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The top five New Zealand-made Hollywood films

These are some must-see movies
8 July 2022 2:34PM

Hot off the news that NZ$140 million of subsidies, paid for by the taxpayer, has gone to the Avatar franchise, which is filming in New Zealand.
So straight from the Today FM newsroom, here are the top five Hollywood films that have been filmed in Godzone Aotearoa.

1. Lord of the Rings – The Trilogy  

Based on the epic high-fantasy novel by English author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the shadow of the Kaimai Ranges southwest of Matamata putting the town on the map as the home of 'Middle Earth'.

2. The Hobbit Trilogy

The Hobbit follows closely behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy also based on a novel by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are another one that cemented Matamata as 'Middle Earth'. 

3. Avatar

While large segments of the film were filmed in closed-off studios in the Wellington region, Aotearoa was one of the countries chosen to influence the design of a number of the fictional locations within the film.

4. The Piano

One of the film's iconic scenes featuring Holly Hunter playing the piano was set in Te Ika-a-Māui the North Island and was filmed on the breathtaking Karekare beach in Auckland's Waitākere Ranges.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia

From the amazing Cathedral Cove in the Coromandel to Elephant Rocks near Duntroon in Otago, the Chronicles of Narnia showcased some iconic locations with some becoming a tourism mecca for movie buffs worldwide.

Bonus round: Bridge to Terabithia

The main filming locations were set in and around the wider Tāmaki Makaurau region from Puhoi to the Waitakere Range, Woodhill to the interior of the Auckland Art Gallery.

The top five New Zealand-made Hollywood films