How to Watch The Luminaries online (for FREE)

How to watch The Luminaries online

Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize-winning 2013 novel, The Luminaries, has been turned into a six-part TV drama. Here’s how to watch The Luminaries online for free.

The Luminaries is a new show that represents a joint venture from TVNZ and BBC. The six-episode series, set during the 19th-century gold rush in New Zealand, boasts big-named stars such as Eva Green, Himesh Patel and Eve Hewson. Which explains why New Zealand is (for once) the first country in the world to broadcast the show. 

If you live in New Zealand, you can watch all six episodes of The Luminaries online for free. Just go to TVNZ on-demand.

The mini-series is coming to BBC – the show’s co-producers – later in the year, although an exact release date has yet to be confirmed.

The show is also reported to be landing on NBC in America too. However, like BBC proper, a release date isn’t available yet.

How to watch The Luminaries online (for free): Quick guide

  1. Get a VPN – I recommend Ivacy ($2.25/month) or NordVPN ($2.75/month)
  2. Download app on your device
  3. Connect to a server in New Zealand
  4. Go to TVNZ
  5. Watch the Luminaries online

How to watch The Luminaries online in the US, UK, Canada or anywhere

If you can’t wait for The Luminaries to be broadcast in your country – you can watch it online for free using a VPN and connecting to a New Zealand server.

Note (May 2020): Ivacy ($2.25/month) is the only VPN – from my tests – that is currently working with TVNZ. Take a look at my TVNZ not working with VPN article to find out more.

Finding a VPN that works with TVNZ is tricky. New Zealand, and TVNZ specifically, isn’t a big market for VPN providers – meaning most VPNs only have a handful of servers in New Zealand. 

And while high-end VPNs such as ExpressVPN ($6.66/month) and NordVPN ($2.99/month) employ technicians to monitor and fix their connections with streaming services such and US Netflix, Hulu and BBC iPlayer – TVNZ is not in the same league.

Which is a problem, as it creates the potential for thousands of customers to connect to TVNZ at the same time. If/when too many accounts are connected to TVNZ through the same VPN server, the offending IP address will get blacklisted for abnormal usage.

That said, Ivacy ($2.25/month) is currently unblocking TVNZ (plus BBC iPlayer, US Netflix, Hulu) for me.

If you want to try another VPN, then I suggest going with NordVPN ($2.75/month). It has dozens of servers in NZ, which means you have a better chance of finding a server, and IP address, that isn’t blocked by TVNZ. 

NordVPN is little more expensive than Ivacy, but it’s arguable a more premium product and it provides 24/7 live chat support if you’re ever having trouble finding a server that works with TVNZ or any other major streaming service.

Read next: How to watch UK TV in New Zealand.

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