisable props, intricate models and set pieces along the way, including items from Middle-Earth and beyond. If you’re lucky, you’ll spy an artist at work on the tour stage.

The tour departs from the Wētā Cave retail store. A cavern of creativity in its own right, the shop features plenty of photo opportunities. Sneak past the giant trolls who guard the front door and don’t forget to check out the mini-museum where a particularly hairy pair of Hobbit feet are on display.

If you want to get hands-on yourself, try a creative workshop. Roll up your sleeves and learn the magic of sculpting with household materials and modelling clay. Refine, design, and dye a leather keepsake in an introduction to leather work. Or, try your hand at special effects makeup. You’ll learn to create gruesome wounds, fake blood, scars and scrapes. Workshops are introductory and no creative experience is necessary.

A child and adult admire a statue of a Troll from the Lord of the Rings Saga while on a Wētā Cave and Workshop Tour.