Should you find yourself in New Zealand, be sure to plan some time to visit Hobbiton!
On the north island of New Zealand, there’s the Alexander family farm in the town of Matamata. This 1,250-acre sheep and beef farm is likely one you’ve seen before, although you probably know it by a different name: Hobbiton.
Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, found the farm when location scouting in 1998. Peter Jackson and the Alexander family are now business partners, and guests can visit the Shire and be a part of this fantastical world for a few hours.
I visited Hobbiton with family recently, and I never ceased to be amazed with the beauty and detail of the area. Our family thought it would be fun to dress up Hobbit-esque while there, and we were right! Even other tourists snuck a picture or two of us as we frolicked through the Shire, admiring the Hobbit holes, gardens, trees, and of course, Bag End.
Tourists learn from the guides along the way about some of the movie magic elements at Hobbiton. For example, the tree on top of Bag End is actually a fake tree—next time you watch The Lord of the Rings, see if you can tell! Peter Jackson was keen on detail. Another fun fact from their filming days is that they built a pond so well that a family of frogs decided to move in. Their croaking was so loud that they couldn’t film without hearing these frogs. And after attempting to move them to another pond away from the set, the frogs found their way home. So what did they do? They ended up having one of the extras keep the frogs quiet by feeding them every time they started to make noise.
Our tour of Hobbiton was not complete without a visit to The Green Dragon. The entire group enjoyed a feast fit for Hobbits at The Green Dragon, complete with drinks from the Hobbit Southfarthing Range in The Green Dragon steins (where both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available).
Should you find yourself in New Zealand, be sure to plan some time to visit Hobbiton and join a group tour. Both those who are fans of The Lord of the Rings and those who aren’t will enjoy the rolling green hills, the picturesque Hobbit holes, and the scrumptious feast.