The final credits may have rolled, but as all good films go – the story lives on in the mind of moviegoers. This is particularly true for film tourism, where the destinations of the movie play a starring role.
Travel search website Wego looks at the new destinations that starred in some of this year’s most popular film releases.
Here are 10 places, and specific movie locations, that took centre stage in 2016:
Doctor Strange, Nepal
With twists of moral crusades and Eastern mysticism, the big action takes place in the Kathmandu Valley with the bustling commercial hub of Thamel and the gold-tipped stupas of Swayambhunath as a backdrop. The Unesco-attested Pashupatinath Temple also featured heavily.
The film’s star, Benedict Cumberbatch, spoke of how filming on location in Nepal provided him with a detail he wouldn’t otherwise have been able to achieve, shifting his mindset into the world of the mystical and strange.
The Revenant, Canada
The visceral and raw western, frontier vibe come alive amongst the peaks of Kananaskis Country which is part of the Canadian Rockies, near Calgary. Other scenes were shot at the Indian reserve at Stoney Nation and the Fortress Mountain Resort, just down the road from the beautiful Banff ski resorts.
Global warming was cited as a reason for the completion of the film shoot moving south to the ice fields of Argentina. Although, most people might remember this movie as the one that finally gave Leonardo DiCaprio that darn Oscar.
The Legend of Tarzan, Gabon
Not quite as wild as viewers might expect, the 2016 remake was shot mainly at the Warner Bros. Studios in Hertfordshire, England. A huge 30.48m collapsible pier and a working, tropical waterfall were created in the sound stages; however, a six week session of filming did take place in Gabon in Central Africa.
For those inspired to seek out the real jungle experience visit the wilds of the Minkébé National Park to see gorillas and mountain elephants in some of the last remaining virgin rainforest in this part of Africa.
Hell or High Water, New Mexico
An acclaimed, modern-day western that premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the film was set in West Texas but largely filmed in New Mexico. Scenic shots were filmed in the Alamogordo Valley, where the shifting dunes of the White Sands National Monument meet the cacti-spotted cottonwoods and plains of the Rio Grande rift.
Other scenes were in Guadalupe County and the state’s other more rustic locations – many of which retain the feel and atmosphere of the old west.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, New Zealand
We know the beauty of New Zealand well as the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings films, and in this film local director Taika Waititi does its natural beauty great justice.
Filmed mostly in the North Island Volcanic Plateau and the Waitakere Ranges near Auckland. The Plateau is where you’ll find the gushing geysers and mud pools of the Taupo Volcanic Zone and the outdoorsy town of Rotorua, with the Hobbiton movie set close by.
Waitakere Ranges are lined with majestic black sand beaches and famed surfing spots, Te Henga and Piha. Its hills are also the location of the 77km Hillary Trail, named in honour of Edmund Hillary; the first man (and New Zealander) to climb Mt Everest.