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Scenic country that's also a bit of a movie star.

Kea - the world's only alpine parrots thrive in the freezing conditions of the Southern Alps NEW Zealand's breathtaking scenery and landscapes have been used as the setting for various big-budget films over recent years, including Wolverine, The World's Fastest Indian, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Whale Rider, The Piano and, of course, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit sagas.

New Zealand brought all of those and other acclaimed films to life, and you could say the country has become a star in its own right.

Isolated from the rest of the world since the time of the dinosaurs, the Land of the Long White Cloud has been left to its own devices for 80 million years, with surprising and spectacular consequences.

And when you want a man to guide you through a landscape and wildlife that seems to have been left untouched since prehistoric times, who better than Mr Jurassic Park himself, Sam Neill? Born in Northern Ireland, Neill moved to New Zealand when he was seven, and is now rightly considered one of the country's greatest actors.

Narrator Neill brings an extra level of gravitas to a breathtaking three-part wildlife series which transports viewers to the exotic and mysterious island chain, and reveals how the country's rich, intriguing wildlife manages to survive.

The first episode features some of New Zealand's most ancient and weirdest of species, and brings to life the story of how their spectacular home was formed. Dinosaur-like reptiles still prowl here, while insects have become giants, birds lose the power of flight and behave like badgers, and the people who settled here are also pretty amazing.

NEW ZEALAND: EARTH'S MYTHICAL ISLANDS BBC2, Tuesday, 9pm

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:8NEWZ
Date:Jul 16, 2016
Words:287
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