Mixing your holiday with a trip to where one of your favorite films was set has become somewhat of a phenomenon around the vacation-planning world. There are some tour operators that even dedicate whole excursions to sending you on your film “buff” holiday. It is somewhat obvious that the most popular films in the world have attracted a large following, but not many people know where a lot of the top films are actually filmed.
- New Zealand. Saw a massive rise over the past 5 years in visitors, ever since the first of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy kicked off. Various regions in New Zealand were home to the film set. Waikato region was where the shire was filmed, the Taupo region was home of Mordor and Mount Doom. Rivendale (the home of the elves) was filmed in the Nelson Region in Chetwood forest. All of these places have been visited by film buffs that may not have previously been aware of their existence.
- Dum de dum dum, dum de dum. (Doesn’t really work in word form.) However Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark began filming in France in the La Rochelle region. This was for the famous Nazi submarine scenes. Interestingly, all of the scenes that were set in “Egypt” in the film were actually filmed in Tunisia, which also saw a rise in vacationers visiting the set locations. The scene where Indy shot a man who pulled a sword on him was actually supposed to be a prolonged fight between Indy’s whip and the sword. However, Harrison Ford had food poisoning and wanted the shot over and done with. With a little improvisation, this scene is what you were left with. (Piece of nerd knowledge.)
- Chinatown (LA, CA). Had a reputation of its own really, but has been helped along the way by many other films having shots or entire scenes filmed here. Lethal Weapon 4, Rush Hour, Beverly Hills 90210, have all had scenes based in the Chinatown area. All of these films have very memorable scenes, helping to draw travelers to specific locations, take photos, and even eat in the same places as their famous film stars.
- The Caribbean. Shock and awe that a film named “Pirates of the Caribbean” was actually filmed there as well! The filmed islands in particular are not as well known as some of the others. St Vincent and the Grenadines played host to the majority of the filming, and they too have been boosted in the tourist’s opinions. The Grenadines is home to a whole host of spices, and used to be the leading exporter in Mace.
- Mad Max! Filmed in Australia, and to be more precise, filmed in Melbourne. This attracted many travelers purely because areas in the film were very easy to identify. Of course most of the filming took place on the outskirts of Melbourne, but some shots took place within the city. Of course, newer films have used Australia as a place to film great open spaces, including the more recent and famous “Australia” with Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman.
Mark works as a tour operator, and takes many people to see some filming locations around Barbados and the Grenadines.