If you are a J.R.R Tolkien fan, then New Zealand’s Hobbiton is a must-see place in your itinerary. Matamata, New Zealand is the home of the “Hobbiton Movie Set”, where the famous Lord of the Ring & Hobbit trilogies were shot. This magical place was first discovered by the acclaimed director Sir Peter Jackson, who while scouting from a helicopter came upon this beautiful 12 acre sheep farm, and decided the it was the perfect place to build the Hobbiton village, which had to have the three main elements: a lake, a big tree and a field. He soon contacted the Alexander family who owned the land and well, and as they say, the rest is history.
Have you ever wondered how it would be to stay in the Shire like the hobbits ? Lets find out.
Hobbiton: An Overview
|Location||Matamata, North Island|
|Best Time to Visit||From December to March|
How to Reach Hobbiton ?
Hobbiton is located at a distance of 178 kms from Auckland, and the most preferred route to travel is by road. It is very convenient to rent a car in Auckland, as most of New Zealand is very scenic and is best experienced by road. Hobbiton is located at a distance of 20 km south west from Matamata, 43 km south east form Hamilton & 178 km south east from Auckland
Fun Facts about Hobbiton
The whole of shire (Hobbiton) was about 12 acres, and consisted of 44 hobbit holes and a Pub. All hobbit holes are custom made, with amazing attention to detail, there are pots, pans, cups, Honey jars, and tables etc which are adjusted to every hobbit hole. For the prequel “The Hobbit” the director decided that the Oak tree would have to be 50 years younger, so he decided to rebuild the tree from scratch hiring interns to hand paint 376,000 vinyl leaves.
Experience the Hobbiton Movie Tour
The Hobbiton tour is a 2 hour long guided tour where you can experience the Hobbit homes and the Shire, first hand. The tour guides are very friendly and informative, giving tourists snippets and insider information about the film and the relevance of each house and the importance of certain locations of in the movie. In the tour, they also talk about a 26 ton Oak tree that was, specially transported to the film site, and all its 200,000 plus leaves were handmade and wired to the tree, to look like an actual Oak tree. After the Lord of the Rings series ended, most of the hobbit holes were deconstructed. Nevertheless in 2011, the sets were rebuilt for the Hobbit trilogy and were this time permanently constructed.
Experience the Green Dragon Inn
A journey to Hobbiton is not complete without a trip to the Green Dragon Inn where you are given a complementary beverage with a choice of two traditional ales, an apple cider or non-alcoholic ginger beer, all handcrafted and exclusive to Hobbiton Movie Set. You also have an opportunity to dress up like a hobbit, with costumes and artifacts kept around the inn to give you the feeling of being a hobbit.
Buy at the Souvenir Shop
Last but not the least is the Souvenir shop which has original movie merchandise and exclusive items made especially for Hobbiton. You can get T-shirts, magnets, bags, door mats, cups etc., all related to the franchise. Not missing out the opportunity, I got myself a door mat that reads “Not all those who wander are lost” which is a famous line from the poem All that is gold does not glitter, written by J. R. R. Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings.
More Places to Visit Near Hobbiton
Another amazing attraction near Hobbiton is the “Waitomo Glow Worm Caves”. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. Flowing through an underground water cave, the boat takes you through a magical cave with thousands of glowworms who shine bright like a starry sky.
Placed on picturesque private farmland near the small town of Matamata in the North Island’s Waikato region is the Hobbiton Movie Set which draws thousands of travelers each year. Don’t wait. Hop on a plane and be a part of once in a lifetime experience.
Happy Wayfaring 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
|Nishant Mathur is a travel enthusiast and a frequent traveler. He believes that travel liberates people and brings them to a point where they have a better understanding of themselves and the world around. As a former Documentary Maker and an avid traveler, Nishant has been to far off places and loves to share his experience on his blog. There is one thing, that will never fails to amaze him – The human need and thirst to explore, experience new cultures, traditions, food and the people.
As in the words of J.R.R. Tolkien“Not all those who wander are lost.”