My workplace is split between Auckland and Wellington and I finally had the chance to visit the capital of New Zealand…all paid for by the company! Result.
I was delighted to discover, on landing there, the sign on the outside of the Airport Terminal…”Middle of Middle Earth”…but the delight didn’t stop there. On entering the main terminal where all of the cafes and shops are I was greeted by an enormous Gollum overlooking proceedings…and then Gandalf flying on a great eagle.
What a marvellous eye-opening start to a day when you have had to get up at 4:45am to get to the airport. A journey along the coast to a compact city was pleasant as was the harbour setting…but sadly work took over then.
I have heard Wellington nicknamed Wellywood, given its association with Peter Jackson and the fact that Weta Studios is based there…there is clear continuing national pride in the success of a small country bringing such a huge series of films to life and to the world. But how long can you really live off this? Lord of the Rings is now about 11 years ago since the last one…The Hobbit has breathed new life but is not in the same league…how long until Middle Earth reverts back to the writings of Mr Tolkien and not a tourist magnet?
Time will tell…but then people still go to Philadelphia to run up the Rocky steps 37 years after the film…so maybe ultimately it is a case of art becoming a part of history.
(Apologies for photo quality here…mobile phones are not good cameras!)