Look, if we are being honest, the real inspiration for any trip to New Zealand is to visit Middle Earth. Is it not? So why not a trip to the most famous Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit movie set of them all… Hobbiton.
Well, the best news for you is that Hobbiton is located just outside of Hamilton. Or if you are planning on staying in Auckland, like I usually do, then you can do it as a pretty easy day trip (it’s about a 2-hour drive each way).
New Zealand has such stunning landscapes, it’s really easy to see why Peter Jackson chose it to portray Middle Earth in his six movies.
The drive out to Matamata, the township closest to Hobbiton, is scenic in its own right. So you’ll be so caught up taking in the views that you won’t realise how much time has passed on the drive to the movie set, so driving from Auckland is really effortless.
If you don’t feel like renting a car while you are in New Zealand, but I really recommend that you do, then there are a number of coach pick up services from Auckland, Matamata and Hamilton so don’t fret.
When you arrive at Hobbiton it might not be what you expect, at least initially.
If you don’t know, the movie set was built within a farm, but that farm is still very much in operation today. So when you arrive at the Hobbiton ticket office there is absolutely no indication of the rest of the movie set.
However, the setup has been really well done. From the ticket office, coaches operate about every 15 minutes or so to take you onto the farm and down to the set, which is well and truly hidden into the farmland.
Partly because it needed to be for the production of the movies, but it also adds to the experience of it all and really brings you into the mystical world of the Hobbits.
Once you are inside the set, the tour will give you about 2 hours to explore the sights of Hobbiton, highlighting how different parts of the set were used during filming for the movies along the way.
Despite filming for the movies having stopped years ago, they’ve done a really good job of maintaining the set and keeping the magic alive for you to experience first hand. So I won’t go into too much detail, you’ll need to visit for yourself.
The tour concludes with a stop in at the Green Dragon, Hobbiton’s local, for a pint at the end which is always a nice touch.
Here’s a bit of a selection of some to the photos I took the last time I visited Hobbiton. Enjoy!
The next time I go to New Zealand I’d really love to go back to Hobbiton and do one of their dusk/evening tours. I really think that it would take the experience to another level. I know I’d get some really epic photos as well!
Absolutely! If you are a fan of the movies, then there is no question about it. Hobbiton is well worth the price of admission. Even if you are not its pretty special to get caught up in the magic of the experience.
For more information about tours, particularly up to date ticket pricing head to Hobbition’s official website.
While you are in the area why not take in the stunning vistas of the region with a quick trip to the Te Tapui Scenic Reserve (about 30mins from Hobbiton).
If you’d like to get some more information to help in planning your trip to New Zealand… I’ve got a whole series of blog posts with all sorts of tips and advice to you.
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