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Nov 7, 2012

Hunting for Hobbits

New Zealand is abuzz today as it prepares for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington. It’s undeniable that New Zealand has far more to offer than simply a backdrop to some big screen brilliance. Yet for one glorious day, it’s surrendering to its namesake: New Zealand is Middle-Earth.

If you’re wondering how they’re celebrating, wonder no more.

Precious treasures

New Zealand Post have got involved by releasing a range of commemorative coins – including a set of three gold coins coming in at a whopping $10,995. You’ll be able to work on your truly authentic impression of Gollum with those weighing down your pocket.

A slightly more affordable way to jump on the Hobbit bandwagon are the commemorative stamps which allow you to send a touch of Middle-Earth through the post, without the pocket-bruising price tag.

Plane imaginative

If there’s anyone who’s really hopped onto The Hobbit, it’s Air New Zealand. Dubbing themselves ‘the airline of Middle-Earth’, they brought a touch of the silver screen to their in-flight screens with their brand new safety video, An Unexpected Briefing.

Already renowned for their innovative, tongue-in-cheek videos, the latest offering is a feast for Hobbit fans. Hairy feet, pointy ears and even Sir Peter Jackson himself take a star turn – have a look.

Not content with simply unveiling a new safety video, Air New Zealand went one step further – and unveiled an entire Hobbit plane. Not only that – it features the largest ever graphic applied to an aircraft. At 830sqm, it took the team 400 hours to install the graphic. It promises to have a starring role at Wellington’s premiere today after flying to London via Los Angeles.

Go behind the scenes and see what it takes to make a Hobbit fly.

Hobbiton returns to Wellington

New Zealand’s capital Wellington is the host of the Hobbitpremiere as well as being the home to Weta Digital and Weta Workshop (the visual and physical effects companies behind the Lord of the Rings and other blockbusters). So naturally, they’ve dressed up for the occasion.

The airport carousel has been renamed Bag End and features a green, hilly landscape complete with stained glass windows. Middle of Middle-Earth flags flutter from the lampposts throughout the city’s streets. A giant Gandalf next to a Hobbit hole towers above the Embassy Theatre while Hobbit-inspired artisan markets are being held in the run up to the premiere.

Over to you

Will you be lining up in the cinemas to see The Hobbit? Does it make you want to visit New Zealand?

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