Newcastle United players left star-struck at Weta

Published on : Friday, July 25, 2014

e73825_4-300x225While New Zealand football fans are going wild for English Premier League side Newcastle United – currently in New Zealand for the Football United Tour – members of the team were left with stars in their eyes in Wellington on Thursday. (24.07.2014)


Players and team management were treated to a New Zealand film-filled afternoon – from a Sir Peter Jackson perspective- with an exclusive tour of Weta Cave and Park Road Post Production Studios in the eclectic Wellington suburb of Miramar.


The team, including; Rob Elliott, Samuel Ameobi, Ryan Taylor and Haris Vuckic played around with the incredibly life-like trolls that stand guard outside Weta Workshop before getting their hands on swords, guns and a selection of Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and other film memorabilia.

Self-confessed Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan, Samuel Ameobi was particularly taken by the costumes as the players took turns dressing like legendary wizard Gandalf inside the Workshop, complete with hat and staff.

The tour then moved inside Weta Cave where the team and management were visibly engrossed in the amazing and intricate work that goes on inside – asking questions and having a tinker with movie props from Lord of the Rings, King Kong, District 9, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnina just to name a few.


Weta Cave is the newest addition to the Weta Workshop and allows visitors an inside look on how the costumes and props and finer details of the award-winning movies are made.


Visitors may even be lucky to catch a glimpse of the creative minds in action through glass-windows into the real workshop.


After the Cave tour Newcastle’s Samuel Ameobi confessed to his joy at being able to visit the attraction and New Zealand itself.

“Weta Cave was amazing.” The winger said.” I never thought I’d have the opportunity to go and see something like that; all the intricacy that goes into films these days is crazy.
“When I heard we were coming to New Zealand I was really excited, I’m a massive Lord of the Rings fan but I also couldn’t wait to see the landscapes from the films.”
Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot was equally impressed.
“The Cave was really good. I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan; actually I’m a bit of a geek – like Sammy (Ameobi) when I heard we were coming to New Zealand I got really excited because of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.


It was fantastic to get an inside look on how they make things for films to actually see things that you don’t even think about.”

The team then went onto Park Road Post Production Studios; conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the Cave.

Park Road is held within a purpose built-architecturally designed building that allows visitors to feel instantly at home.

Comfy couches and soft-lighting provide the perfect work environment for creativity to flow.

Once inside the team were taken into Peter Jackson’s private cinema – with a celling that sparkles in honour of the stars in the Southern skies.


But the best was still to come. Waiting for them in Park Road’s sound room was academy award winning in-house sound mixer Michael Hedges and his little friend – Oscar.

The two-time Oscar winner (Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) and King Kong (2005) had the Premier League stars and management eating out of the palm of his hand, with tales of Oscars, Baftas and of course all the amazing work the team do to bring the much-loved movies to life on the big screen.

They were even allowed to hold the Oscar – an honour not bestowed on many.

But it seems there is one player in particular who has fallen in love with New Zealand, its people and its landscapes – the country’s first impressions, it seems, will be an everlasting one.

“New Zealand is brilliant.” Rob Elliot said. “When you fly in and you see the different types of terrain where you can live in one country and probably do every activity under the sun, that’s something I find really exciting so I’d love to come back.

“There are a few things I really want to do in New Zealand. I desperately want to go to Queenstown .


We’ve been lucky to see a lot but there is a still so much more to see.”
When asked what would be his number one New Zealand adventure, the thrill-seeker didn’t take long to answer.

“I’d love to spend a week in Queenstown, ski and do all the adrenalin stuff. A canopy Swing or bungy jump in Queenstown would be top of my list. A friend of mine went there and said it’s the best place he’s ever been.

Interestingly the footballer may also have another reason to return to New Zealand in 2015.

“We drove past the Basin Reserve (Wellington cricket ground) on the way here which was amazing.


I’m a massive cricket fan so to come back here for the Cricket World Cup in 2015, to see McCullum in action would be great.”

Newcastle United are currently in New Zealand for the Football United Tour 2014 also featuring fellow English Premier League team West Ham United and A-League sides Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC.

They have played in the South Island town of Dunedin, beating Sydney FC 4-0 and will take on Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday (26.07.14) in a game that has taken on a whole new significance since the New Zealand side shocked West Ham United with a 2-1 victory at Eden Park in Auckland on Wednesday (23.07.2014).

The football-filled day is set to be a fabulous occasion for Wellington – the capital city of New Zealand – with fans flying in from all over the world to watch the four teams in action during the penultimate day of the ten day tour.

Source:- Tourism New Zealand

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