Grylls to film reality show near Wanaka

Grylls set to film reality show in Matukituki
Grylls set to film reality show in Matukituki
British adventurer Bear Grylls looks set to film his new reality television series in the Matukituki Valley, near Wanaka, next month.

Queenstown-based production company Mountain Film Unit has applied to Lakes Environmental for land-use consent to film at Cattle Flat Station from March 6 to 26 for a television production. 

Its application includes a film permit issued by property management company APL for Get Out Alive, the name of the reality television competition series survival expert Grylls is launching on NBC this year.

Grylls, who found fame in the Discovery Channel's Man vs Wild series, said on Twitter this week: ''about to call the first contestants to tell them they have been chosen for our NBC series Get Out Alive! Get ready!''

The elimination-style show will test the survival skills of contestants completing back-country adventures, before returning to a base camp.

The film permit, which covers only land administered by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, lists the project's budget as ''confidential'' and says filming activity will include contestants crossing the Matukituki River ''carrying fire'' and swimming from a boat in Lake Wanaka to shore.

If land-use consent is granted, filming activity at sites on Cattle Flat Station will only occur when contestants are not on their adventure trips, which will take place at remote locations on Department of Conservation estate, covered by a separate one-off filming concession from Doc.

Cattle Flat Station is zoned rural general and the project is a discretionary activity, because filming and the use of buildings there would continue for more than seven days. Temporary structures for the filming period include storage containers, toilets, water tanks and catering, lighting and generator trucks. Fire permits for a campfire and a fire to warm a spa pool at one site have ben requested.

A support base will be set up next to the Aspiring Helicopters hangar in Mt Aspiring Rd.

Up to 80 crew members would be travelling to locations during filming, resulting in increased traffic in Mt Aspiring Rd, mostly before 7am and after 7pm. It is understood many local people will work on the project.

Mountain Film Unit managing director Julian Grimmond declined to provide any further details on the film project. Cattle Flat Station owner Charlie Ewing also declined to comment.

Grylls filmed an episode of Man vs Wild in Mt Aspiring National Park in 2011.

- lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz