Take a flight through Middle-earth on newzealand.com

Tourism New Zealand is inviting potential travellers to discover the real Middle-earth as brought to life in The Hobbit Trilogy, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), by taking a digital journey through filming locations on newzealand.com.

The latest addition to Tourism New Zealand's consumer site, 'Take a Flight', is part of the organisation's work to leverage the connection between the Middle-earth of The Hobbit Trilogy and the landscapes and experiences of New Zealand.

The new interactive experience was released as the global premiere for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug got underway in Los Angeles (7:30pm PST Monday 2 December).

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says 'Take a Flight' is about convincing consumers there are a wide range of unique visitor activities available in and around the filming locations used for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

"All of our activity aims to increase potential visitor's preference for a holiday to New Zealand.

"'Take a Flight through Middle-earth' clearly shows that the fantasy locations used to portray Middle-earth are in fact a reality, and that there is a whole world of experiences to be had and people to meet within the movie-scene style landscapes."

The feature gives consumers the opportunity to embark on a unique interactive flight across the North and South Islands, visiting the four filming locations brought to life in Tourism New Zealand's Book of New Zealand installation as well as numerous destinations and activities in between.

"With the feature available in nine languages on newzealand.com, and its innovative use of real elevation data to draw the diverse and scenic landscapes, the feature takes the 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand experience to a new level of engagement for our target markets," says Kevin.

Consumers will be guided through 'Take a Flight', where game-like elements will compel fans of The Hobbit Trilogy to find and explore four filming locations and collect a special key which unlocks the Lonely Mountain and provides access to extra content. 

Exclusive content from the Book of New Zealand installation is available within each of the filming locations including cast interviews and images direct from the Los Angeles event.

Content invites consumers to interact and learn how the location relates to the film, as well as directing them to further information about the regions and activities onnewzealand.com.

As Tourism New Zealand's consumer website, newzealand.com is at the centre of its strategy to communicate directly with people considering a visit to New Zealand and convert them to travel.  In 2012/13 there were a record 14 million visits to the site, and over 2 million referrals to travel sellers - up 53 per cent year-on-year.

The website now provides over 20 market versions, with nine editions either partly or fully translated into; English, simplified Chinese, German, Japanese, French, Bahasa Indonesian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Latin American Spanish.

Tourism New Zealand worked in collaboration with Whybin\TBWA's Digital Arts Network (DAN) as part of its global agency agreement, as well as Assembly, to design and build the 'Take a flight' feature.

To experience the feature for yourself visit: www.newzealand.com/int/take-a-flight-through-middle-earth/

For images or media enquires contact: Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
leah.phelps@tnz.govt.nz | phone +64 21 843 896

About The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.  The screenplay for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.

New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a WingNut Films Production, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production.  Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM.  http://www.thehobbit.com/

About The Book of New Zealand

The idea for a pop-up book of New Zealand came from the creative minds at Wybin/TBWA. It was then designed and built by The Hobbit Trilogy production designer Dan Hennah and set decorator Ra Vincent.

A sprawling installation that spans the length of two tennis courts, The Book of New Zealand is an  innovative walk-through, multi-media display that brings 100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand to life.

It is staged at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where select publicity activities for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug are taking place and can hold 225 people.  

While the installation is by invitation only, fans will have a chance to browse its pages as part of a special Public Day tour set for 4 December.    

Scores of worldwide media outlets are expected to visit The Book of New Zealand. It will serve as the location for:

  • Official publicity activities surrounding the global release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • a NZ Inc VIP function

The locations in The Book of New Zealand are:

  • Lake-town - Lake Pukaki/Aoraki-Mt Cook
  • Forest River - Pelorus River/Marlborough
  • Beorn's House - Paradise/Glenorchy
  • Hidden Bay - Turoa/Central Plateau