Hollywood legend Robert Redford set tongues wagging after touching down in Auckland en-route to his next film set at Tokoroa.
Redford, 78, arrived at 5am yesterday on a flight from San Francisco and was swiftly shuffled out of sight - but not before resident terminal gossips got a hold of the news.
A source told the NZ Herald the Oscar-winner's incognito arrival was foiled by airport staff.
See also: Hollywood stars spotted in Rotorua
"I was at the airport collecting my son from the same flight and I learned this snippet from the ... woman on the "Help" desk by International arrivals," she said.
"Apparently [he] arrived with his wife and they were whisked away from the airport out of sight in a private car."
Redford is in the country to film a Disney remake of Pete's Dragon, about a 9-year-old orphan and his pet who escapes from evil parents to live with a lighthouse keeper.
Sources said Redford and his entourage made for Tokoroa, west of Rotorua, where the actor was sent straight to make-up and wardrobe.
South Waikato deputy mayor Jenny Shattock said the star's arrival was something of a surprise - she didn't think he was due until the end of the month.
"I think it's fantastic."
She said the filming was in Hancock forest, a secluded bush site well away from town.
"The mayor and myself were actually invited out there last week but we couldn't go as there was a full council meeting. But I think we'll be seeing if we can take the trip now."
Ms Shattock said due to the site's remote location not too many people were aware of the film.
It wasn't the first film to be shot in Tokoroa - Yogi Bear was made there too, she said.
Redford will be in New Zealand for the next three weeks. Locations for the film, which blends CGI and live action, include the West Otago town of Tapanui, Wellington and the Bay of Plenty.
Film production will be based at Sir Peter Jackson's Stone Street Studios in Wellington - its first studio feature since The Hobbit.