As most people know, “Xena: Warrior Princess” and
The Legendary Journeys” were all filmed on location
in New Zealand.
Although several of the locations were filmed on
private property a lot of the most spectacular shots
were actually located in a portion of the Auckland
Regional Parks called the Waitakere Ranges Regional
Park and the credits at the end mention this fact.
Even though Wellington is the capital of New Zealand
and not Auckland, it is actually the largest city in
the country in terms of population
and is regarded as the entrance to New Zealand for travelers
arriving in the country. The AKL or Auckland International
Airport is the landing place of several international
airlines such as Quantas, United Airlines, and of course,
Air New Zealand.
The international airport is only an hour's drive all the
way through the city of Auckland into the place where the
famous locations are found. It takes about half a day to fly
from Los Angeles to Auckland and maybe slightly less than
that from the main air hubs of Asia such as Singapore and
Hong Kong. All of the major car rental providers of the
world have representation in Auckland.
Most of the film locations are found on the western
coast, and are in general just about thirty to forty
miles from the center of Auckland city at the most.
The four major beaches that are of great interest to
filmmakers are the long and bleak desolate of
Muriwai Beach, the Bethells Valley which include the
awesome black Bethells Beach, Lake Wainamu with its
scenic lake that has an astonishing sand blow at its
Waiti Stream with its tiny stream which is
sand-bottomed and runs all the way down from Lake
Wainamu until it terminated into the Waitakere
River, the Piha Beach which is usually filmed with
an unusual configuration in center of the beach, and
the Karekare Beach & Waterfalls which is a much more
packed in beach with stunning falls.
Lucy Lawless, christened Lucille Frances Ryan, was
born in Auckland, New Zealand. She was the 5th of 7
children, and Frank and Julie Ryan’s first daughter.
She matriculated from the Auckland University,
journeyed through Europe, worked as a grape picker
on the Rhine, until she finally traveled to
Australia where she met her then boyfriend, Garth
When they ran out of money, the couple worked with a
company that mined gold just outside of Kalgoorlie,
approximately five hundred miles from Perth.
They finally tied the knot in Australia and went
back to New Zealand where they had their fist baby,
Her interest in performing led to some work in
television in New Zealand. She later migrated with
her family to Canada in Vancouver and entered the
William Davis Center for Actors Study.
Upon her returning to New Zealand, she found
employment in a number of productions for film and
Hollywood’s first glimpse of her was when she got the role
of Lysia in “Hercules and the Amazon Women” which was an
episode of ”Hercules: The Legendary Journey” which so
happened to be filmed in New Zealand.