UPDATE: New Line Scouting in New Zealand for 'The Lonely Mountain' Location?
"I have a friend who lives in New Zealand near lake Tuanna and he said that a few people from New Line came to inspect the area and asked to go on their land. My friend asked why and they said they want to see if it would be a good place for the Lonely Mountain. They seemed really pleased with the location."
The article has since been taken down. Smaug communicated to me that the reason he did so was because his source's credibility is in doubt.
This space will be updated if further information confirms or refutes the scouting in NZ.