WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — One of the most enjoyable things I did on my recent trans-Pacific voyage from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Sydney, Australia, was to take a tour in Wellington, New Zealand, that took me to a number of the sites where The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed, to include a visit to Peter Jackson's Weta Studios! Following are some representative photos from this experience. The New Zealand fantasy film industry was, in fact, one of the things I spoke about during my tour of duty as Destination Lecture about the Royal Caribbean International vessel Radiance of the Seas, and is one of the things I will spoke about at a number of 2014 conventions, including Dallas Comic & Pop Expo (March 1-2) and Comicpalooza (May 23-26). Above right is the entrance to the municipal park where several of the scenes associated with the departure of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin from the shire were filmed.
Guise also brought story boards depicting stills from The Lord of the Rings, this one showing the scene in which the Hobbits roll down the hill into the woods after being chased by Farmer Maggot. Above right, our recreation of Frodo and the Hobbits where they landed on the road, played by me and a trio of au pairs.