Fantastical Places

I recently wrote a post about food in fantasy made real. Now I think I’ll write about fantasy places made real. This will most likely end up as multiple posts since today I’ll just be talking about New Zealand.

Hobbiton- or a sheep farm in Matamata

I love New Zealand. Actually, a more appropriate word is obsessed. If you ever speak to me, New Zealand will most likely come up in conversation somehow. I’ll find a way to work it in. But ever since seeing the beauty of the country in the Lord of the Rings movies, I’ve known I had to go there.

Lord of the Rings is now, of course, what most people think of when talking about New Zealand. And they have fully embraced their status as Middle Earth. The official tourism website of New Zealand has a special section dedicated to tours, itineraries and locations based on the movies. With the release of The Hobbit next year, that list will most likely grow.

But New Zealand is not only the Lord of the Rings‘ physical home. The country also served for various locations in the recent Chronicles of Narnia movies.

Look familiar? The Pevensie children entered Narnia through this passage in Prince Caspian; it's also known as Cathedral Cove.

Peter Jackson, who is a New Zealander by birth, has filmed most of his other movies there, including King Kong. (anything on Skull Island is all New Zealand- with a few enhancements!)

Whale Rider is another well known movie filmed entirely in New Zealand.

A young Maori girl attempts to gain her grandfather's respect.

And finally, one of my favorites, The Price of Milk.


Will I be going to New Zealand? Absolutely. I’m just saving money for a plane ticket and then it’s simply a matter of deciding the best time to go and narrowing down what I want to see into a period of about three weeks.

I can’t wait!

6 thoughts on “Fantastical Places

  1. Rosie Flanigan says:

    My daughter sent me the link to this post of yours because I am also obsessed with New Zealand. I’d like to say that it is because of Lord of the Rings, and it’s true that those movies sent me over the edge, but I saw The Price of Milk first, and what I would most want to do in life is dress in a red sari and run down that gorgeous green hill that is in that movie. So few people know of that movie, and it is my all-time #2 favorite, right after LOTR. Somewhere in my Live Journal, I have a note to myself about what Harry Sinclair says is the location of that hill, so that if I were ever able to get to New Zealand, I would contact the owners and ask them if I could come and fulfill my silly little dream. I actually had $1200 saved towards a trip until I started rescuing dogs, and now, of course, all that and more is gone, so I’ll probably never get there..but I still have the dream. I am so impressed that you listed that movie. Thank you…this made my day.


    • Mary says:

      That’s awesome that you have heard of it too! I don’t remember how I first heard of it, but I know that I first watched it on netflix. And it was so beautiful and so funny! I still crack up at the dog. I’ve been trying to save money too but it just hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully we’ll both get there someday!


      • Rosie Flanigan says:

        I saw it first on the IFC Channel while cleaning house one day, so at first I wasn’t paying much attention, but strange things kept happening that made me say, “Huh?” so I finally sat down and watched, totally charmed (though I still wanted to smack the “best” friend), and then looked to see when it was on again so I could watch the whole thing. I own it and watch it pretty often, and I own the soundtrack, too, since that is some exquisite music.

        And yes, as the mom of 12 dogs, I LOVE the dog! 🙂 I hope you’re right, I hope we both get there! 🙂


      • Mary says:

        12 dogs! Amazing!

        By the way, if you’re ever bored online, this is one of my favorite ways to waste time:
        The pictures they use are gorgeous and show the country more realistically than any professional tourist pictures might!


      • Rosie says:

        Oh, goodness, I can see how that would be a real time-waster! I think I already found a house I want. 🙂 Of course, that’s right after I win the lottery (that I don’t play). 🙂

        This has been so cool, to find someone who feels the same way about that country. Thank you so much!


  2. […] I’ve written about food and locations in fantasy books/movies, so why not […]


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