The Narnia chronicles were an incredible part of my childhood - the magic in each story greater than the last, all exquisitely crafted by C. S. Lewis.
While New Zealand is perhaps most famously known for being the surreal backdrop of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies (check out all those filming locations here!), it also provided the beautiful scenery for Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as well as the sequels, Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The films were directed by Andrew Adamson, a native kiwi, so it was extra special to have his native country as the set for Lewis' world.
I've put together a list of three iconic filming locations from the Narnia chronicles that you can visit on your travels around New Zealand to inspire you and leave a little feeling of magic in the air:
Ruins of Cair Paravel
Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel
Cathedral Cove is perhaps the most well-known of all Narnia filming locations in New Zealand. Situated in The Coromandel, a beautiful peninsula east of Auckland, the cliffs rising above this beach provide the setting for where the Pevensie siblings discover the ruins of Cair Paravel.
"The water shimmered so clearly audiences won’t believe it’s real water." - Anna Popplewell who played Susan Pevensie
The walk to get there down to the beach from the parking lot is about 30 minutes and the views along the way are delightful. When you reach the cove itself you'll be rewarded with stunning rock faces, pure white sand, lapping water in a sheltered cove and plenty of spots to get a bit of sun and take some beautiful photographs.
Elephant Rocks, Duntroon
Elephant Rocks are a massive region of assorted sized rocks scattered across the rolling hills near Duntroon. They became Aslan's Camp in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and are an enticing place to explore.
Be wary of the cow pats - and perhaps Aslan coming around the corner at any moment to greet you...!
Purakaunui Bay, The Catlins
Using the incredible cliffs of Purakaunui Bay, best viewed from Canoe Beach, computer-generated imagery brought the magnificent castle of Cair Paravel to life on the Eastern Sea.