The Weta Cave

Learn the special effects secrets behind films such as The Lord of the Rings and Avatar with a tour through this Academy Award-winning studio.

Weta Workshop is an Academy Award-winning design studio and one of the world’s most-lauded special effects film companies. It is named after New Zealand’s largest insect, the grasshopper-like weta. Experience the magic of what happens at Weta on the guided tour during which you will see life-size models, listen to interviews with the team and watch the Weta team at work.

Richard Taylor and Tanya Rodger founded Weta Workshop in 1987. They began by working on television series such as Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. See their most recent work on some of the biggest films of the 21st century, including King Kong and The Hobbit.

Start your visit in the Weta Cave. It’s home to plenty of props so have your camera ready to take photos of a gruesome troll or pose for a photo with a model of Gandalf the Grey. You can also watch a series of interviews with the founders of the studio. Screened every half hour, the interviews cover the establishment of the studio, the creative processes used in their films and rare insights into developments in the film industry.

The 45-minute standard guided tour, which starts at the Weta Cave, shows you the studio in action. Peer through the windows to see animators and special effects technicians working on their latest projects. See life-size models and props from the Weta team’s biggest films, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Avatar.

Stop at the Weta Cave Shop after your tour to pick up great souvenirs and keepsakes. Merchandise from all of the Weta Digital films is available, including T-shirts, books, DVDs and sculptures handcrafted by Weta artists.

The Weta Workshop is located in Miramar, about a 15-minute drive from the heart of Wellington. Catch a shuttle bus here from the Wellington i-Site Visitor Information Centre. A fee applies for the guided tours. Make a reservation online at least a day before you arrive. There is no fee to enter the Weta Cave.