To the Movies!

Everyone loves movies… in one form or another… but sometimes the best part of the movie is where it was filmed!

So for now, we are going on a tour of locations where movies were filmed, and we'll be taken there by my guest blogger... my college kiddo, Meghan!  Ready?  Let's go to the movies!!!

Lord of the Rings

We are starting our tour in Matamata, New Zealand where Lord of the Rings was filmed.

Matamata is located on New Zealand’s North Island in the town of Waikato, and is a must see for all Hobbit fans. You can wander through the Shire and see all 44 different hobbit holes including Bilbo’s home, Bag End. 

If you’re interested, you could also visit the nearby Kaimai mountain range for some hiking, cycling, and to see the highest waterfall, Wairere Falls, on the North Island at 135 meters.

You can also visit on September 22, International Hobbit Day, to celebrate Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’ Birthday!

Crazy Rich Asians

Up next, we’re stopping in Singapore to see Crazy Rich Asians

One of the places you can see in this movie is the Gardens at the Bay. It is home to millions of flowers; there is something in bloom all year round.

Its most prominent feature is the Supertree Observatory, where you can view all the gardens have to offer from 160 feet (50 meters) in the sky.

You can also climb on the aerial walkways in the Cloud Forest, visit Floral Fantasy to be surrounded by flowers and some tiny frogs, and so much more!

You can see this location during the wedding scene is Crazy Rich Asians.


The next location takes inspiration from the Caño Cristales in Colombia, Encanto!

Located between the Andes, the Eastern Llanos, and the Amazon rainforest, the Caño Cristales river is filled with different flora and fauna. Most notably is the aquatic plant “Macarenia clavígera” which gives the river its pinkish-red color.

This river is also called “River of Five Colors” or “Liquid Rainbow” due to its many colors. During late July through November, you can see the various colors of yellows, greens, blues, blacks, and especially red from the underwater plants. 

You can see this river when Mirabel hugs Abuela at the end of the movie (graphic above)

The Sound of Music 

Today, we’re taking a stop in Salzburg, Austria to visit the set of Sound of Music

There are sooo many places you can visit in Salzburg you can visit from Sound of Music; first stop, the Mirabell Palace Gardens (graphic above). Prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich had the gardens built for his lover Salome Alt in 1606. Today these gardens are used as the backdrop of many weddings. 

Next, we’ll stop at the Basilica of St. Michael at Mondsee. This place can be seen during the wedding scene in Sound of Music. Though not so romantic, all the skeletons on the altar are REAL, the most famous, hidden by a statue in the movie, being Abbot Kondrad II. The other two were hidden by flower pots.

One more iconic location in the Sound of Music is the Leopoldskron Palace which was used as the exterior of the Trapp’s House. The Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Count Leopold Anton Eleutherius von Firmian commissioned the palace to be built in 1736.

Gladiator & Game of Thrones (2 for the price of 1!)

Last but not least, we’re visiting Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco where Gladiator was filmed.

Ait Ben Haddou is one of the most famous ksars, or fortified villages, in the Ounila Valley. Inside its walls are a collection of houses ranging from modest to small castles. In 1987, it was put onto the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Overall, the buildings are made of clay bricks decorated with different pictures. The buildings, though, do not appear to be older than the 17th century, as the structure and technique resemble those of Pre-Saharan communities in the valleys of Morocco.

You can also see this site in Game of Thrones when Daenerys defeats the slave merchants of Yunkai.


So... have you seen these movies?  Have you been to any of these locations?  Or do you want to go to these destinations? Message me and let's chat!

Great job to my guest blogger, my daughter Meghan!