Let me take you on a magical journey to the Middleearth. This land is home to hairy Hobbits, Dwarves, Ents and a multitude of other creatures that inhabit this intriguing world. Would you like to know of such a place on the map? Well, tucked away about 10 kilometers southwest of Matamata, in Waikato, New Zealand lies the magical world recreated by the “Hobbiton Movie Set” as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
The “Hobbiton Movie Set” is situated on the Alexander sheep farm that was discovered by Sir Peter Jackson ( New Zealand’s famous Writer, Director and Producer) when he began to look for suitable locations for shooting the The Lord of the Rings film series. He first saw this beautiful piece of land spread over 1200 acres during an aerial search in 1998 and concluded that the area was “like a slice of ancient England”. Thus, The Lord of the Rings movie set started being built after suitable negotiations with the owners of the farm.
The original set was not built to last; the facades of the hobbit hole were built of untreated wood, ply and polystyrene and partly demolished after filming. The set was reconstructed in a more permanent fashion for The Hobbit in 2010: An unexpected journey, for which filming started in 2011. This spot is one of the most sought after tourist attractions in New Zealand. A holiday in New Zealand is incomplete if you haven’t journeyed to the see and experience this fairytale. As such I had to visit Hobbiton and personally experience its beauty and magic. The trip kicks off at the Visitor Centre that hosts guided tours with escorts that show the complex detailing of the different Hobbit holes, highlighting the most famous places within the movie set and explaining how the magic of the film was created. (Golden Tip: Please pre book your trip to avoid disappointment as the tickets could sell out really fast).
You’ll be fully guided around the set; past the 44 Hobbit Holes, the Mill, and into the world-famous Green Dragon Inn, where you’ll get a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit South farthing beverage to complete your own Middleearth adventure There is now also a store selling merchandise and souvenirs adjacent to the cafe allowing every dreamy eyed visitor to carry home a piece of Hobbiton with them. After I had bought my ticket and ogled at the Middle-earth merchandise, it was time for me to board the bus that takes you through beautiful lush pastures, filled with grazing sheep to the hidden village where the hobbits live. During this bus ride, there are a lot of fun facts that one gets to know about the movie shootings and funny incidents that happened on set. However I won’t tell you any of these fun facts, so the “Hobbiton Movie Set” tour will keep surprising you!
This is a heaven for photo lovers and the escorts / guides might offer assistance with the same as well as allow enough time for each visitor to make and take away as many memories from this place. The “Hobbiton Movie Set” tour finishes in the Green Dragon where you can enjoy a beer besides a crackling fire place on a cold winter morning overlooking the beautiful lake at the center of the movie set. You can even adorn some cool Hobbit dresses and feel like you’re a true Hobbit while you might be lucky to bump into and rub shoulders with a group of happy, hardworking hobbits. At the end of the tour, you would be in awe of this place and as you board the bus to ride out of the village you would have taken away with you a slice of the magic that this place is filled with. I will give this tourist attraction 4 out of 5 and would ask you readers to definitely visit and have your very own adventure to the Middleearth while in New Zealand.