Movies Made in New Zealand.:'Pete's Dragon'

This week sees the release of the Disney remake of "Pete's Dragon" starring Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard. Although the story is set in Oregon, it was actually filmed entirely in New Zealand, including locations at Rotorua's Redwood Forest, around Wellington, Queenstown and in the town of Tapanui in the South Island (population 770) which became ''Millhaven'' for the purpose of the film.
Weta Digital

The dragon in the movie was created by Weta Digital in Wellington, the team who also created another famous dragon, Smaug, as featured in the movie The Hobbit. A visit to the Weta Workshop is an optional activity in many of our New Zealand Vacations itineraries.

Peter Debug in 'Variety' described it as "One of the year's most delightful moviegoing surprises, a quality family film that rewards young people's imaginations and reminds us of a time when the term "Disney movie" meant something.

The  picturesque town of Tapanui can be visited on many of our self drive New Zealand Vacations itineraries, including this favorite, the 22 Day Self Drive, New Zealand in Depth.


Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, Oona Laurence.


The beautiful Redwoods Forest where scenes in Pete's Dragon were filmed. 


The small South Island town of Tapanui, aka "Millhaven"

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Aug 08, 2016