Disney’s 1977 film Pete’s Dragon has been remade and was filmed in New Zealand. For fans who wish to transport themselves into the film, they can visit the real movie locations, located on both the North and South Islands.
The Rotorua Redwood Forest (North Island): Home of Elliot the Dragon, and where Pete meets his new friend. The 110-year-old trees are home to numerous trails and the new Redwood Forest Treewalk, which takes those brave enough 40 feet in the air without a single nail or screw connecting the structure to the trees.
Wellington (North Island): Just 30 minutes out of Wellington is Battle Hill Farm Park, where Pete makes the leap off a cliff only to land on Elliot’s back. The Battle Hill Farm Park is home to cycle trails and mountain bike tracks. There are even designated camping areas so you can stay overnight right in the heart of the film location. Wellington is also home to Weta Workshops, which played an important role in bringing Pete’s Dragon to life. Fans can meet members of the creative team and see how they create the special effects.
Queenstown & Paradise (South Island): Situated on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath the Remarkables mountain range, visitors can take their own leap off the edge, much like Pete in the film, with AJ Hackett Bungy, the world’s first commercial bungy operation. On the northern tip of Lake Wakatipu, sits Glenorchy and the gateway to Paradise. Travel along one of New Zealand’s most scenic drives, and zoom through the shallow river aboard a Dart River Jet Boat on your way to Paradise, named so for a reason.
Tapanui (South Island): This small town with a population of 900 was transformed into Millhaven, a small logging town in America’s Pacific Northwest, for the film. Tapanui is renowned for the Pomahaka River, which offers world-class fishing with some of the biggest brown trout in the world. For those who prefer land, grab a bike and jump on the Clutha Gold Trail, one of the New Zealand Cycle Trail’s Great Rides. The trail is 45 miles long and follows one of the country's longest rivers through a landscape known for its gold mining.