Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth is celebrating the release of the new Hobbit film early, with a scary Smaug themed livery for its planes. A Boeing 777-300 has been specially touched up to show the dragon Smaug all the way down each side to celebrate the release of The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug.
The plane’s new livery is all part of a theme for Air New Zealand who pull out all the stops when it comes to Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Last year there was a similar effort when various characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey featured on the side of an aircraft. However, this year the mighty dragon Smaug voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch takes the starring role. Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says it’s been a privilege to collaborate with the film team and Director Peter Jackson; “we worked with the digital effects company behind The Hobbit Trilogy, Weta Digital, and they designed the graphic for us especially for this purpose.”
If you’re a twihard, like us, then here are some holidays you might want to to think about. From the rolling hills of Ireland to the breathtaking landscapes
of Italy, we’ve got the top trips for Twilight holidays.
Olympic Coven, Forks, Washington, USA
Home to the Cullens, Edward, with added Bella, Carlisle and Esme and (of course!) the newest edition, Renesmee, Forks has become a haven for Twilight fans. Of course, starting off with a Twilight tour is a must. A trip to Seattle nearby is a great family friendly choice; you can even visit the famous Space Needle, while Forks’ national park shows off the setting that inspired Stephanie Meyer.
Volturi Coven, Tuscany, Italy
Romance is alive and well in Tuscany of course, even if you don’t see much niceness from the Volturi themselves. Volterra is the home of the vampire royalty who’ve lived there for over 3000 years, enforcing their strict code of conduct. It might be home to a fictional vampire elite, but don’t let that put you off. It’s one of the most popular places in Europe to get married (think summer evenings, eating outdoors, fireworks and olive groves,) while the show stopping scenery and long, lazy days surrounded by sunshine and pasta make for a totally laidback holiday.
Egyptian Coven, somewhere in Egypt
Egypt might reveal vampires pretty quickly – with all that sunshine, you couldn’t help but sparkle. For non-vamps, the historic homeland of one of Twilight’s oldest clans is an unbelievably beautiful experience. From snorkelling the clear waters of the Red Sea, to discovering the ancient historic sights of the King and Queens valleys.
Denali Coven, Alaska, USA
The Denalis are the Cullens’ closest friends and the only other known ‘vegetarian’ clan. Found in the wilds of Alaska, the Denalis must be making the most of the 67 days of night found in the northern American state. The untouched landscape and a trip to the (aptly named) Denali National Park, mean you can get close to nature and hike to your heart’s content.
Amazon Coven, Brazil
The ultimate in honeymoon destinations, Rio is where Edward and Bella kicked off their first holiday after their wedding and the stars Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart were the star attraction when they filmed there. The secretive Amazon coven, stays out of the way of humans, but you probably don’t need to worry about that. There’s a whole country worth of sights, sounds and smells to soak up in this Latin American gem.
Ireland Ireland’s capital city Dublin is a great introduction to the home of the Irish Coven with the vampires Maggie and Siobhan. It’s got that legendary nightlife, which is always helpful for vampires who are used to not sleeping. Head to the coast, either West or South, for the hip towns of Galway or Cork and indulge in some of the finest ‘craic’ this side of the Atlantic.
Finally! Ron Burgundy’s amazing commitment to quality journalism is about to be recognised with a dedicated exhibition in Washington DC. Anchorman: The Exhibit will open on November 14.
The Newseum in partnership with Paramount Pictures is opening the special exhibit ahead of the long awaited sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The original film starring Will Ferrell, Cristina Applegate and Steve Carell became a huge hit and one of the most quotable films of recent years. Fans of the film will get to see props, like Burgundy’s jazz flute and the whip used in that rival anchormen fight scene. The costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News Team will feature and visitors can check out a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and set. If you’re a budding Burgundy, you can even step in front of the camera yourself, just be careful no one adds a question mark to your auto cue. We’re also hoping it’ll be filled with leather bound books and smell of rich mahogany. Ron Burgundy himself is delighted with the dedication: ‘I’m literally trapped in a glass case of emotion.’ The trailer for Anchorman 2 is a hint at what to expect: Find more information on the Anchorman Exhibition at the Newseum website.
#1 This could be our personal favourite. The Batman hotel room built to resemble the Bat Cave. Everything is themed from the tv, shower even to a replica of the utterly cool Batmobile. It’s hard to think of a better start to our list of 10 film inspired hotel rooms.
#2 The Pacific Inn Motel, Forks, USA. For the Twi-Hards amongst us, you can sleep under framed pictures of Bella, Edward or Jacob and get a real feel for the town where the novels are set. Even Bruce Wayne would be impressed.
#3 Tron Suite at the ICEHOTEL, Sweden. Around 200km inside the Arctic Circle is novelty enough, but when you find a room made of ice and designed to replicate the imagery from the Disney film Tron: Legacy, then you’re unlikely to forget it.
#4 Time will probably tell if the Pirates of The Caribbean films will go down in history as classics, but for now Disney has immortalised the films in the form of a hotel room. The pirate experience begins immediately – the doorbell plays ‘yo, ho, ho a pirate’s life for me.’
#5 Luke Skywalker’s house in Hotel Sidi Driss, Tunisia If you’re a Star Wars fan you’ll recognise the dusty landscape here as that of Tatooine. The rooms are surprisingly cosy, built in a traditional style dug from the sites of the caverns. If you’re not a fan, then this hotel is probably not for you. Image via @ RapidTravelChai
#6 Endless mirrors, golden tickets and an Hammam – very James Bond at the Suite dedicated to 007 at the Seven Hotel Paris Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#7 Paris has a bit of a monopoly on intriguing hotels, in fact the Seven Hotel has a second one up it’s sleeve with the Alice Room. Dedicated to Alice’s journey through Wonderland, it’s got a rabbit hopping from the wall, psychedelic settings and two toilets with a chessboard in between. Image via @ Seven Hotel Paris
#8 At the drive-in a bed for five. Perfect for film buffs, the V8 Hotel in Stuttgart has a car shaped bed (that fits 5) and offers the feel of a drive in movie experience. Image via @ V8 Hotel
#9 It hasn’t quite become a movie yet, but just give it a little while. After the whirlwind success of 50 Shades of Grey, hotels are cashing in on theming up rooms to incorporate all things Christian Grey. The Heathman Hotel, USA is offering a 50 Shades of Grey holiday, you might remember it’s where Ana and Christian had an initial encounter. Just don’t forget to bring your own cuffs and whips. Image via @ Heathman Hotel PDX
#10 This is impressive whether you’re a Hobbit fan or not. Much love has been put into creating a dedicated ‘Shire’ experience in the lovely surrounds of Montana from gigantic mushrooms, a troll house, Hobbit trails, and even Gandalf’s hat in the room. Image via @ Hobbit House of Montana.
We like to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the travel world, but even we didn’t see this one coming: dive in cinemas. Whether you’re into rom-coms or action flicks, adventure or cartoons, hotels and beyond across the world are tempting guests with poolside outdoor cinemas. So grab your bikini and head for our top 8.
The Westin St John Resort and Villas, US Virgin Islands The only thing that could make a holiday in the Caribbean better, is probably the opportunity to soak up the sunset in the pool as a movie flickers to life on a big screen with maybe a cocktail or two delivered right to your hand.
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, USA Not content with just regular old movies, the Cosmopolitan’s BLVD social club blasts films on a colossal screen, that’s perfect for Hollywood favourites. This year alone feature the Wizard of Oz, Karate Kid, Social Network and Father of the Bride.
Archipelago, Thailand You might have seen those pictures floating (pun intended) around the internet of a huge floating screen in the middle of the sea. Well, it’s part of Thailand’s Film on the Rocks Festival. A huge floating raft was launched with the screening anchored a little way from the seats. The screen is touring, after which it’s set to be donated to the local community.
Spring Hill, Brisbane, Australia We’re not quite sure if this is an inspired idea or just simply mad. As part of the Brisbane International Film Festival the director decided to show an in-pool screening of Jaws. And why not include films with a little bite.
The Fairmont Hotel, Dallas, USA During the day, the pool on the third floor of this hotel offers sweeping views of the Dallas skyline, while at night; anyone can come and watch a free movie. Pull up an inflatable raft, sit back and relax with a cocktail for this lovely experience.
The Pearl, San Diego, USA offers a free weekly cinema social. Dive into their eclectic film choices, some food and drinks and get settled in for classics, blockbusters or independents. There’s certainly something in The Pearl’s library to suit every taste.
Hot Tub Cinema, London Grab your nearest and dearest, hop into your swimming cozzy and head for the latest London trend, Jacuzzi cinemas. The simple idea has exploded in popularity in the last few months and the Hackney rooftop is the place to be. Shows are continually sold out for the champagne fuelled movie nights.
CenterParcs, Park Zandvoort near Amsterdam At its Aqua Mundo you can swim, bring the kids, soak up the sunshine and best of all, finish the day and take a well earned break watching a film on the massive screen in the comfort of your own inflatable rubber ring!
Bond, James Bond. Shaken not stirred. That bikini. Let’s face it, Ian Fleming’s creation has come to define the best of British, the suave secret agent, able to infiltrate top secret bunkers and is at home in exotic destinations all over the world (and above it!) James and his, ahem, lady friends have solved mysteries and toppled evil organizations from Istanbul to Iceland and Jamaica to Japan.
We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Bond classics with, what else, but the top destinations where we can indulge in a martini, and live like Bond (preferably, without Blofeld or Max Zorin turning up!)
Ko Tapu Island, Thailand So closely linked with 007 that it’s actually known as James Bond Island. It was the backdrop for the famous duel between Roger Moore’s Bond and Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun. Thailand is of course famous for breathtaking white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and laidback atmosphere, for when you’ve finished your James Bond adventure!
Paris, France Yes, that is James Bond giving chase to Grace Jones’ May Day up the steps of the Eiffel Tower in A View to a Kill. Handily for her, she manages to escape with the aid of a parachute in one of the most memorable Bond scenes. You can’t actually parachute off it though, but you can still learn about Franz Reighfelt’s who’s parachute suit didn’t really happen in 1912.
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic Although set in Montegnegro, Casino Royale’s epic game of cards was actually filmed in the resort a few hours from Prague. It’s even got its own casino, so you can properly recreate the Bond experience. Although the capital is usually the favourite for a visit, exploring a little further afield will give you a fantastic holiday experience.
Corfu, Greece The relaxed Greek Island might not be your first tip for a Bond adventure, but the glorious scenery and fantastic weather were obviously a big lure. Bond adventured in the area around Mouse Island in For Your Eyes Only. Greece is a great place to holiday right now, with plenty of bargains on offer.
Udaipur, India Still a favourite with Bond fans today, the Taj Lake Palace was where 007 ventured, after a quick stop off at the Taj Mahal, in 1983’s Octopussy. The vast country of India really is home to holidays of a lifetime, from the visiting the Taj like James, to the rolling countryside, exotic food, and fantastic beaches, you’ll find something to suit every taste.
Luxor, Egypt In the Spy Who Loved Me, Luxor acted as the Egyptian capital Cairo, with the Karnak Temple and famous Pyramids as a backdrop. However you might have been concentrating more on Bond’s fight with the metal mouthed maniac, Jaws. Of course, Egypt is a tremendous holiday getaway, with beautiful resorts right along the Red Sea Coast.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A fight on top of a cable car over the amazing city. Moonraker really knew how to showcase Bond’s talents. The busy, bustling city of Rio will offer an unforgettable holiday to a truly exotic destination.
Florida, USA Florida’s Seven Mile Bridge is the centrepiece to one of the big scenes in Licence to Kill. While the rest of the Keys play a part too. There’s even a scene where M demands Bond’s licence, filmed in Ernest Hemingway’s house. You can still tour there today.
Venice, Italy It’s actually been used as a location for a couple of Bond films. The hotel Danieli was especially chosen by Dr Holly Goodhead in Moonraker and you can even order a Vesper Martini at the hotel Bar in honour of Casino Royale. The original romantic getaway, a gondola tour is a must, to impress your other half.
Istanbul, Turkey Ok, we haven’t seen it yet, but Skyfall looks set to be the biggest Bond movie ever. Filmed throughout the gorgeous vibrant streets of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, we’re expecting some amazing high speed chases along with James being his usual charming self. If that’s a bit too chaotic sounding, a walk around the market which sees half a million visitors for day will sort you out.
With twitter, facebook and basically, the whole internet, it’s never been easier for celebs to share their holiday snaps. Being the glamour addicts that we are, we’ve had a keen eye on Beyonce’s Tumblr, Miranda Kerr’s twitter and all things One Direction. So sit back, put your feet up and relax with our gallery of stars on their holidays.
Discover the dramatic scenery of Middle Earth with a trip to New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the upcoming Hobbit trilogy were filmed. Although in the books, Middle Earth is a mythical land inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien’s childhood adventures in rural England, director Peter Jackson’s home turf, New Zealand, proved the perfect setting for the re-creation, with more than 150 locations around the country featured in the films. Here Purple Travel investigates where to go for Hobbit Holidays
Visit The Shire
Aside from Hobbiton, which is nestled in green hills near Matamata, the exact locations of the new films however, remain a closely guarded secret. Hobbiton Movie Set Tours (www.hobbitontours.com) allow travellers to experience sights such as the arched bridge, Party Tree, and a horde of Hobbit homes including the home of Bilbo Baggins, Bag End. Matamata was the perfect choice of setting for the peaceful region of the shire, with its rolling hills and emerald green grass. It is one of the richest agricultural and pastoral areas in the world, characterised as a large fertile basin through which the Waikato River flows. The Waikato region also offers superb caving and black water rafting.
Journey to Mordor
The Taupo region was the filming location for Mordor, Emyn Muil and Mount Doom. In Return of the King, Frodo and Sam climbed Mount Doom and you can do the same while walking the Tongariro crossing, often described as the best 1-day walk in New Zealand. Diverse hiking paths wend amid the peaks, with guidance available from the National Park visitor centre (www.doc.govt.nz). It’s a challenging walk taking 7-8 hours, taking you past volcanoes, steaming fumaroles, jagged lava flows, the red Crater and Emerald Lakes. The Taupo region does however have more to offer than lakes and volcanoes, the region is also known for its fantastic trout fishing, world-class luxury lodges and ski fields.
Get Lost in Rivendale
Another LoTR location was Canaan Downs, a hilltop reserve between Motueka and Golden Bay in the Nelson region of New Zealand. Used as the location for Chetwood Forest (where Aragorn leads the Hobbits soon after they leave Bree), here you will find ancient beech trees bordered by rolling meadow sprinkled with ghostly rock formations. Takaka Hill was the location for Chetwood Forest, found at the entrance to Abel Tasman National Park. It is the only place in the world besides Italy where rocky marble outcrops exist. The Nelson region is also known for its wide-open spaces, beaches, lakes, national parks, vineyards, gourmet cafes, artists, galleries and boutique shopping.
Spend time with Sauron
South Island’s vast unpopulated landscapes, including Mount Cook, three hours of Christchurch, provided the perfect backdrop to Sauron’s battlefield. The incredible Mackenzie basin, made up of gold-gilted grasslands, dreamlike blue lakes and the theatrical Southern Alps, staged the epic battle at Pelennor Field. Twizel lies just down the road from Mount Cook/Aoraki National Park, where most scenes of The Two Towers were filmed. Canterbury is an alpine region containing New Zealand’s largest peaks and glaciers, the perfect location for alpine fortresses and Middle-earth battle scenes. Mount Sunday, a rocky outcrop on the Canterbury plains next to the Southern Alps, was the location for Edoras and Meduseld. The Canturbury plains are the largest plains in New Zealand and the Southern Alps are the biggest mountain chain in Australasia, even bigger in area than the European Alps.
Have a Pint at the Prancing Pony
Wanaka is a charming resort town in South Island’s Otago region. Here, you can see the backdrop used for Gandalf’s flight to Rohan with Gwaihir after his rescue from Orthanc. Wanaka was also the location for the River Anduin, Golden Plain, Lothlorien, Pillars of the Argonath, and Dimrill Dale. And the best bit? On the road between Queenstown and Wanaka back in 1892 is the Prancing Pony, actually called the Cardrona Hotel. The pub brews its own beer, offers excellent meals and has a large, toasty open fire.
While rumour is rife as to where exactly the Hobbit film locations are, we are sure that suspicions will turn into specifics sometime in the near future. Stay tuned…
If you’re a fan of JRR Tolkein, (or even if you’re not) you’ll couldn’t be left unimpressed by this hobbit themed cabin safety video just released by Air New Zealand.
No doubt in a nod to the upcoming release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the four and a half minute film, called An Unexpected Briefing brings to life all kinds of Lord of the Rings characters and props.
It appears Gandalf (arriving precisely when he means to) is piloting the flight, there are hobbits (of course) lots of elves, wizards, dwarves and did we see an orc in there? There are even a couple of cameos from the likes of LOTRs director Peter Jackson, Gollum and Tolkien’s grandsons.
We absolutely love this in flight safety epic, so take a look at Middle Earth… on an airplane and let us know what your favourite bit is.