I can’t get over the fact that its been a whole 2 months since my trip to New Zealand! It was an incredibly special trip for many reasons, but one of the best things about NZ for me is that its the setting for one of my all time favourite stories, The Lord of the Rings. Better yet, staying with Matthew in Hamilton meant we were less than an hour’s drive from the most spectacular set from the movies: Hobbiton.
I’ve really struggled to choose photos for this post, I took so many – the set is beautiful! What you see hear is what was set up for the Hobbit movies; the original LotR Hobbiton set was stripped down at the end of the filming, leaving just white wooden fronts to the holes, but when it was rebuilt for the latest films, they decided to keep it in all its glory, and its maintained daily by a team of staff. All the vegetables in the patches are grown seasonally, with the exception of potatoes, so everything you see is real!
The only way you can visit the set is by an official tour, where you are guided around Hobbiton and bombarded with amazing facts about the films, and no little detail is missed. You can join one of these tours from three locations: The Shire’s Rest, which is at the entrance to the farm location, the information centre in Matamata, or from Rotorua. If you start your tour at The Shire’s Rest, there’s a great little cafe to feed hungry hobbits, and a fab gift shop full of souvenirs. The tours leave here most frequently, every half an hour, whereas its only every 45 minutes from Matamata, or twice a day from Rotorua. The group sizes are around 20-30 people, but you definitely don’t feel crowded at all cos there is so much to see!
While it is a walking tour, you get the opportunity for a little rest with a visit to the Green Dragon – there’s even a drink included with your ticket! You can have a sit down in front of a real wood fire, befriend Pickles, the local cat, or you can even dress up like a hobbit for photos, should you wish.. All the drinks available (3 alcoholic and 1 non-alcoholic) are brewed specifically for the Inn, so there’s nowhere else in the world you can get them!
And did you know you can get married here, while tours are going on, how crazy is that?!
Every Lord of the Rings fan needs to visit here, so if you’re ever in the area and in need of a brew of the brave and true, you know where you can get it from..