On my way back to Southeast Asia, I decided to make a stop in New Zealand for ten days, specifically to see the Hobbit Movie Set in Hobbiton. I somehow pictured the whole town would be this cute movie set with all the shops dressed up and role playing, and pubs selling cider out of mugs. Unfortunately, although the town is called Hobbiton, that’s the only thing that is in reference to the movie. I was super bummed not to be able to hang out a pub with actors roleplaying, oh well. The movie set, fortunately, made up for this disappointment.
44 HOBBIT HOLES!
This land is tucked away from the rest of the world down a long and windy property of the owners who now manage it. Peter Jackson came to scout the area a couple of years before they filmed and found it to be perfect with the seclusion and the rolling hills. Far away from the main highway, so even people driving by would not even know what’s there. There are currently 44 Hobbit Holes on the property, all of them a façade and not working other than the front door and a beautiful garden in front of each. The gardens and hobbit holes are maintained daily by 1-2 gardeners per hobbit hole to keep it looking pristine. Out of all the hobbit holes they created, only four were actually used in the film.
BILBO BAGGINS BIRTHDAY PARTY
The most notable place on the tour is where they filmed Bilbo Baggins birthday party. There is a huge, magnificent tree in the middle of this area that was used for Bilbo's speech and the surrounding area was used for his birthday party. Fun fact, they actually served real cider and beer to the cast when they filmed this portion and used locals as extras for the party.
THE GREEN DRAGON INN
The tour ends at the famous Green Dragon inn, which was featured in all the Lord Of The Rings movies. You get your choice of either an adult cider or Ale, and for the kids ginger beer served in a ceramic mug. I had the cider which was amazing! They brew both the cider and ale just for the Dragon Inn, and you can’t get it anywhere but there. I would have shipped some home to my family, but was told it would never clear customs, so they got postcards and t-shirts instead.
IS HOBBITON WORTH IT?
Even with the cost of the ticket being high $75. I thought the tour was worth it and I’m not a die-hard Hobbit fan, but I did enjoy the movies. The set itself is impressive, and our tour guide was funny and told us all sorts of fun things about the set. He even took the time to wait for us and take pictures for us if you wanted one. Not surprising though at the end of the tour the bus takes you right to the Hobbit souvenir shop where you can buy clothes, blankets, pens, playing cards, postcards, books, mugs, and candy all branded in Hobbit. I got sucked in and bought a bunch of things for my family since they couldn’t be here and they’re all huge fans. Overall, worth every penny :)