Lake Wanaka big hit with Tom Cruise

A small Central Otago tourist resort has made a big impression on a Hollywood celebrity, giving the town the type of exposure money cannot buy.

Lake Wanaka has been mentioned twice in Tom Cruise's latest movie, Mission: Impossible III -- and the town's tourist representative could not be happier.

Early in the movie, Cruise's character refers to a weekend he and his fiance enjoyed at Lake Wanaka.

Later in the movie, he asks his fiance to name the lake where they spent time together to verify that she is still alive in the hands of her kidnappers.

Cruise holidayed in the picturesque town while filming The Last Samurai in New Zealand and it is believed the references stem from the time he spent there.

Lake Wanaka Tourism's CEO John Alldred said it seemed Lake Wanaka made a big impression on him.

"We're delighted he enjoyed his time here.

"We'd be very happy to welcome him and his new family back next time he's in this part of the world."

- NZPA

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