Where is The Luminaries filmed? Locations around New Zealand revealed

22 June 2020, 18:42 | Updated: 22 June 2020, 18:46

The Luminaries was filmed across New Zealand
The Luminaries was filmed across New Zealand. Picture: BBC

The Luminaries filming locations revealed, including Hokitika, Maori land and Aukland.

If you’re anything like us, new BBC drama The Luminaries has probably got you wishing you were hopping on a plane somewhere this summer.

The six-part series is set in New Zealand and features stunning landscapes from across the beautiful country.

But as most of us won’t be going abroad in the near future due to travel restrictions, let’s take a look at The Luminaries filming locations instead.

So, where is The Luminaries filmed? Here’s what you need to know…

Where was The Luminaries filmed?

The Luminaries was shot in New Zealand, however while the story is set on the South Island by the coast in Dunedin and Hokitika, it was mostly filmed on New Zealand’s North Island around the city of Auckland.

The Luminaries filming locations
The Luminaries filming locations. Picture: BBC

Ewen Leslie – who plays Crosbie Wells - revealed to The Express: “It was all in New Zealand. We were in Auckland from November through till March.

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“We had all of the sets built in Auckland, including those big city streetscapes, they were behind the warehouse.”

The team used nearby beaches, farmland to capture the magical moments and built 85% of the project themselves, including 165 sets.

If you’ve watched the show, you’ll be familiar with the city of Dunedin that Anna Wetherell arrives in during episode one.

It turns out Dunedin was constructed in the car park of a tire factory in Auckland, which were so detailed they actually included usable shops.

The Luminaries filming locations
The Luminaries filming locations. Picture: BBC

Speaking to Radio Times, director Claire McCarthy explained: “We really took a lot of inspiration from historical photographs, we collected thousands of images that we hung around the production office and the art department.

“We often recreated actually photos from the time, and also just the weathered, real integration of dirt and mud and just those aspects of it.”

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She added: “We didn’t have a lot of money and we had to be very resourceful about how we made everything and what we were doing to help service the story.”

An old park was also used, while the moment Lydia meets Alistair Lauderback was shot in a period home in Auckland.

The Luminaries shooting locations
The Luminaries shooting locations. Picture: BBC

What locations are the beach scenes?

The beach scenes were filmed at Piha beach in Auckland which is a 45 minute drive from the city.

Where was Hokitika shot?

1860s Hokitika was built on Jonkers Farm, which is made up of 540 acres of land and around 45 minutes outside of Auckland.

The settlement, Chinatown, the goldfields and Crosbie Wells’ cottage were also built here.

While they built much of the set, the crew were able to film on Maori land, as Ngāti Waewae is where the character Te Rau Tauwhare is from.

Ewen told The Express: “We also shot in a place called Hokitika, which is in the South Island.

“I was very lucky in that just based on the plot, Crosbie covered a lot of ground so there were lots of different places where I had to be. I got to see a lot of New Zealand and I got to see a lot of the places that we were shooting…”

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