A fun & uplifting afternoon at the Hobbiton Movie Set

 

There is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo….and it’s worth fighting for

Samwise Gamgee, Lord of the Rings

Allow me to profess my love for the amazing & profound epic that is the Lord of the Rings. Whether you’ve read the books or seen the movies, there is no question it’s an inspiring story for the ages, of good vs. evil and the trials one must face in that journey. What made the Lord Of the Rings movies so surreal and larger than life was the setting in the backdrop of magnificent New Zealand.

Peter Jackson single handedly put a formerly lesser known New Zealand on the map & turned it into a hot tourist destination through the movie franchise. Seeing the dramatic landscapes & lush greenery on the big screen left many moviegoers, including myself in awe. It goes without saying I nerded out COMPLETELY in New Zealand, with recognition over several film scenes every place we drove.  Regardless of whether you’re a fan of the movies or not, Hobbiton, the movie set of the “Shire” is a marvel in itself and well worth a visit. The story goes on how Peter Jackson asked the Prime Minister of New Zealand for help, and the roads were cleared in the remote area of Matamata by the New Zealand army to help build the set.

Here’s what you can expect to see & experience on an afternoon in Hobbiton:

Driving through lush valleys, windy roads and beautiful scenery, and seeing the sheep being herded by dogs.

The ridiculously adorable Hobbit Houses on set

Realizing that Peter Jackson fashioned an entire village, with incredible detail to make the Shire village feel alive. And it is. 

 

With its mini bridges & homes with water mills, it felt like being in Scotland or Ireland and not New Zealand

Make your way to the Green Dragon Inn to catch a pint!

Every detail makes the place feel alive & other worldly.

Planning your trip

  • Perfect for: Children, Couples, LOTR uber fans, Sight seeing, Movie goers
  • There are several vendors that sell tour packages to Hobbiton – you can book an evening banquet, a farm stay etc through Viator and a number of other providers. My preference was to book the ticket from the Hobbiton Tours site directly. Tours can be started at Matamata, The Shire’s Rest or Rotorua. I booked the one from the Shire’s Rest, for $79/adult. Book your tickets here
  • Pay attention to the bus you take on the way back! Each tour bus takes you to a different pick up & drop off location!
  • Plan for 3-4 hours (the tour itself will take 2 hours, allow time to chill with your drink & to explore nearby surroundings)
  • There are several “Lord Of The Rings” souvenir shops in Rotorua and around town. These are far bigger & offer greater variety than the souvenir store at The Shire’s Rest, which we found to be limiting.
  • Best time to go to avoid crowds is the tours past 4:00 PM, we hardly encountered a crowd. The tour guides told us the 9 – 11 AM tour groups were the most crowded & lots of tourists I spoke to, told me the early AM crowds really overwhelmed them.
  • The Complete LOTR filming location guide:

Hobbiton is one of the most beautiful movie sets I’ve seen, its serenity & quaint village feel will be a place where you will definitely find Mojo!

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Also published on Medium.

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15 comments

Marcella Mind April 8, 2017 at 12:22 PM

New Zealand is definitively on my list to visit. I really like your tips of planning these are the most important things. After I have been finished with reading post, I must see the photography’s one more time there are breathtaking and you really those got the feeling that you are in Ireland or Scotland

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Tara April 8, 2017 at 12:34 PM

I have been DYING to do this!!! Thank you for the tips!!

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Anthony Ronald April 8, 2017 at 10:54 PM

If there wasn’t enough reasons to visit new Zealand… You added one more! On my bucket list!

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whitecamellias April 9, 2017 at 7:51 AM

It looks amazing! I would love to visit New Zealand and if I ever do I’ll make sure to plan a visit here.

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TheSavvyGlobetrotter (@savvyglobetrot) April 9, 2017 at 9:58 AM

What a beautiful area! Definitely adding to my New Zealand bucket list.

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Thewanderingdarlings April 9, 2017 at 2:37 PM

I’m so gutted it was busy the two days we were in the area so we missed out on doing the tour. You look like you got some great pictures and had an awesome experience. I completely agree you feel like your in England/Ireland/Scotland and not NZ!

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Jyo
Jyo April 10, 2017 at 4:07 PM

I know, it’s so hard to pack seeing everything and going everywhere in a short timeframe! But the good news is, it’s more inspiration & motivation to go back and see something different!

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SLK April 9, 2017 at 10:24 PM

Oh. My. World!! This looks absolutely gorgeous!! I think I knew this place existed but I’ve never seen such gorgeous photos! You have no idea how much I want to take my children there RIGHT NOW!

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Jyo
Jyo April 10, 2017 at 4:09 PM

The kids (young & those young & at heart) will love this place!

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Wanderlust Out West April 10, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Oh my! I love this post and your photos are amazing!

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Candace April 10, 2017 at 2:55 PM

OMG I need to be here. Hobbiton in the flesh? Yes, please. <33

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stephanie April 10, 2017 at 4:07 PM

Dying to visit New Zealand and this gives me one more reason. I didn’t realize you could take a tour of the Lord of the Rings Sets. The colors in your photographs are amazing. Thanks for sharing this.

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Jyo
Jyo April 10, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Yes, you totally can! There’s multiple Lord of the Rings tours in different parts of New Zealand – more tours of the landscape & outdoor surroundings in South New Zealand. But the most elaborate tour is of this Hobbiton set in North Island 🙂

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Doreen April 10, 2017 at 5:33 PM

Pics are gorgeous. I’ve never read the books or seen the movies (there were movies, right LOL). But this was interesting and great tips for those who do want to visit.

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Barbara April 10, 2017 at 9:22 PM

We visited here last year- so fun! The level of detail blew me away.

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