When we talk about New Zealand, two things come to our mind almost instantly. 1. Beautiful landscapes 2. Lord Of The Rings. We were very excited to visit New Zealand & especially, to see the filming locations of The Lord Of The Rings. We saw a few of the locations on our crazy tour with Nomad Safaris in Queenstown but the major one was sitting in Matamata – Hobbiton movie set.
If you are familiar with the trilogy, you know how important Hobbiton is. It all begins from there. In films, Hobbiton looks very pretty, almost heavenly. I thought, it is just a film set but when I visited Hobbiton, I was proven wrong. Hobbiton exists & it is as beautiful as shown in films! Here’s what we experienced at the Hobbiton movie set.
Rotorua to Hobbiton
We booked our Hobbiton tour with GreatSights. It was a morning half-day tour from Rotorua. The price of the tour was $125 per adult which included pick up & drop by bus to Rotorua. We reached the Hobbiton Shop at 7:45 AM because our tour was supposed to start at 8:00 AM.
We showed our vouchers at the shop & received the tickets. At 8:00 AM sharp, our journey began from Rotorua to Matamata. The bus was extremely comfortable & the journey was smooth. There were many LOTR-relared videos going on the TV screen inside the bus.
Hobbiton Movie Set
We reached Hobbiton around 9:00 AM. Once we reached, their tour guide accompanied us to the starting point. The tour was all set to begin. We were going to see 44 Hobbit holes in the next few hours. The history of this place is extremely interesting. Peter Jackson selected this location to be The Shire because of its geography.
All the Hobbit holes at Hobbiton are technically only the facades but nonetheless, all of them are extremely interesting to look at. Every Hobbit hole is different here. They have different colours, sizes, roofs, number of windows etc. The biggest Hobbit hole belonged to Bilbo Baggins in films. According to our guide, Hobbit holes in the middle Earth depicted wealth. More wealth meant bigger Hobbit hole with more number of windows. Even the placement mattered. Higher the Hobbit hole, richer the Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins’ Hobbit hole is at the top of the Hobbiton with most number of windows. This meant Bilbo was the wealthiest Hobbit in Hobbiton.
Many Hobbit holes were designed as per occupation. Some were bakers, some were blacksmiths, some were woodworkers & some were brewers. With all these interesting stories about Hobbiton, our guide was also helping each & every person to take their pictures against these wonderfully decorated Hobbit holes.
During our tour, we also came across 1 Hobbit hole which was open. It meant, we could go inside! We did & we were instantly disappointed. It was pretty from outside but there was nothing inside. This Hobbit hole was in films as Frodo Baggins’ house. The outside shots were filmed at Hobbiton whereas the inside shots were filmed inside a studio.
Apart from Hobbit holes, Hobbiton was full of stunning landscapes. The panoramic views that we got during our tour were outstanding! We stopped at many places to get our pictures clicked. The one near the lake was my most favourite location.
The Green Dragon Inn
The tour came towards an end & our guide got us to The Green Dragon Inn. This location was shown in films AND you can visit this is at Hobbiton. It is charming & cozy inside. Every guest gets either an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic drink for free. We enjoyed our drinks at the Inn for some time & headed towards the exit.
Before the exit, there is a merchandise store for ultimate fans. This store had literally everything related to The Lord Of The Rings. If I had more money, I would’ve bought so many things from the store almost instantly.
After the tour, GreatSights’ bus took us back to Rotoru & our half-day tour at Hobbiton ended on a pleasant note.
It doesn’t matter if you are a fan of LOTR or not, if you are planning to visit New Zealand, do include Hobbiton in your itinerary. Book your tour with GreatSights directly from their official website. We did another fun tour with GreatSights in the South Island of New Zealand. Check out our Milford Sound experience with them.
Photos: Awara Diaries