If you’re on the north island of New Zealand and you have a love of Lord of the Rings, movie-making, and/or quirky destinations, then you need to spend a day in Hobbiton.
When Peter Jackson began production on his original Lord of the Rings trilogy, he went scouting for a location that could be used for the Hobbits’ village, rather than building it on a soundstage. They found the perfect spot in Matamata, New Zealand. It was a sheep farm, and the owners, the Alexander family, at first turned the crew away because they were interrupting the rugby final on TV.
But eventually they agreed, and the farm was transformed into the cutest location in Middle Earth.
After the first trilogy finished shooting, it was returned to its original natural state, but was rebuilt again in permanent materials for the Hobbit trilogy. Now the Alexander family continues to run their sheep farm alongside their tourist business of conducting tours of Hobbiton.
The Hobbiton website has plenty of information about how to get there. It is by now a well-oiled machine, and once you arrive, the staff will take it from there. They share tons of interesting anecdotes about the filming that are a perfect complement to the views.
Tour guides lead around small groups of guests and stick with you throughout, sharing stories and answering questions. It’s so easy to imagine you’re a Hobbit as you wander along the dirt lanes and admire the many adorable details.
There is even one Hobbit hole that you can step inside to get your picture taken! But it’s still just a set, and there really isn’t anything behind the door.
Seeing Bilbo’s house is pretty exciting!
This tree is FAKE! They had to make a “younger” version for the prequel movies.
Our guide told us the fake leaves have pretty much reached their expiration date, and they’re all falling off now. We kept finding them sprinkled around throughout the tour.
The last stop of the tour is the one and only “Green Dragon” pub! And this is a building you CAN enter!
Seriously, the details of this place are so great!
And they serve themed food and beer!
A perfect end to a perfect Hobbity tour!