Published on : Friday, August 26, 2016
New Zealand is home to curious creatures big and small – penguins, kiwis, hobbits, whales, dolphins, to name a few.The biggest of them all though is one that is not widely known. Hidden in the bush, deep in caves and often out of sight, New Zealand’s rarest creatures can be difficult to spot if you don’t know where to look.
New Zealand is the home of dragons. These dragons, native to New Zealand, come in all shapes and sizes and are found in different environments. Here’s where you may find some of them.
Disney’s Pete’s Dragon tells the tale of a young orphan, Pete, and the friend he shares the forest with, Elliot, a dragon.Once you’ve read the story, watched the film and bought the T-shirt, think about taking the experience one step further by exploring New Zealand yourself, following in Elliot’s flight path. What better way to savour the country’s beauty than through the eyes of a dragon as he soars over breathtaking landscapes.
Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is set in the US Pacific Northwest, but was shot in New Zealand which means the film features a variety of glorious aerial shots as seen from Elliot’s point of view. As a result, many of New Zealand’s most impressive landscapes play a leading role.
On the central North Island, in the volcanic central plateau, the Tongariro National Park is where you will find the mountains that are the home of Smaug, the dragon who watches over Disney’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’: Pete and Natalie with Elliot the dragon play in the forest.
The Desolation of Smaug. Smaug’s home is in the centre of a unique volcanic landscape recognised by UNESCO as one of the 28 World Heritage Sites of dual cultural and natural significance.
Perhaps Smaug’s residence is one of the reasons the area is protected but the incredible surroundings also play a huge part. The best way to take in the dragon’s territory is by walking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which passes incredible natural wonders like the Emerald Lakes, the Blue Lake, Mt Ngauruhoe and – if you know where to look – views into the entrance of Smaug’s lair.Recently Smaug has taken up residence at Wellington Airport and he is there to great visitors to New Zealand’s capital city.
Giant beasts with dragon-like features are nothing new to New Zealand. The Maori people who were first to occupy this land tell of the legendary taniwha which appears in their ancient legends and is often depicted in their carvings.
Taniwha hid in lakes and caves surfacing only to scare tribes, however some were said to be guardians of the land. Rotorua, New Zealand’s geothermal hotspot, is said to have been home to a taniwha. Kuirau, a public park in central Rotorua, features a boiling lake which some local Maori believe is because a taniwha angered the gods. The local taniwha took the beautiful Maori maiden Kuirau and the gods became angry at the taniwha’s brazen act. They used their powers to make the lake boil so that this taniwha would be destroyed forever.
Source:-Tourism New Zealand