New Zealand – Home Of Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’

Published on : Tuesday, February 23, 2016

dragnNew Zealand has been featured for the first time as the home of Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’- due for worldwide release in late 2016.


A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon.


The film is directed by David Lowery and stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, New Zealand’s own Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford.


In the first trailer of Pete’s Dragon released today, New Zealand plays Millhaven, a logging town in the American Pacific Northwest.


Wellington – New Zealand’s thriving film capital, Maori cultural and cycling hub Rotorua, and fisherman’s paradise Tapanui all feature in the trailer.


Wellington, Lower North Island

Production for Pete’s Dragon began at Stone Street Studios in Wellington’s Miramar film hub.

Weta Digital, beside Stone St Studios, is the visual effects company founded by filmmakers Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor which has utilised the latest in digital effects to bring the dragon Elliott to life.

Visitors can go on their own behind the scenes tour of Weta, which gives them the opportunity to see artists at work, get close to authentic movie props, and have a go at trying on prosthetics, making fake blood or chainmaille.

Lonely Planet has described Wellington as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’. The town is also known as a centre of arts, coffee and craft beer.


Rotorua, Central North Island

The forest scenes for Pete’s Dragon were shot in Redwoods Forest in Rotorua; home to soaring Californian redwoods, which made it the perfect double for America.

Redwoods Forest is a popular destination for hikers and cyclists. The track winds through the lush native forest and has spectacular views over the lakes and thermal wonders of Rotorua, making this a uniquely ‘Kiwi’ experience.

A new eco experience has recently opened in the area – The Redwoods Treewalk is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and consists of a series of 23 suspension bridges traversing the gaps between 22 majestic 110-year-old redwood trees, 12 metres (40ft) above the ground.

Rotorua is New Zealand’s cultural tourism hub, and is also known for its geothermal activity and adventure sports.


Tapanui, Lower South Island

Tapanui, located in the Otago region of the lower South Island, was transformed into the main street of the film’s quiet American town.

Tapanui is a popular spot for fishermen, with an abundance of brown trout and sea salmon in the area.

The area  is also home to the Clutha Gold Trail in Lawrence, one of the ‘Great Rides’ of the Nga Haerenga, New Zealand Cycle Trail. Open year-round, this smooth, wide, well-formed trail which stretches 73km offers a rural heartland experience combined with a wealth of gold mining history.

Nearby on the Otago coastline is Nugget Point where visitors can see diverse native wildlife including New Zealand fur seals and Yellow Eyed Penguins. Nugget Point was named in New Zealand’s top 10 landmarks by travel website Trip Advisor in 2014 and 2015.




Source:- Tourism New Zealand

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