Hobbiton – A great day trip in New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand

I had been living in New Zealand for about 4 months when myself and some friends decided that as it was getting to the end of summer we should rent a car and go for the weekend to visit Hobbiton.  We rented a car and set off on the 2 hour drive to Matamata where the Hobbiton movie set is located.  Once on the road we rung up to book a time slot to ensure that we wouldn’t have a long wait once we arrived as we had heard it can get busy, especially over the summer months.

I had heard mixed reviews from people about Hobbiton but most of the negative reviews were from people who had visited before it was rebuilt for the filming of the Hobbit in 2011. On the tour we were told about walls that kept having to be rebuilt as it didn’t look exactly how it had in Lord of the Rings, the set that was built in 2011 is an exact replica of the original!!

Hobbiton New Zealand

We arrived at Hobbiton and it was a beautiful day, New Zealand were in the middle of a big drought that summer and the fields surrounding Hobbiton were not very green, we got ourselves booked in and waited for our tour.  The only way around Hobbiton is on a guided tour and our tour guide was one of the sons of the farmer whose land Hobbiton was built on.  We boarded our school bus and this then took us through the 1,250 acre sheep farm where we got our first glimpse of the 12 acres of Hobbiton in the distance.

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While we were on the tour we were told how Peter Jackson spotted the farm while on an aerial search in 1998 and how he said the area was “like a slice of ancient England”.  He then came and spoke to the owners and finally work commenced in 1999.  Originally they built 37 Hobbit holes but there are now 44 unique hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Pub, Mill, double arched bridge and the famous Party Tree.  It was built a year before filming so that the place had cracks and weeds growing and the gardens looked established so it looked like a real place and not a film set.

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The original set was not built to last as the hobbit holes were built with untreated timber, ply and polystyrene and so none of the hobbit holes had doors and everything was removed after filming, there were no gardens, you could only see the frame of the hobbit hole.  In 2010 after discussions with Peter Jackson it was agreed that a permanent set would be built for the filming of the Hobbit so that the tourists could come and experience Hobbiton as it looks in the film.

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This place is amazing, it looks spectacular, from the beautiful painted Hobbit holes, to the washing on the lines, the paths to the Hobbit holes that are worn down, the smoke coming out of the chimneys. It actually looks like the Hobbits live there but they are hiding while we are doing the tour.  There is an allotment where real vegetables are grown and the gardens around the Hobbit holes are beautiful.

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Once we had walked around and seen the Hobbit holes it was past the mill, across the bridge and to The Green Dragon Inn, which was featured in the Lord of the Rings as the meeting place for the residents of Hobbiton, this has been replicated and the inside recreated to look how it did in the films.  Inside you get the chance to try an ale, cider or ginger beer.  As I am a lover of cider of course I tried this, it was great.

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Finally our tour was over and it was time to walk back past the lake and get one final glimpse of Hobbiton across the lake, I had fallen in love with this place and would of moved there in a second!! Despite the tourists it was such a beautiful, peaceful place.

Hobbiton New Zealand Hobbiton New Zealand Hobbiton New Zealand   Hobbiton New Zealand

Hobbiton New Zealand Hobbiton New Zealand

It costs 79 New Zealand dollars which is about £44 but it is well worth it, it is a great day out, you won’t be disappointed.

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Hobbiton. A day trip in New Zealand

Find out about Why I started travelling here, Miami Beach here, Key West here, Everglades here, Bolton Abbey here, Naples here, Koh Tao here, Yangon – Myanmar here, Ischica – Italy here, Koyasan – Japan here, Machu Picchu – Peru here, Memphis here, Faro – The Algarve here, Fiji – South Sea Island here, Egypt – My trip in a hot air balloon here, Doutbful Sound – NZ here, Death Road – Bolivia here, Iguazu Falls here

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29 thoughts on “Hobbiton – A great day trip in New Zealand

  1. Glad you got to check Hobbiton out…Ive still never been there and I lived in Auckland my whole life. I love how both tourists and locals rave about it. When Im back Ill have to go!

    • I think its worth visiting now they have it looking exactly like the set, it just looks so real and on a beautiful summers day it is spectacular 🙂

    • Unfortunately the visit is only about 1hr and a half but the whole area is beautiful and we had a nice relaxing weekend. We even went to hot water beach, where you dig a hole in the sand and hot water comes out!!

  2. Hobbiton looks great! I’ve been hoping to get out to NZ for a while now but not sure if its in the cards just yet. Working on a lower budget than I would want while I’m there. How tough was it to rent a car and get around?

    • It’s easy to rent a car but can be quite expensive. I bought a pass for the Stray bus and travelled around a lot with them, I bought the pass end of october and so it was very cheap compared to buying in high season and the pass lasts a full year!!

  3. Hobbiton is really high up on my list! I love LOTR and the Hobbit so this has always been on my see list. I wouldn’t even mind if it has changed over the years 🙂

  4. I have never watched the movie the Hobbit but i would love to visit Hobbiton someday if I ever set my feet in New Zealand. It looks so green and the lake is so tranquil. Glad you did not affected by the negative reviews and went there anyway.

  5. I have never known it existed! My husband and I are big fans of the movie and since we are now neighbours with NZ (living in AU) I will be making a trip to visit this charming little place. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. I’m from New Zealand and the one thing I get asked all the time is “which LOTR movie is your favourite?”

    Honestly – I haven’t even watched the movie because it hasn’t appealed to me!

    However, Hobbiton and other sites where the movie has been filmed has appealed to me more, mainly because I’ve been a fan of Sir Peter Jackson’s imagination!

  7. I’m not into the Lord of the Ring movies but I hear all the time about how beautiful New Zealand looked in the movie. It’s interesting to know a little bit about seeing the filming locations and how Peter Jackson chose them because they reminded him of ancient England. I’ll confess now, I have watched a couple of the movies and I do recognize the spots from your photos!

  8. Hobbiton seems so cool, I visited NZ back in 2011 and didn’t visit as at the time I hadn’t watched any of the movies. Now I’m kind of kicking myself, it looks so magical. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This would be an absolute DREAM come true for me! I’m a HUGE fan of LOTR; my wedding was even Middle Earth themed haha. I love (and am so jealous of) all your pictures, glad to hear you had a good time. There’s a 2-week long LOTR tour available in NZ that take guests to all the film locations. I really want to sign up for that when visit New Zealand one day.

  10. Oh wow! I didn’t know that it’s privately owned. I wonder if they had to pay something to the movie franchise itself. Even if I’m not into the movie, I’d definitely want to visit it. It looks like fun just to see it. 🙂

  11. An interesting account on how Hobbiton came into existence. The place looks real as if some actual creatures have lived there ages ago. I find the tour quite pricey but I’ll take your word for it – that “it is well worth it.”

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