Get a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the making of "The Lord of the Rings" film trilogy by visiting director Peter Jackson's special-effects studio Weta Cave.
Depart from the pier and begin a picturesque drive along lovely Oriental Bay toward Mount Victoria, which offers a spectacular 360 view of Wellington and its well-protected harbor. The dense forest undergrowth covering Mount Victoria served as one of the locations for "The Lord of the Rings" movie trilogy, which was directed by Wellingtonian Peter Jackson.
The three films were nominated for 30 Academy Awards and won 17 of them. Locations played a huge role in the films' success, many of them being in the immediate vicinity of Wellington.
For an insider's look at the magic behind the making of "The Lord of the Rings," you'll visit Weta Cave in nearby Miramar, which is Weta Workshop’s mini-museum, theaterette and shop. You’ll make your way to the iconic Roxy Theatre to enjoy morning tea as you watch enlightening interviews with Jackson, co-producer Jamie Selkirk, and props, costumes and special-effects masters Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger. These exclusive interviews reveal the remarkable ingenuity and imagination that went into the making of "The Lord of the Rings" films, which grossed nearly $3 billion at the box office. Many of the characters in the films are on display in the museum at Weta Cave.
Next, take a short drive along the stunning, wild South Coast of Wellington. Now a marine reserve, you'll travel out to the very edge of the reserve and visit the information center at Owhiro Bay. While admiring the natural beauty of this location, you can see where Frodo and Sam finally reached the 'Gates of Mordor'. Afterwards, you'll travel directly back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2-hours of moderate walking/standing. The tour is available to wheelchair guests who have a collapsible wheelchair, are able to make their own way on and off the coach and have an able bodied companion to assist them. Those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate layered clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; sunscreen; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended.