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Hobbiton in Matamata became the scene of true love when the US TV series, The Bachelor, filmed at various location across New Zealand.
Last night the Central North Island took centre stage as the setting for romance as episode six of the reality show filmed entirely in New Zealand aired across America on major US network ABC. Filming took place in October 2013, and was secured through Tourism New Zealand's International Media Programme (IMP).
Host of the Bachelor Chris Harrison said he enjoyed returning to New Zealand, after the show previously filmed season 13's final two episodes in Queenstown and the Bay of Islands in 2009.
"It was great coming back," he says. "The North Island was spectacular and I got to experience some amazing fly-fishing," he said.
The Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis, and the final eight ladies experienced a week of adventure, romance and luxury throughout the region.
Galavis was impressed with the picturesque scenery. "From the moment I arrived in New Zealand I was blown away by how beautiful it was," he said.
The show was supported by a number of regional tourism organisations Destination Lake Taupo, Destination Rotorua and Hamilton and Waikato Tourism.
Contestants took part in a wide range of activities, including; jet boating, Te Puia in Rotorua as well as visiting Hobbiton.
The cast and crew also stayed at Huka Lodge and Hilton Lake Taupo and visiting Poronui Lodge.
The episode reached an initial captive audience of 7.8 million US viewers.
Tourism New Zealand general manager Gregg Anderson, said that the show's timing couldn't be better as the organisation continues to leverage the high awareness of New Zealand following the recent release of the second movie in the Hobbit Trilogy.
"The show provides extensive, high-profile coverage and exposure of New Zealand to excite and motivate our target market to travel here - much greater than we can achieve through campaign activity alone.
"Furthermore, The Bachelor perfectly supports our activity to target visitors looking for a romantic holiday - profiling New Zealand as the perfect location for a romantic getaway, wedding or honeymoon."
- © Fairfax NZ News