New Zealand braces for another tourist influx

Nardia1Just when New Zealanders may have finally seen the trail of hobbit lookalikes trekking through the scenic locations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy waning, Walt Disney Films and Walden Media’s production of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is sure to bring another gigantic wave of movie-inspired tourists to the “Land of the Long White Cloud.” Like Peter Jackson, who filmed his Rings trilogy (and the upcoming King Kong) in his homeland, director Andrew Adamson chose the country’s majestic landscapes for Narnia, which opens in the U.S. next month (yeah!). Woodhill Forest, about an hour from Auckland, becomes the camp of the White Witch and Flock Hill, in the Southern Alps of South Island, becomes the site of the "Great Battle." (Tours begin in January.) But movie fans looking to rub noses with satyrs and centaurs may be better off with a ticket to Orlando, Fla. Disney will open a new attraction next month called "Journey Into Narnia: Creating The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."

—Posted by Eleftheria Parpis