New Zealand is home of Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’

Published on : Friday, July 8, 2016

unnamedNew Zealand’s newest movie star role will be revealed when Disney’s Pete’s Dragon has its US première on 8 August, 2016. New Zealand is set to star in a new movie fantasy, this time as the home of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon – scheduled for worldwide release in August 2016.A first look at Elliot the dragon from the upcoming Disney film Pete’s Dragon, shot in New Zealand.

A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family classic Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend – a lovable dragon named Elliot.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 Pete’s Dragon, New Zealand plays Millhaven, an American Pacific Northwest logging town.Two trailers released to date show four New Zealand locations – New Zealand’s thriving film hub of Wellington, cultural and cycling Mecca Rotorua, adventure capital Queenstown, and fisherman’s paradise Tapanui – featuring in the film.


Bryce Dallas Howard is Grace, Robert Redford is Mr. Meacham and Oona Laurence is Natalie in Disney’s Pete’s Dragon.Most of the forest scenes for Pete’s Dragon were shot in Rotorua’s Redwoods Forest, an extensive plantation of soaring Californian redwoods that makes it the ideal double for the USA.

Redwoods Forest is a popular destination for hiking and mountain biking. Many trails wind through the forest with spectacular hill-top views over the lakes and volcanic wonders of Rotorua, making this a uniquely ‘Kiwi’ experience.

Rotorua is known as New Zealand’s Māori cultural hub and for its geothermal activity.
The Redwoods Treewalk – a new eco-experience that’s the first of its kind for New Zealand – is one way to experience Rotorua’s natural wonders. The series of 23 suspension bridges traverses the air between 22 majestic 110-year-old redwood trees, 12-metres above the ground.

Nearby Weta Digital, the visual effects company founded by filmmaker Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor, has been responsible for the latest digital effects bringing to life Elliot the dragon.

Visitors can go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Weta to see artists at work, examine authentic movie props, try on prosthetics, create their own fake blood or realistic chainmaille.

Mt Victoria – a 10-minute drive from Miramar – was used to film several of the forest scenes in Pete’s Dragon. The prominent tree-covered city landmark offers sweeping views across Wellington and is a favourite picnic spot and leisure destination for locals and tourists. The area has also become popular with filmmakers looking for a natural landscape in close proximity to the city and Miramar studios.
Lonely Planet has described Wellington as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’. The city is also known as the national centre of arts, coffee and craft beer.


Queenstown, southern South Island

The alpine resort town of Queenstown, in New Zealand’s southern South Island, is a lively year-round tourist destination that frequently rates among the world’s top holiday destinations. In this international adventure capital, the thrills start before arrival as your plane flies between mountain ranges to land in the narrow valley on the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace is Disney’s reimagining of the family classic Pete’s Dragon which was filmed in New Zealand.Filmed at Deer Park Heights, and just below The Remarkables mountains, Pete watches as Elliot the dragon appears from beneath a cliff top to fly over him.

Local helicopter company Glacier Southern Lakes filmed the aerial sequences for Pete’s Dragon. Tourists can soar like a dragon on their own aerial adventure around Queenstown, with the company offering daily scenic rides or private charters.


Tapanui, lower South Island

Tapanui, in the Otago region of the lower South Island, was transformed into the main street of the film’s quiet American town.In real life, Tapanui is a popular spot for fishermen chasing an abundance of brown trout and sea salmon in the local rivers.Bryce Dallas Howard plays Grace and Oakes Fegley is Pete in Disneys’ Pete’s Dragon, the adventure of an orphaned boy and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon.

The area is also close to the Clutha Gold Trail, one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s ‘Great Rides. Open year-round, this wide, well-formed trail stretches 73km offering a rural heartland experience enriched with rugged gold mining history.


Source:-New Zealand Tourism

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