Auckland airport the 'gateway to Middle-earth'

02:42, Nov 27 2012
The Hobbit, Auckland Airport
FANTASY ART: One of the Hobbit installations at Auckland International Airport.

Auckland International Airport transformed into the gateway to Middle-earth today with the unveiling of two hobbit-inspired installations.

"With more than 90 per cent of all long-haul visitor arrivals landing at Auckland Airport, that is where they will get to experience their first exciting taste of New Zealand," airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said.

"It is fantastic we are able to be part of the excitement and massive exposure that will be generated globally by these movies, and to support the impressive work being done by many others in the tourism industry to leverage this significant opportunity to promote New Zealand."

The installations, which feature large statues and depictions from the film, are aimed to stimulate the imagination of travellers.

The Weta Workshop dwarf installation incorporates two, five metre tall dwarf sculptures and four 6.5m high archways.

The Tourism New Zealand installation is a 23m display blending the fantasy of Middle-earth with the reality of New Zealand.

It welcomes visitors "to a place where fantasy comes to life" and encourages them to share their Middle-earth experiences through social media.

On Saturday Air New Zealand unveiled its official Hobbit aircraft. The plane features characters from the upcoming movie, The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey. It will fly between Auckland, Los Angeles and London.

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The Hobbit, Auckland Airport
WELCOME TO MIDDLE-EARTH: The installations at Auckland International Airport, which feature large statues and depictions from the film, are aimed to stimulate the imagination of travellers.

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