Wellington is the capital of New Zealand’s film industry, which is increasingly centred on the Miramar Peninsula. During World War II, defence bases were set up here, and the large, long-abandoned buildings were prime for conversion into production company studios. The stunning natural setting has also been used for film locations for numerous films including the Lord of the Rings, King Kong, and the two Hobbit films, the first of which is expected to be released in late 2012.

Peter Jackson still lives out this way, and his special effects and entertainment company, Weta, which he co-owns with Richard Taylor, Tania Rodger and Jamie Selkirk, has its base in Miramar. A visit to the workshop’s Weta Cave, on the corner of Camperdown Road and Weka Street, includes an engaging twenty-minute film of behind-the-scenes workshop footage, along with a peek at the small museum, and the chance to buy hand-crafted figurines and limited-edition collectibles at its shop, which also sells movie location guides. Look for the King Kong footprint in the concrete out front.

Weta partner Jamie Selkirk, along with a number of business partners, had a hand in restoring The Roxy, Miramar’s Art Deco cinema. Some ten different Wellington city tour operators, including those listed on, offer movie tours taking in the peninsula’s movie-making hotspots.

To learn more about New Zealand’s film industry – and to watch New Zealand films on demand for free – stop by the New Zealand Film Archive in the city centre.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

Everything you need to know about backpacking New Zealand

New Zealand’s craggy coastline and beautiful national parks beg to be explored. The scenery gets more spectacular around every corner, with beaches, vineyards…

21 Nov 2017 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook