Witherspoon, Winfrey and Kaling in Wanaka and Lake Hawea

Reece Witherspoon with Paul Tregea, left, and Chris Hadfield, co owners of Ritual Cafe in Wanaka. She visited about noon ...
RITUAL CAFE

Reece Witherspoon with Paul Tregea, left, and Chris Hadfield, co owners of Ritual Cafe in Wanaka. She visited about noon and had an almond cappuccino.

Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling have taken some time out to enjoy the South Island before filming begins on A Wrinkle In Time on Wednesday.

The stars are in Wanaka this week to film the $140 million fantasy adventure film.

 

Watch out New Zealand! We're heeeeeerrrree & Ready to : 1. Hike these mtns 2. Snuggle some sheep 3. Meet awesome Kiwis

A photo posted by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

Hunter Valley Station is a film location for the Disney movie, A Wrinkle In Time.
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Hunter Valley Station is a film location for the Disney movie, A Wrinkle In Time.

The trio landed at Queenstown Airport at around 8pm on Sunday and it is believed they are staying in a private Wanaka residence.

Monday appeared to be a recreational day for the stars and Witherspoon popped into Ritual Cafe around noon to purchase an almond cappuccino.

While there, she agreed to pose for a photograph with co-owners Paul Tregea and Chris Hadfield.

A film location is being prepared on Hunter Valley Station for the Disney movie A Wrinkle In Time.
MARJORIE COOK

A film location is being prepared on Hunter Valley Station for the Disney movie A Wrinkle In Time.

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"She was very sweet, very lovely, very personable and she was very taken with Wanaka," Tregea said.

Hadfield hoped she would come back and bring her friends.

Jet lag got me like ... 😴 #NapTime #NewZealand

A photo posted by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

"I have given her our coffee card and told her to Facebook me," he said.

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Tregea said there were a few people in the cafe who recognised Witherspoon. "Some of the older ladies asked us who she was," he said. 

Filming is expected to start on Wednesday and continue for several days on Hunter Valley Station, at the northern end of Lake Hawea.

A Wrinkle In Time film location is being set up on a grassy knoll on the far side of Lake Hawea.
MARJORIE COOK

A Wrinkle In Time film location is being set up on a grassy knoll on the far side of Lake Hawea.

Location crew members were setting up the filming area on a grassy knoll overlooking Lake Hawea.

They have signed contracts which prevent them from talking to the media.

They crew appeared to be mainly New Zealanders, including from the Queenstown and Wanaka region, and were courteous and friendly to Fairfax.

A Wrinkle In Time production crew is based at the Lake Hawea Community Centre.
MARJORIE COOK

A Wrinkle In Time production crew is based at the Lake Hawea Community Centre.

They were excited about the opportunity for their industry but could not comment on the specifics of what they were doing or their schedules and they asked no close up photography be taken at the location. 

Some of the production crew are based at the Lake Hawea Community Centre, which was a hive of activity as workers received briefings on their duties, made cups of tea and sandwiches and worked on their lap tops.

They were also courteous and helpful but could not talk to the media.

Meads Road access to Hunter Valley Station is open.
MARJORIE COOK

Meads Road access to Hunter Valley Station is open.

Filming is not expected to prevent public access to the popular Kidds Bush camping ground on Department of Conservation reserve at the end of Meads Road.

However, a traffic management plan is in place, including a no-stopping policy between the Meads Road entrance at State Highway 6 and the Kidds Bush camping ground.

Beyond Kidds Bush, the road enters private land farmed by Penny and Taff Cochrane and a security officer is stationed at a bridge preventing public access to the main film camp.

Kidds Bush Department of Conservation volunteer Mary Miller says the film crew has been trying hard to minimise ...
MARJORIE COOK

Kidds Bush Department of Conservation volunteer Mary Miller says the film crew has been trying hard to minimise disruption for campers.

The Cochranes have declined to comment to Fairfax.

Kidds Bush Department of Conservation campsite volunteer Mary Miller said most campers were curious to know about the "event" sign posted on Meads Road.

The film crew did not have a presence in the Doc camp but some crew members were occasionally stationed at the gate to direct traffic.

The end of the road  . . . a security guard is stationed at the entrance to Hunter Valley Station.
MARJORIE COOK

The end of the road . . . a security guard is stationed at the entrance to Hunter Valley Station.

Miller said the crew was trying to minimise disruption for campers.

"I think the real problem might be Wednesday to Friday, when they start filming. I think they might have to close the road - it might just be for very short periods of time - because they might not want vehicles in their line of sight," Miller said.​

There were 160 campers at Kidds Bush at Waitangi holiday weekend but the rush had died down, she said.

"During the week there is, on average, about 50-60 people here. In the weekend, you can get up over 100," she said.

A Wrinkle In Time is a Disney movie based on a series of fantasy books written in the 1950s by Madeleine L'Engle.

Her time-travelling characters use a "tesseract" to transport themselves between worlds.

Fortinbras Productions obtained Queenstown Lakes District Council approval on January 25 to film on Hunter Valley Station.

Conditions of consent include restricting helicopter flights to 60 (30 take offs and 30 landings) and other conditions relating to helicopter operations.

Noise, lighting, traffic management, traffic crossings and security are also covered off in the resource consent application.

The production company has purchased $1 million rural fire liability insurance and $5 million public liability insurance.

The Cochranes and Land Information New Zealand gave affected party approval to the resource consent, which was not notified for public submissions.

Filming can occur between 5am and 10pm and is scheduled to be completed by March 10, with March 30 the final cut off date.

If delays occur beyond that schedule, the company will have to apply for an extension of resource consent.

 - Stuff

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