NZ out to capitalise on 'Hobbit' fever

Queenstown and Glenorchy as Isengard and Lothlorien, the "ridiculously beautiful" drive between them and Hobbit-style hiking experienced in the Wakatipu are promoted in the latest evolution of Tourism New Zealand's "100% Middle-earth, 100% Pure New Zealand" campaign.

Hiking on Mt Alfred is recommended for its "magnificent views over Queenstown, Glenorchy and beyond" in the journey through New Zealand as Middle-earth, mapped out by Weta Workshop designers for the marketing organisation's website.

Jet-boating, wineries and Nomad Safaris are profiled as "nearby attractions".

The website development was unveiled as Hobbit fever ramps up ahead of the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington on November 28.

Tourism NZ chief executive Kevin Bowler said this week that hundreds of millions of people would see coverage of the premiere and New Zealand would be in the spotlight.

"This next phase of our campaign continues to leverage that attention and seeks to convert interest in New Zealand into travel," Mr Bowler said in a statement.

"People can check out and see for themselves how the cinematic fantasy of Middle-earth is in fact the reality of New Zealand - and that there is a whole world of experiences to be had and people to meet within the movie-scene style landscapes."

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