When Peter Jackson filmed his Lord of the Rings trilogy in New Zealand the country rejoiced, even appointing a special minister for the project. However, few could have anticipated how completely it would take over the country. For thousands of visitors, no stay in Aotearoa is complete without a hobbit hole visit to Hobbiton, a pilgrimage to Wellington’s Weta Workshop, where the prosthetics and miniatures were done, and a tour of film locations around Queenstown.
The next wave of scene-seeking tourists took Disney’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as their inspiration, and now there is the prospect of a tsunami of tourists eager to stand where the hobbits of Peter Jackson’s new two-part epic (based on J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit) planted their feet. Trips to location sites undoubtedly visit some magnificent scenery, but don’t expect scenes to look as they did in the films. Digital enhancement works wonders, but the landscape stands up just fine without CGI trickery.