The Whanganui River is Tinsel Territory
There’s something about the Whanganui River and its environs that attracts the film industry. No less than 14 feature films have been shot on the river or other parts of the Ruapehu District since 1978, including such Kiwi icons as Goodbye Pork Pie and Smash Palace.
Vincent Ward’s troubled River Queen premiered in Wanganui in January 2006, following on from the Deliverance spoof Without A Paddle in 2005.
Movies that were filmed on or beside the river that you will visit on your canoe or kayak trip include River Queen, Bridge to Nowhere and Pictures, while the Tongariro National Park was used for Willow, Lord of the Rings, Strata and No Ordinary Sun. The Tongariro National Park was used again this year for scenes from Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit trilogy.
Other movies made in the district were Skin Deep, Wild Horses and Pikowae.