Hobbiton. It definitely rings a bell for every single Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fan, right? :) Two trilogies that made New Zealand pretty famous. Filmmaker Sir Peter Jackson had an amazing vision, and not only for the story based on J. R. R. Tolkien's novel - some mind-blowing landscapes he picked! We went to discover the fascinating movie set, The Shire, maintained in its original form, and now probably one of the top tourist attractions in the country. And a little piece of magic.
So, let the real Middle-Earth adventures begin! :)
Nested between the lush hills next to Matamata, surrounded by picturesque green farmland, a cute lake and some beautiful trees, a mostly sunny autumn afternoon proved to be the perfect timing to visit the Alexander farm, home to Hobbiton. We signed up for the 2 hour tour to check if there are any Hobbits left running around and if the view is really as good from Bag End as seen in the cinema! :) Well, we found no Hobbits, but as for the view, I let you decide!
Some trees changed a bit over time, there was no smoke coming out of the chimney but otherwise it looked pretty similar to me. Remember the times when we were kids and played this game, comparing images? You are welcome to continue looking for the little details and differences now again. Enjoy, I did! :)
Pictures taken from the same spot, but the first one is a detail from a poster in the souvenir shop. ;)
The tour started with a short bus ride through the sheep farm where we got a feeling of the place. Sir Peter Jackson spotted the area from the air when he was looking for the perfect site. What a cool way for scene spotting. :) Anyway, no wonder he knew this was it!
We had a guided walk in The Shire, visiting Hobbit hole by Hobbit hole. There are apparently 39 of them, one more colourful than the other! Each has a different decoration, too! These were some of my favourites.
The filming of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy took 3 months to complete while The Hobbit only 12 days! Incredible, isn't it? The deal made with the owners of the farm was to keep the setting permanent so the Hobbit wonderland can be maintained for the future. Walking through The Shire really felt real (like you were in the movie), and I loved watching every little detail.
This oak tree for example is, guess what, not real! It was transported from Matamata and its 200,000 artificial leaves were brought in from Taiwan and wired to it one by one. Being autumn, desperately, but it shed some leaves, too. :) All this for approximately 6 seconds of appearance in the movie. :) It does look amazing though!
At one of the locations, you can even pretend to be a Hobbit and check if you can fit through the door. Unfortunately you can't really access the holes, there is nothing inside but still a lot of fun to figure out how much taller you are. :) Hobbits are no taller than 4 feet. You would be blocked around shoulder or head level at most of the holes.
The trip was not tiring at all, despite the hike to the top of The Shire, as we stopped every 5 minutes to hear a short and cool story by our wonderful guide who was eager to share a lot of details about the movie set.
There was a tour every 15 minutes so expect some crowds. But, this being said, there are some advantages, too: plenty of photo opportunities, and it is feasible with kids as the walk is slow.
The last stop was The Green Dragon Inn and The Mill, where we could enjoy a complimentary, truly Hobbit-wordly, refreshing drink by the fire place and immerse ourselves in the magical world of Sir Peter Jackson's movie wonderland.
And of course, leave wondering where could all those Hobbits be...
Last but not least, a beautiful farewell view with the setting sun over The Shire.
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”
***Got inspired? Happy if you share ;)
Join me on Facebook!
Sharing my passion for photography, New Zealand, nature, and a journey within.
See the Beauty. Let it shine!
© COPYRIGHT BinspiratioNZ 2015-2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
This website and its original content is copyright of BinspiratioNZ. All pictures taken by me unless otherwise stated. Happy if you share, and thanks for marking the original source :)