Thunderbirds are go in Wellington

  • 05/12/2015
Thunderbirds are go in Wellington

Tourists "set-jetting" to New Zealand have a new place to visit with the opening of an attraction based on the television series Thunderbirds Are Go.

Maker Weta Workshop has a Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-The-Scenes Experience opening in Wellington today.

Visitors will see concept art, scale models used as the filming sets for Tracy Island, the Thunderbird hangars, and Creighton Ward Manor, as well as the shooting stage and authentic models being built by Weta Workshop technicians.

Filming for the second season of the Pukeko Pictures and ITV television show is happening now in Miramar, and miniatures visitors will see on the tour are the ones used on set.

A shooting stage is included in the tour.

Jake Downing, head of tourism at Weta Workshop, says the experience complements the company's Weta Cave and Weta Cave Workshop Tour experiences which continue to attract tens of thousands of fans of Middle Earth and other movies Weta Workshop has worked on during the past 21 years.

New Zealand has experienced significant growth in tourism thanks to blockbuster movies that raised the country's profile and attracted film buffs interested in visiting film locations.

In the year to June 2014, 13 per cent of international holiday visitors said The Hobbit trilogy movies by Sir Peter Jackson were a factor in influencing their initial interest in New Zealand.

Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi visited the Hobbiton film set, near Matamata in Waikato, last month as part of a weeklong visit to New Zealand.

About 360,000 people visited Hobbiton in the year to March, up from 232,000 in the same period in 2014.