It all started in 1998, when Peter Jackson was exploring New Zealand to find suitable locations for Lord of the Rings trilogy. The moment Peter Jackson set his eyes on the Alexander Farm, he knew this was the apt location for the movies. From them, negotiations began with the farm owners and the rest is history.
The set was originally built with untreated timber, ply and polystyrene, with the intention of taking it down after shooting ended. However, with the popularity of the film, the set came very prominent and the first guided tours began in 2002. Eventually, the Hobbiton film set became a permanent attraction with 44 hobbit holes, Green Dragon Pub, Mill, Double-arched bridge and the Party Tree.
On a warm, sunny day, we woke up to the smell of fresh bread in Rotorua. Our AirBNB host was very sweet to wake up early in the morning and prepare fresh breakfast for us with different varieties of bread, jam, fruits and a nice cup of coffee. Always love it when somebody makes breakfast for me 🙂
After a healthy and mouth-watering brekkie, we started driving to the Hobbiton Tour Set in Matamata. We parked the car, slathered sunscreen lotion all over and strolled around the gift shop and visitor center grounds. A large statue of Gandalf inside the Visitor Center welcomes you to Hobbiton.
Then we boarded the bus and rode through rolling green landscapes and the sheep farms to get to the entrance of the Hobbiton Set. My husband, being a very huge and crazy fan of the Lord of the Rings, his heart was pounding with excitement. I could see the slight sappy smile on his face.
We walked into the view of the huge farm with numerous, flamboyant hobbit holes. There’s nothing behind the doors, because the interiors of hobbit holes are shot inside a studio. It was pretty cool to see all the hobbit holes, flowers, gardens and tiny things for the little hobbits.
The view of the double arched bridge and the Green Dragon Inn from Bilbo Baggin’s hobbit hole is a pretty amazing one.
Then of course, something that is not easy to miss is the huge Party Tree, which apparently is one of the most photographed trees in New Zealand.
We then crossed the double arched bridge and walked to the Green Dragon Inn, the meeting place for the hobbits. The interiors look very similar to what you see in the movies, though in reality the interiors were shot in a studio.
Inside the Green Dragon Inn, we were served complimentary drink, just what was needed after a long day in the sun. They also have a menu you can order off of.
After enjoying the amazing Hobbiton experience, we boarded the bus back to the Visitor Center.