Lead-up to The Hobbit Premiere

20 November 2012

It's only a week tomorrow until Hollywood stars and VIPs descend on Wellington for the world premiere of 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'.

Sir Ian McKellen, as Gandalf the Grey - photo courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment

Sir Ian McKellen, as Gandalf the Grey - photo courtesy of Roadshow Entertainment

Among the stars who will be on the red carpet include Martin Freeman, who plays Hobbit Bilbo Baggins; Richard Armitage, the Dwarf warrior Thorin Oakenshield; Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving, the Elf Queen Galadriel and Elf Lord Elrond; Andy Serkis as Gollum; and Elijah Wood as Hobbit Frodo Baggins.

Sir Ian McKellen - who stars as Wizard Gandalf the Grey - is unable to attend, however Gandalf will overlook the proceedings from his newly-installed position on the Embassy Theatre.

At 9.4m tall, Gandalf joins the 13 giant dwarves in the CBD and Gollum at Wellington Airport - proof that Wellington really is transforming into the Middle of Middle-earth.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown congratulates and thanks the many businesses, organisations and people who have dedicated their time and money into putting Wellington in the middle of the Middle-earth map.

"I especially want to thank NZ Post, Wellington Airport and the creative talent at Wingnut and Weta Workshop who have created three very spectacular installations for our city."

This weekend things really start heating up with the opening of the Hobbit Artisan Market in Waitangi Park at 12 noon on Saturday.

The free and family-focused market will be the city's Shire for five days until the premiere on Wednesday 28 November.

From glass blowers to leather workers, jewellers to sculptors, 30 artists will be displaying and selling their work.

There will be prosthetic demonstrations, competitions and Hobbit-themed food. Stalls will run from 12 noon to 6pm daily. From this Sunday until Tuesday 27 November, The Lord of the Rings trilogy will screen in Waitangi Park from 6 - 9pm (one film each night).

On the day of the premiere, Courtenay Place will be buzzing with entertainment from midafternoon right up to when the stars and VIP guests arrive on the red carpet from 4.30pm.

The following roads will be closed to all vehicles from 9pm, Tuesday 27 November until 5.30am, Thursday 29 November:

  • Courtenay Place - Cambridge Terrace to Taranaki Street
  • Kent Terrace - Oriental Parade to Elizabeth Street
  • Cambridge Terrace - Tennyson Street to Wakefield Street
  • Majoribanks Street - Roxburgh Street to Kent Terrace
  • Tory Street - Tennyson Street to Wakefield Street.

There will be local access only for Edge Hill, Alpha Street, Blair Street, Allen Street, Forresters Lane and Holland Street.

There will also be extensive parking restrictions on the above and some surrounding streets. Bus stops, mobility parking and taxi stands will be relocated along Wakefield Street and buses will use alternative routes.