Frank Kovalchek

Destinations where your favorite movies and tv shows were filmed

Destinations where your favorite movies and tv shows were filmed

Jan 31, 2019|Where we travel| by Jordyn Kalman

Despite today’s use of CGI, green screens, and special effects to create many films, nothing can truly recreate the natural wonders found in nature. These popular movies and TV shows were filmed at some of the most beautiful and diverse locations around the world. By utilizing nature’s raw, natural features as their backdrop, these films create unforgettable scenes and give travelers a chance to be a part of the movie magic during their visit.

Game of Thrones – Iceland

Iceland’s unique topography, filled with volcanoes, mountains, glaciers and geothermal hotspots has made it a popular filming destination for many popular movies and TV shows. One of the most widely loved shows on television today, HBO’s Game of Thrones, has utilized Iceland’s beautiful landscapes for many of their scenes beyond the wall and around the seven kingdoms.  

photo by Lisa Palmese-Graubard

Lord of the Rings – New Zealand

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, adapted from the JRR Tolkien book series, was filmed entirely in New Zealand. All fans of the films would recognize the Waikato town of Matamata, a.k.a. the Shire. Visitors today can even go and visit the Hobbit homes, which have been left as a permanent attraction. 

photo by Anup Shah

The Matrix – Australia

All three of The Matrix films were filmed almost entirely in Sydney, Australia. Most of the scenes take place in the heart of Sydney’s central business district. In the first film, you can see distinct Sydney landmarks such as the Sydney Tower, Martin Place, and St. James Railway Station.

photo by Corey Leopold

Mad Max: Fury Road – Namibia

While the original trilogy of Mad Max films was filmed in Australia, Director George Miller relocated to the African country Namibia for the fourth installment. The Namib Desert near the coastal city Swakopmund proved to be a perfect stand in for the post-apocalyptic desert society established in the first three movies. Showcasing Namibia's sand dunes, mountains, and barren landscape brought this dystopian movie to life. 

photo by Pelin Karaca

Jurassic Park and Jurassic World – Hawaii

The first Jurassic Park and 2015’s reboot of the series both take place on the fictitious Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica, but were both actually filmed in Hawaii. The scene where the helicopter lands at the base of a waterfall in the first film takes place at Manawaiopuna Falls, Kauai, which is only accessible by helicopter. Kualoa Ranch in Oahu was used as the backdrop for the entire park, with CGI dinosaurs roaming around the wide open fields in both movies. There are many other iconic scenes from Jurassic Park filmed on many of Hawaii’s islands.

photo by Frank Kovalcheck

Narcos – Colombia

Colombia is known for its mountains, jungles, beaches, historic cities, and as the real life home of the famous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, whom the Netflix original show Narcos tells the story of. The show is shot in various cities in Colombia, including Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena, down the exact same streets Escobar walked in order to tell his story as authentically as possible.

photo by Pelin Karaca

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