Should You Visit Hobbiton

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
New Zealand


If you are a fan of JRR Tolkien’s works then a trip to Hobbiton will absolutely be a must-see destination for you.  But what happens if you’ve never even heard of JRR Tolkien and never been interested in watching the Lord Of The Rings or the Hobbit?  Should you visit Hobbiton?  And regardless of whether you are a fan or not, what can you expect before you go? 

Hobbiton, is located near the town of Matamata (approximately 160km south of Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand. Specifically, it’s situated on a working sheep and cattle farm called Alexander Farm. 

Visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand is a truly enchanting experience that transports visitors to the magical world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. 

However, if you have never read or watched the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, this should not stop you from visiting.  If you are seeking a truly unique and immersive experience in the lush landscapes of New Zealand, then a trip to this movie set is an absolute must.  Not only is the location stunningly beautiful it is impressive to see how the film set was made.  

In 1998, location scouts spotted Alexander farm via an aerial search. And in March 1999, Sir Peter Jackson’s crew began the nine month quest to bring the ideas for Hobbiton to fruition and the New Zealand Army helped with the building project.

Now that we know that you have to visit, what can you expect on your visit?

As you enter Hobbiton, it will look no different to most tourist attractions.  You can’t actually see the set from the entrance, instead you are transported to the set by way of a bus.  

The stunning rural landscapes and rolling hills of this area provided the ideal backdrop for creating the Shire, the home of the hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. Along the way you will hear and see some tidbits from the movies and from the owner of the land and Peter Jackson on a small tv screen inside the bus. 

You will stay in the same groups that you arrived with on the bus, and Tour guides will share fascinating insights about the film-making process and the site’s history, as you walk through the set, making the visit educational as well as magical. 

Once you arrive you step into a whimsical world of rolling green hills, vibrant gardens, and charming cottages. The lush countryside and picturesque setting are nothing short of breathtaking, making it easy to understand why Peter Jackson chose this location for “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” film trilogies.

The attention to detail in creating Hobbiton, from the colorful flowers in the gardens to the unique design of each hobbit hole, is a testament to the dedication of the filmmakers and artisans involved in bringing Tolkien’s world to the big screen. 

As you walk around you are constantly wondering what is real and what is fake.  

Around each of the hobbit holes are meticulously crafted gardens, with real plants, flowers, vegetables and trees, alongside some fake ones.  It will be almost impossible to spot what is real and what is fake.  In some of the scenes in the movie, they used artificial trees that were meticulously created with silk leaves.  

Hobbiton is a photographer’s paradise. You can capture the charm of the village, the rolling hills, and the hobbit holes to your heart’s content.

You’ll get to explore the iconic hobbit holes, which are essentially the homes of the Hobits who are smaller human like creatures.  They are carefully detailed and vary in size to create the illusion of different heights. Each hobbit hole has a unique design and appearance.

It’s advisable to make reservations in advance, as Hobbiton tours can be quite popular, especially during peak seasons.  I’ll put the link to their website in the description.  

Aside from the regular tours you can also do special tours that include a meal (evening banquet 4 hours and second breakfast tours approximately 3 hours) and these ones also include the walking tour to begin with.  

The recommendation is you arrive at least 15 mins before your tour to check in.

There isn’t much shade so if you are visiting in the summer I would definitely recommend a hat and sunscreen and if you go in the spring or fall where there is a higher chance of rain a light jacket would be good to bring along.  They do offer umbrellas for the duration of the tour if needed.  However, the pathways can get muddy so wear appropriate footwear.    

The pathways, fences and bridges were constructed to match the rustic, pastoral setting and it really does feel like you’ve stepped into another world at some points.  

Before returning back via the bus, The Green Dragon Inn provides a warm and cozy place to enjoy a refreshing drink, included in the price of the ticket, just as hobbits would.  In the movies the food and drink used was often real, and the barrels and bottles had custom labels but were filled with real beverages.   

After returning back by bus, with more videos and interesting information being shared, you will arrive back at the main entrance, where there’s a gift shop where you can purchase Tolkien-related merchandise and souvenirs to commemorate your visit.

In addition to a shop, there’s also a restaurant which sells some delicious pies and cakes amongst other things.  

So should you visit Hobbiton? The answer hopefully you can see is a resounding yes! You won’t want to miss out.

Remember the journey is just as important as the destination.  

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