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Sunday May 19th 2024

THE PIANO | 1993

The Piano filming location: Karekare Beach New Zealand
The Piano location: the ship is grounded and the piano left on the beach: Karekare Beach New Zealand | Photograph: denizunlusu

Oscar-winning period drama, with the withdrawn Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), along with her daughter Flora (Anna Paquin), bundled off to New Zealand as a mail-order bride for plantation-owner Alisdair Stewart (Sam Neill).

Director Jane Campion stitches together several different locales on New Zealand’s North Island to provide the muddy, wooded setting for what becomes a dangerous emotional triangle with neighbour Baines (Harvey Keitel).

Scenes in the bush were shot on two farms: one along Matakana Valley Road, Matakana, a small town in the Rodney District about five miles northeast of Warkworth, itself around 40 miles north of Auckland. The other was about 120 miles south of Auckland on the west coast – a 2,500 acre farm on Awakau Road, Awakino, Northern Taraniki.

Underwater sequences were filmed at the Bay of Islands, on the east coast of the Far North District, a popular fishing and sailing destinations.

But of course, the main location you’ll want to see is the spectacular beach on which the party comes ashore and where Ada’s beloved piano is initially abandoned. It’s Karekare Beach, Karekare Road, off Piha Road, near Glen Eden 15 miles to the west of Auckland.