15 Lord of the Rings stars who have shared their love for New Zealand

Can we go there please?

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To celebrate the 15 Year Anniversary of New Zealand being the real Middle-earth 15 stars from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies share their love for New Zealand.

Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

"This is the Middle-earth I had always pictured. How can New Zealand not bewitch anyone who visits !?"

Peter Jackson (Director)

"New Zealand has such a variety of landscapes from lush green forests, to soaring mountains. The grandeur of these landscapes saw tourists flock to our shores, and made a huge impact on the tourism industry. New Zealand is the perfect Middle-earth and a real place that visitors can experience for years and years to come."

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Andy Serkis (Gollum)

"My favourite thing about New Zealand geography is that you can drive 50 minutes in one direction and be in a completely new geographic location – what is that called where you have specific pockets – like you are in deserts then suddenly in rain forest!?"

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Hugo Weaving (Elrond)

"I love coming here (New Zealand) I think the people here are just wonderful very spirited and creative and very welcoming."

Benedict Cumberbatch (Smaug and the Necromancer)

"I had about a week off and I went down to Queenstown, and had a fantastic time. And I went sky diving, I went paragliding, I went down a luge and the Shotover Jet around the rapids and … I mean I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie so I kinda loved the great outdoors."

Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

"I look forward to getting back to New Zealand on numerous occasions as my son grows up. Who knows, I might even end up living in New Zealand one day because it's a remarkable place."

Luke Evans (Bard)

"A few of us – me, Jimmy Nesbit, Dean O'Gorman - hired a house in Marlborough and went wine tasting. It was an absolutely glorious, amazing way to spend a weekend. Tasting the exquisite wine – was absolutely wonderful - that's a really great place to visit."

Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel)

"It is more incredible than you can describe- more beautiful than I know how to put into words - truly and utterly breath-taking."

Billy Boyd (Pippin)

"It's sort of like the movies are another layer to New Zealand…the Maori culture is so amazing, obviously the scenery is maybe the greatest in the world, the people are amazing, and then on top of that you have the legacy of The Lord of the Rings films – that people now call New Zealand Middle-earth is wonderful."

Martin Freeman

"The beauty of it (New Zealand) was not lost on us and the fact that it looked like CGI … kinda looked more perfect than nature, it was just funny because we were just looking at mountains thinking no one is going to believe this is real."

Sylvester McCoy (Radagast)

"It's real. It's the real countryside – but at first you think wow what a great job they made – (Nokomai Bog) but it's not, it's the real thing.

Richard Armitage (Thorin)

"I would say to people coming to NZ - do some research – depending how much time you've got – get out and walk – do the Tongariro crossing – if you can afford to get up in the air somehow in a helicopter – see some of those volcanoes from the air – if not then drive in the south Island– drive to Milford Sound and get on a boat – it is the most extraordinary landscape I've ever been to."

Graham McTavish (Dwalin)

"I took a photo that I sent to some friends - 'dwarves on vacation' and they refused to believe that this was an actual photograph that I hadn't photo-shopped it – "that place doesn't exist". And I was standing in it."

James Nesbitt (Bofur)

"You know when we all went to Queenstown I'd never been there before and it was just astonishing- I mean a beautiful jewel really at the bottom of the world."

Elijah Wood (Frodo)

"I'll never forget that feeling of coming to Hobbiton the first time…there's so many feelings of nostalgia and history. You can just look and see there's no having to finish the illusion – it's just here.The experience of making Rings will always be one of the greatest experiences of my life - the connection to the country, New Zealand."

Own The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogies on Blu-ray™ or Digital.

Fancy New Zealand? STA Travel offers a 24-day New Zealand Encompassed package from £2229 per person including activities, accommodation, meals, a local guide and all transport between destinations and to/from activities.

Add on return economy flights from London Heathrow from just £575 per person. The tour starts in Auckland and finishes in Wellington.

Book now and travel before 30 June or between 07 November and 08 December 2016. To book please visit www.statravel.com, call 0800 988 0390 or visit one of the STA Travel stores.

You should also visit newzealand.com for loooooooads more info and inspiration.

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