Robert Redford’s ultimate New Zealand Paradise

Published on : Tuesday, August 16, 2016

68680d5b-b060-4188-8bb1-c788cb756423-2016812104613“New Zealand is a country with a smile on its face,” says Robert Redford.


Superstar actor and Sundance founder Robert Redford spent several weeks in New Zealand while filming Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, shooting many of his scenes in the fishing town of Tapanui in the South Island.


A short helicopter flight west from Tapanui is a place called Paradise. Some say it was named for its stunning scenery; others argue that it’s all to do with the paradise ducks that live in the area. Either way, what everyone agrees on is that Paradise is exactly that – so, it’s no surprise that Robert Redford elected to enjoy a luxury escape here with his family.


Immersed in a landscape that has captured the eye of many filmmakers, Wyuna House is a luxury villa set in a private natural reserve. Perched above the northern end of Lake Wakatipu, the schist and timber lodge has been designed to blend harmoniously into its beautiful alpine setting.


The Redford family stayed for a long weekend enjoying New Zealand’s most sought after scenery and the luxuries of a fine contemporary New Zealand home.


“It was a very attractive place to be, you couldn’t help smile when you were there and it was a wonderful experience for that reason,” Robert Redford said.


Just across the road from Wyuna House, the Redford family dined at New Zealand’s celebrated Blanket Bay Lodge. The 13-room lodge has panoramic lake views and an award-winning kitchen – both of which have helped gain many awards, including being named as the ‘World’s Ultimate Escape’ by the UK Sunday Times Magazine.


Scenic southern lakes


The best way to reach a luxury resort in Paradise is by air, and Robert Redford and family were transferred to Wyuna House by Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters who also filmed the aerial sequences for Disney’s Pete’s Dragon. Their scenic flight took in the wider Southern Lakes region across jagged peaks, mountain glaciers and Milford Sound’s dramatic waterfalls.


“I love being in New Zealand and the fact I was able to be in a helicopter with a great pilot that took you up to the glacier, up the valley, and to the sea – he took you everywhere you could possibly be so you could see all of what New Zealand had to offer. That was a big moment for me, it was just mesmerising,” Robert Redford said.


Visitors who make it to Paradise Valley enter a very special place where glorious isolation, natural grandeur and a magnificent palette are combined in perfect balance. Robert Redford and family spent a lot of their time outdoors exploring the native forest and quiet green pastures on horseback at Dart Stables – one of the star’s long-time passions.


The region is one of New Zealand’s most popular destinations for hikers and nature lovers, with more than 19 day walks to explore. The Redford family went on several local trails including the Diamond Creek walk.


“It’s a country that appreciates itself as a country, as a landscape. Making the film was one thing, but experiencing New Zealand outside the film was another and I really loved it,” Robert Redford said.


New Zealand’s adventure capital – Queenstown


Alpine resort Queenstown – the nearest main centre to Paradise – is a lively year-round tourist destination, rated internationally as one of the world’s top holiday spots.


Adventure and indulgence go hand-in-hand in Queenstown, which boasts some of New Zealand’s best luxury accommodation, world-class golf courses and thrilling activities set in dramatic alpine landscapes.


Glenorchy, a 45-minute drive from Queenstown, is on the road to Paradise and along a route that has been lauded as one of the ‘Top Eight Scenic Drives’ in the world.


About Disney’s Pete’s Dragon


A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliot, who just so happens to be a dragon. Disney’s Pete’s Dragon stars Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Oakes Fegley (“This is Where I Leave You”), Wes Bentley (“The Hunger Games”), Karl Urban (“Star Trek”), Oona Laurence (“Southpaw”) and Oscar® winner Robert Redford (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”). The film is directed by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”) from a screenplay by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein and a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a. (“The Finest Hours,” “Friday Night Lights”), with Barrie M. Osborne (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Great Gatsby”) serving as executive producer.


For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliot. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliot seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. Disney’s “Pete’s Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on 12 August , 2016. The film will be released in New Zealand on 15 September, 2016.



Source:- New Zealand


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