Read, watch, visit: 5 destinations from your favourite stories


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Read, watch, visit: 5 destinations from your favourite stories

If you've been captured by a book or a film, why not visit the location and find out for yourself just what makes it so special.

New Zealand

Mount Ngauruhoe is the location used for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings film franchise.

New Zealand's most recent claim to film fame is the blockbuster franchise The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that are based on the J.R.R. Tolkien books. Directed by Kiwi native Peter Jackson, the films showcased many locations around New Zealandi . You too can visit Hobbiton, the gardens of Isengard and Chetwood Forest if you journey to the land of the long white cloud.

While you're there, why not take a trip to the seaside film locations of some other well-loved New Zealand films like the internationally renowned Whale Rider, based on the book by Witi Ihimaera, and Jan Campion's The Piano that captured the black sand, wild coastal beauty and Maori heritage of Aotearoa.

Turn on a radio station in New Zealand and there's a fair chance you'll hear Dave Dobbyn and The Herbs’ song 'Slice of Heaven'. If you're heading to New Zealand, then it's worth seeing the movie it was written for - Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale, New Zealand's first feature-length animated filmii.

USA

Sit by the Queensboro Bridge like Isaac and Mary in Manhattan.

The home of the movies - Hollywood is a haven for film lovers. Step into the picture by visiting the sets of famous TV shows and movies at Universal Studios, Warner Bros or Paramount Pictures. Play spot the setting by walking around Los Angeles and seeing which locations you recognise from some of your favourite films.

The city of New York has been a character itself in countless movies and TV series from Sex and the City and Friends to Breakfast at Tiffany's and many a Woody Allen film. Try a visit to Queensboro Bridge like Isaac and Mary in Manhattan, or get a quick bite at Seinfeld's favourite haunt Monk's Café, otherwise known as Tom's Restaurant, also in Manhattan.

If you want to escape the urban jungle, take inspiration from the Reese Witherspoon movie Wild based Cheryl Strayed’s memoir and follow in her footsteps and hike along the Pacific Crest Trail that runs through Washington, Oregon and California.

Indonesia

Why not eat, pray and love in Bali like Julia Roberts' character in the movie of the same name. The film has inspired many visitors looking to sample the beaches, retreats and delicious food that was on show in the evocative film.

A visit to Jakarta, where Christopher Koch’s 1978 novel The Year of Living Dangerously and the film of the same name were set, will evoke the humid, urban setting that was the backdrop for the story of political intrigue.

Thailand

Thailand's idyllic tropical locations draw tourists to its shores annually.

The second instalment of The Hangover is filmed in Thailand's capital, Bangkok. You too can retrace the boys’ steps by visiting Chinatown, taking boats trips on the river, trying the Tuk Tuk taxis and sharing a crowded street with an elephant.

Thailand has been showcased in films such as The Beach based on the novel by Alex Garland, where Leonardo Di Caprio's character travels from Bangkok to Koh Samui and then onto the secret island, Koh Phi Phi. The idyllic landscapes of these tropical locations draw tourists to their shores annually.

UK

Home to some of the most widely read literature in the English-speaking world that has spawned numerous film and television adaptions, visiting the United Kingdom is like stepping into one spectacular location setting.

At Kings Cross Station, platform 9 ¾ is waiting for you to make the magical trip through the wall for your Hogwarts adventure. Filmed in northwest London on the streets of Notting Hill, visit Will's (Hugh Grant) bookshop on Portobello Road or 221b Baker Street, the current site of the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Traipse through English countryside visiting the estates where the BBC's Pride and Prejudice TV series was filmed or visit the folks at Downton Abbey in Yorkshire.


iNew Zealand, Home of Middle-earth, viewed 12 March 2015,
http://www.newzealand.com/au/feature/lord-of-the-rings/

iiNew Zealand History, 'Slice of Heaven' hits No. 1 2 October 1986, viewed 12 March 2015,
http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/slice-of-heaven-hits-number-1