16 November 2012 4:01 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

New Zealand's capital city has hotels, bars, coffee shops and galleries to enjoy without any sign of orcs, elves or the Shire

Tourists heading to New Zealand this winter who are not fans of Jrr Tolkien may feel a little like they've entered a parallel universe. For passengers travelling with Air New Zealand the confusion will begin just moments after take off when they are welcomed on board a flight, not to Wellington but to the "Middle of Middle Earth", as the city now styles itself.

The theme will continue with the on-board safety video "imparting a story of safety" with a message from Gandalf - aka the captain.

Arriving at Wellington airport, the first thing bleary-eyed and jet-lagged, tourists will set their eyes upon is a giant Gollum looming over the cafe area. All this before they've even reached the city proper. Once there they may find themselves using »

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