The Luminaries TV series tipped to be tourism 'gold' for Westland

Source: 1News

Tourism and Māori representatives in Westland are hailing the potential spin-off from the TV series based on the award winning New Zealand novel The Luminaries which has finished filming in the small town of Hokitika.

The BBC-backed production of Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize winning book is expected to attract more visitors to Hokitika. 

"That's just gold for the region. Sorry for the pun, but it's absolutely great," Trevor Wilcock of Destination Westland told 1 NEWS.

"And there's some beautiful, beautiful spots. And for them to be highlighted to the rest of the world, we couldn't ask for more," he said.

Hokitika's architecture might have changed, but the locations in the book are still there, in places such as Revell Street. It means fans can still visit the soon-to-be-famous locations, they're just a little bit more modern.

Francois Tumahai of the local hapu Ngāti Waewae says the TV series will be amazing for Hokitika.

"We're a tourism town, so having something like this to be able to piggyback off is fantastic. But I think people are going to be surprised, on what we've just seen, at just how amazing this is going to be and what it's going to do for the town," he said.

"I think it's going to blow some people's minds."

After months of studio filming, the story, set in the Hokitika and Dunedin goldrush, returned to the West Coast where it started.

The series' producer, Lisa Chatfield, said one of the things that's so special about The Luminaries is it's a story about New Zealand's history.

And the production has already been a plus for New Zealand.

"We've never got less than 150 people working, shooting, filming, building," Ms Chatfield said.

The series airs on TVNZ next year.