Tom Cruise visits Church of Scientology in Auckland

  • 10/07/2017

Tom Cruise has visited the Church of Scientology in Auckland as filming on the sixth Mission: Impossible film wrapped in the South Island.

The Top Gun star took to Twitter on Monday morning to bid farewell to New Zealand, thanking its "amazing people" for the "great time" he had here.

Cruise was then spotted in the Auckland suburb of Grafton at around 10am, heading into the multi-million dollar religious centre that opened in January.

His visit was not posted in advance on the centre's official website and Newshub spoke to staff members at the centre who said they didn't know Cruise was coming, he just "kind of turned up".

It's understood he had a quick tour of the building and took selfies with some of the staff there.

Security was tight as Cruise left, with guards trying to block any images of him from being recorded.

Staff applauded and cheered the Jerry Maguire star outside the building just before he entered a vehicle and was whisked away.

Cruise was first spotted and filmed outside the church by Newshub's weather presenter Ingrid Hipkiss, who admits she "kind of panicked" when she saw the superstar.

The Church of Scientology's high profile leader David Miscavige opened the heritage-listed, $16 million Auckland headquarters on January 21. The building was formerly the Whitecliffe School of Art and Design.

The religious movement, which also counts John Travolta as a member, was invented by science fiction author L Ron Hubbard.

Cruise hasn't filmed in New Zealand since 2003's The Last Samurai and was joined this time by co-stars Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg and Michelle Monaghan for the new Mission: Impossible.

He touched down in the South Island on June 10 for the production, which was filmed in and around the Rees Valley near Glenorchy.

Cruise said goodbye to the country on Monday morning via Twitter.