Temporary Cave Extension Underway
The Weta Cave is getting bigger this summer. On November 16, work will commence on Weta Workshop’s retail store and tourism offering on the Miramar Peninsula in Wellington, New Zealand. The temporary extension, which adds approximately 30 square metres to the current space, will allow the Cave to accommodate visitor numbers for the upcoming season, projected to be its busiest yet.
Those encouraging numbers have prompted Weta Workshop’s tourism division (Weta Studio Tours) to temporarily extend the Weta Cave building, utilising some available garden space on the corner of Weka Street and Camperdown Road.
The extension of the building into the front garden necessitates the removal of Bert, Tom and William, the life-size Hobbit troll sculptures situated in front of the Weta Cave entrance. The sculptures, removed on November 15, are being put safely into storage.
In addition to increased floor space, the extension will allow for the instalment of a ticketing desk separate from the retail area, streamlining the ticketing process. The existing toilets will also be getting an overhaul.
For visitors to the Weta Cave, it’s business as usual. The Cave will remain open during the build period, with tours departing every half hour. Building work is scheduled to wrap in mid-December, in time to welcome guests to the Weta Cave for the busy 2016-17 summer season.
Opening its doors in 2008, the Weta Cave was first established as a retail store, selling high-end collectibles and prop replicas designed by the artists of Weta. In 2012 it also became the hub of Weta Studio Tours with the launch of its flagship offering, the Weta Cave Workshop Tour. A suite of tours and experiences has since been added to meet strong demand, including the popular Thunderbirds Are Go Behind-the-Scenes Experience, launched in December 2015. With numbers increasing year on year, the 2015 season was Weta Studio Tours’ biggest to date, welcoming an unprecedented 113,000 guests.