When it comes to The Lord of The Rings, New Zealand is always famously mentioned for the enchanting beauty of its scenery. From deeply-gouged canyons and ominous volcanoes to lofty, snow-covered peaks, the physical beauty of Middle-earth was arguably the films’ greatest draw. What many moviegoers don’t realize, however, is that the filming locations for The Lord of The Rings were just a fraction of the overall production. Mythical creatures such as orcs and balrogs were needed to prowl those canyons, and professional makeup and creative design were needed to round out the set.
While there are numerous tours to Lord of the Rings filming locations in cities across New Zealand, there’s only one tour where you can visit the place where the magic was all tied together. At Weta Workshop in the suburbs of Wellington, this 65,000 sq. ft. facility is where much of the design, props, makeup, and weaponry were created in the making of the films. This is an experience where you can go far beyond seeing the places where the movies were filmed, and actually gain some fascinating insight into how they were actually created.
In addition to the effects for The Lord of the Rings, Weta Workshop has been used in the making of Avatar, King Kong, and The Hobbit. From the depths of these walls and from the brains of these artists, literal worlds have been conceptualized and built and crafted for your enjoyment on the screen.
Only five minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from Wellington, Weta Workshop is a fascinating stop where the magic of the movies is literally brought to life and the characters are heroically born.