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Fantasy of 100% Middle-earth welcomes travellers

A 23 metre lenticular display blending the fantasy of Middle-earth with the reality of New Zealand, will greet visitors as they arrive at Auckland International Airport for the next three months.

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Part of TNZ's lenticular display blending the fantasy of Middle-earth with the reality of New Zealand.

The Tourism New Zealand installation welcomes visitors "to a place where fantasy comes to life" and encourages them to share their Middle-earth experiences through social media channels at #realmiddleearth.

It is part of Tourism New Zealand's global marketing campaign aimed at turning the attention New Zealand will gain by starring in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, into travel.

The lenticular display shifts between new illustrations, created by three talented designers at Weta Workshop and photographic images of New Zealand tourism experiences. 

The illustrations take scenes from Tourism New Zealand's television and cinema advertisement that feature the characters and cultures of Middle-earth, and transform them into real New Zealand scenes and experiences, to illustrate the reality of a New Zealand holiday.

Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the display aims to inspire travellers to take in more of New Zealand's magical landscapes and activities, and to discover that there is a whole world of experiences to be had and people to meet within the movie-scene style landscapes.

Weta Workshop Design Studio Manager Rik Athorne say: "Having the opportunity to explore more areas of Middle-earth has been wonderful experience.  We really feel that the 100% Middle-earth campaign captures the fantastical magic of New Zealand and hope it will continue to inspire people to visit and experience it for themselves."

Weta Workshop Concept Designer Paul Tobin says: "Typically our designs are focussed to the moments of the journey that are touched upon by the script.  With 100% Middle-earth we had the pleasure of venturing off the script and capturing aspects of Middle-earth inspired by New Zealand's beauty and moments that may be happening off camera."

A second Weta Workshop dwarf installation, which features large statues and depictions from the film, was also unveiled today and aims to stimulate the imagination of travellers and form part of the hype around the movie.

The Weta Workshop dwarf installation was designed by Weta concept designers Chris Guise and Rebekah Tisch, and incorporates two 16ft (5m) tall dwarf sculptures and four 20ft x 9ft (6.5m x 3m) archways in typical dwarven architectural design.

The installation will be in place until March 2013.