Visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set – Home of The Hobbit in New Zealand

So after lasts nights introduction to the fantasy world of Hobbits, Elves and Dwarfs I have revised our very tight schedule.

Hobbiton Shires Rest Pub
Hobbiton Shires Rest Pub

I had planned Waitomo Caves, glow worm tunnels and hot springs but I think the kids will get more of a buzz out of visiting the restored set of The Hobbit Movie.

Hobbit Home
Which Hobbit’s Home is this?

Hobbiton Movie set was constructed on a working farm just outside Matamata New Zealand. After the first movie was filmed the set was demolished as is normal practice in the movie industry.

Rebuilding Hobbiton

When the sequel was to be made the property owner negotiated to have the set built from more durable material so that it could be a permanent attraction.

Looking across the Hobbiton Lake
Looking across the Hobbiton Lake

So as it turns out just one day before the premiere of The Hobbit in New Zealand we are visiting the fantasy world of Hobbiton.

Hobbit Home in the hill
Help Me Label this Hobbit Home

One thing from the book which has stuck in my mind is that hobbits like to eat, so I am hoping there will be a cafe or perhaps a winery which reflects this, second breakfast and morning tea provisions will be needed.

Lord Of The Rings Movie Quote

Aragorn: “Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.”
Pippin: “What about breakfast?”
Aragorn: “You’ve already had it.”
Pippin: “We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?”
Merry: “I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.”
Pippin: “What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?”
Merry: “I wouldn’t count on it.
Green Dragon Signpost
Green Dragon Signpost

We arrived at Hobbiton to find that tours run every half hour and we were just in time to jump on a tour bus and head off into the hills to find the first hobbit house in the shire.

Locky knocking on the door of a Hobbit home
Locky knocking on the door of a Hobbit home

I am regretting not having watched the movies because I did enjoy the books, and I felt I needed a refresher course as there were some real enthusiasts on the tour.

Another hobbit home in Hobbiton
Another hobbit home!

The set has been meticulously built and maintained to preserve the integrity of JR Tolkien’s classic fantasy.  There is so much attention to detail, cute little bench seats, wheelbarrows and carts, gorgeous flowers in cute little garden beds and also scattered around the lush green hills.

Hobbiton yellow flowers in bloom
Daffodils in bloom at Hobbiton

The tour was conducted with the help of a guide who had so many stories to tell about the logistics of filming at this location.  He was a wealth of information and even told us how the brand new fences were made to look so old, and how this tree below was constructed from a metal frame and each leaf added to the branches and painted individually!

Hobbiton Silhouetted Tree
Famous Hobbiton Silhouetted Tree

The tour snaked its way around the grassy hill, and we continue along the dirt trail.  The guide told us about the various problems the director had to resolve with the site so that the scene fit the book’s description perfectly.

Hobbiton in New Zealand over the lake
Hobbiton Movie Tour

Swamps were drained and filled to become the area used for the Hobbits picnicking and drinking area.  A specific beer was brewed so the cast could drink a 1% beer whilst filming festive drinking scenes and still manage their lines.

Hobbit Home Movie Tour
Another Hobbit Home on the Movie Tour

All the information given was very interesting, and it was easy to be lulled into believing Bilbo Baggins would come walking down the path any moment.

Hobbit Signpost East -West
Hobbiton Signpost

I loved the cute little bench seats and the flowers, it all set the scene of a quaint little village where unseen small people should be going about their day.

Hobbiton hand made bench seat
Hobbiton Bench Seat

Our guide mentioned that he has had some real fanatical enthusiasts who have written and spoken Elfian, and have been able to recite passages from the book.

Hobbiton Purple Flowers in the grass
…More Hobbiton Flowers

Wow! That is dedication

Hobbiton Mill
Hobbiton Mill near the Green Dragon

The tour ends as we cross a constructed stone bridge past the water mill and into the green dragon. This area is still under construction and will form a pub where the public can have a pint of hobbit beer after the tour.

Hobbiton Pub
Green Dragon Hobbiton Pub

Tours are $75 per adult and $10 per child.  Whilst I enjoyed the tour I don’t think I will be rushing across New Zealand on a mission to visit all the locations filmed in the two movies.

Hobbit Home bricks and flowers
…and another cute Hobbit home

A question for readers; On my last trip to Melbourne I was tempted to have a drink at the pub where “Secret Life of Us” is filmed. I know the De Vinci Code has inspired specific Parisian sightseeing tours, and Sex in The City tours of Manhattan are also popular.  Would you be tempted to go on one of these tours?  If so, where would be your pick??

final Hobbit home with a blue door
There are currently 43 Hobbit homes at Hobbiton 



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