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'.
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.