The Hobbit premiere: When and where

A Tolkien fan dressed as a Nazgul or black rider poses for a photo with other fans on Courtenay Place.
A Tolkien fan dressed as a Nazgul or black rider poses for a photo with other fans on Courtenay Place.
Hobbit fans line the barriers at the red carpet for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Hobbit fans line the barriers at the red carpet for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
A high-angle shot of the red carpet on Courtenay Pl ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
A high-angle shot of the red carpet on Courtenay Pl ahead of the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Cate Blanchett with Jackson at a press conference this morning
Cate Blanchett with Jackson at a press conference this morning
Derek Carver of Christchurch - dressed as Gandalf the Grey - waits for the show to start on the red carpet.
Derek Carver of Christchurch - dressed as Gandalf the Grey - waits for the show to start on the red carpet.
A Hobbit fan dressed as a dwarf - complete with knitted hair and beard - waits for the show to start.
A Hobbit fan dressed as a dwarf - complete with knitted hair and beard - waits for the show to start.
Hobbit fans wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
Hobbit fans wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
A view from the Embassy Theatre as the red carpet is set up for The Hobbit premiere.
A view from the Embassy Theatre as the red carpet is set up for The Hobbit premiere.
Hobbit fans dressed as elves wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
Hobbit fans dressed as elves wait for the show to start on the red carpet in Wellington.
Hobbit fans look at a giant screen before the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Hobbit fans look at a giant screen before the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
Statues of Middle-earth figures are put in place on the red carpet.
Statues of Middle-earth figures are put in place on the red carpet.
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Giant trolls have been set up on the red carpet in Courtenay Place
Martin Freeman at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Martin Freeman at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Cate Blanchett at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
Cate Blanchett at the Hobbit premiere press conference.
The Hobbit cast join director Peter Jackson for a media conference on premiere day.
The Hobbit cast join director Peter Jackson for a media conference on premiere day.
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Hobbit fans will be watching a live stream from the red carpet in Waitangi Park.
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
Hobbit fans hit Courtenay Place
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.
A view of the end of Courtenay Pl near the Embassy Theatre as the premiere event for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey heats up.
Charlie Allan, Elise Hart and Victoria Gridley go all out for the Hobbit premiere.
Charlie Allan, Elise Hart and Victoria Gridley go all out for the Hobbit premiere.
Robert Schrimf and Lisa Heissmeier camp out.
Robert Schrimf and Lisa Heissmeier camp out.
This group came well prepared.
This group came well prepared.
Stephanie Kirkby and Meg Gatland-Veness.
Stephanie Kirkby and Meg Gatland-Veness.
Some even braved the Wellington night air and camped out overnight alongside the red carpet.
Some even braved the Wellington night air and camped out overnight alongside the red carpet.
Peter Jackson stunned fans with a surprise visit to the Hobbit pre-premiere party at the Amora Hotel.
Peter Jackson stunned fans with a surprise visit to the Hobbit pre-premiere party at the Amora Hotel.
Barry Eldridge made knitwear including capes and scarves for the Hobbit, and sold his wares at the Hobbit Artisan Market at Wellington's Waitangi Park in the days leading up to the premiere.
Barry Eldridge made knitwear including capes and scarves for the Hobbit, and sold his wares at the Hobbit Artisan Market at Wellington's Waitangi Park in the days leading up to the premiere.
Starbucks Courtenay Place baristas Rachel Henderson, left, and Alex Francis stayed up for two nights to dress up their store in Hobbit-themed decorations.
Starbucks Courtenay Place baristas Rachel Henderson, left, and Alex Francis stayed up for two nights to dress up their store in Hobbit-themed decorations.
Weta Workshop created this sculpture of Gollum looming from above in Wellington Airport.
Weta Workshop created this sculpture of Gollum looming from above in Wellington Airport.
Embassy Theatre, which is to host the Hobbit premiere, installed a huge sculpture of Gandalf above its entrance.
Embassy Theatre, which is to host the Hobbit premiere, installed a huge sculpture of Gandalf above its entrance.
NZ Post put up backlit silhouettes of Hobbit characters on its Wellington building.
NZ Post put up backlit silhouettes of Hobbit characters on its Wellington building.
Hobbit stars Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Zealandia's Lauren Schaer, Elijah Wood and Richard Armitage pay a visit to Zealandia.
Hobbit stars Hugo Weaving, Andy Serkis, Martin Freeman, Zealandia's Lauren Schaer, Elijah Wood and Richard Armitage pay a visit to Zealandia.

Those looking to spot a hobbit at today's premiere in Wellington will be among thousands of others - so it would be wise to put some thought into planning and timing.

Parking will be at a premium near the event, so public transport or walking is advised. Generally, traffic around the CBD can be expected to be very heavy, so avoid driving if possible. Road closures will be in effect until Thursday morning.

The MetService predicted a cloudy day with a high of 19degC requiring one-to-two layers of clothing. Southerlies this morning would give way to strengthening northerlies in the afternoon - but mostly it will be a lovely day for the event.

THE WAY IS SHUT: A map showing the road arrangements for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.
THE WAY IS SHUT: A map showing the road arrangements for the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington.

Pre-screening entertainment in Courtenay Place begins at 2pm, with giveaways from the likes of Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand. Neil Finn will play in front of the Embassy Theatre from 4pm.

Stars and VIPs are expected to arrive on the red carpet from 4.30pm onwards and the premiere screenings at The Embassy and Readings begin at 7pm.

Those looking for a spot on the front line were advised to pick a spot early and bring enough food, water and sunscreen to get through the afternoon.

Prime Minister John Key, Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and Sir Peter Jackson would give speeches about 6.30pm.

A grandstand with views of the red carpet will be set up on Courtenay Place. Tickets can be won as spot prizes and by entering competitions at the Hobbit Market being held at Waitangi Park from midday to 4pm.

Air New Zealand’s Hobbit-adorned plane is scheduled to fly over Courtenay Place at 5.30pm.

LIVE VIDEO STREAM

For those who can't make it down to the event, Stuff.co.nz will have live streaming video coverage throughout the event. Check in between 4:30pm and 7:30pm.

The Dominion Post