For as long as I can remember, I have always been a fan of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. I have always wanted to visit ‘Hobbiton Movie Set‘ aka ‘The Shire‘ from the Lord of the Rings Movies. This is my Hobbiton New Zealand Review.
When we started saving for our New Zealand vacation, I wanted to make our vacation a more than just a New Zealand tour, but a Hobbiton Tour and review.
Where is Hobbiton?
If you were to ask: Where is Hobbiton? or Where the Hobbiton Movie set? It is located about 10.6 miles or 17km south West of a town called Matamata in the Waikato region of New Zealand. If you are familiar with The Lord of the Rings books.
The entrance to the is 501 Buckland Road. Buckland is a reference to the lands to the north bordering of the shire and located near to Brandywine Bridge.
The Hobbiton Movie set is co-owned between Peter Jacksons Weta Studios and the farm where Hobbiton is Located
Who Own’s Hobbiton?
Because the Hobbiton Movie set is in the middle of size of 1200 acres. The Hobbiton set takes up 14 acres of the Alexander farm.
The Hobbiton Movie set is co-owned between both the Alexander farm and Weta studios. As you are driven up to the Hobbiton set by the Hobbiton Movie Set Staff, you will pass many sheep which belong to the Alexander farm.
The Alexander farm was once sceptical building a movie set on the back yard for which they had never even heard of.
Craig Alexander took a little convincing to let Peter Jackson to him build the initial backdrop for The Shire. At Peter Jackson first try, he was told to go away, as the NPC Rugby Final was being interrupted.
Peter Jackson was undeterred and went back for another try. Eventually, Mr Alexander relented after one his son had read Lord of The Rings books at school.
One of Craig Alexander’s sons managed to convince his dad to let Peter Jackson use part of his farm for the movie which would define New Zealand for years to come.
Scattered throughout the Shire are different size Hobbit holes. Each of the Hobbit holes represents the true size of a Hobbit is two to four feet tall.
The average size of a hobbit is roughly three feet six inches tall. As a result, there are Hobbit holes for the average-sized hobbit, as depicted in the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings novels.
Another reason for the two sizes of Hobbit holes is for what is called ‘Forced Perspective’. As the actors who played the original Bilbo Baggins and Frodo are both over 5 feet tall. They need some hobbit holes to be smaller and some human-sized Hobbit holes to be able to reproduce how tall humans were to hobbits.
Hobbit Holes and Studio Filming
You would have thought that most of the principal photography which was done at Hobbiton, there would be plenty of furniture and would look like it did in the LoTR and Hobbit Movies. This could not be further from the truth.
Everything you see at Hobbiton is for face value and there is nothing inside any of the Hobbit holes. Even Bagg End has nothing inside. Just a front door and some interiors for the front door only! All the filming for the inside of Bagg End was done at Weta Studios in Wellington NZ.
The Green Dragon Inn
At the end of each tour, all visitors are lead back to the Green Dragon Inn. The Green Dragon Inn is the ONLY building which has been built for visitors to have a hot drink, tea, coffee and a slice of cake should you want one. As you can imagine, it can be fairly busy during peak times of the tourist season (NZ Spring and Summer months of October to March).
Depending on your tour package, you have a meal before you venture out into the Shire aka Hobbiton. Next, to the Green Dragon building, there is a markee where all the guests can participate in their Southfarthing adventure and fill your bellies in true Hobbit fashion.
Other Hobbit and Studio Tours and Gift Shops
At the entrance to the Hobbiton movie is located on a road which people who love the movies will recognise, Buckland Road. There is also the Shire’s Rest Cafe and a gift shop, so you take home memorabilia of your hobbit adventure.
Prices for Hobbiton Tour Set tour and Meal Combo (or the Green Dragon Buffett) can vary from $120 New Zealand Dollars (£61.56) for persons over 17 years old or a child from the ages of 9-16, it will cost $78 NZD (£40.02). The Evening Banquet Green Dragon tour starts at $100 (£51.30) to $190 NZD (£97.48) per person depending on age and number of people in your group.
For this type of experience and visiting one of the most iconic movie sets, this is well worth the money and time in making your Hobbit Adventure the best experience you ever have.
I hope you liked my Hobbit Adventure just as much as my family did. This is one experience I will treasure for years and years to come. Even pour through my Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Filming Location guide books.