There are certain touristy things that you just have to do.
A tour through Hobbiton village from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies is definitely one of them!
There is no question.
It worked out perfectly too! The location for Hobbiton village is on the way to Auckland from Rotorua on a 1,200 acre private farm outside of Matamata.
It was meant to be.
We were pumped!
When we got there, we checked-in and eventually loaded onto the bus to drive through the farm into Hobbiton village. Along the way, our tour guide explained how Hobbiton came to be.
Peter Jackson had a specific vision for the Lord of the Rings and he wanted to find the most perfect piece of property to fit that vision. When his team came to New Zealand looking for property, they flew over the Alexander farm and knew they had found it! They selected it based on its rolling hills, man-made lake and massive tree in the center of it.
When Peter Jackson’s team tried to meet with the Alexander family to pitch their proposal, they were made to wait a couple of hours. There was a rugby game on and they were not about to be interrupted! They didn’t care who you were.
Talk about a great day! I wonder if the All Blacks had won as well?
Needless to say, the Alexander family came on board (who wouldn’t be?) and the construction of the set commenced! Partially due to a limited budget, however, the first village for the Lord of the Rings movies was constructed to be temporary only.
But that did not stop the world from getting to see these houses!
When the Lord of the Rings became a massive success, it eventually created a huge demand to view the set. In response to this demand, the Alexander family began running tours through Hobbiton village in 2012 drawing fans from all over the world.
Based on the tour’s success, and corresponding cash flow I am sure, the Alexander family requested that Hobbiton village be rebuilt with permanent structures during negotiations for the filming of the Hobbit movies. Peter Jackson agreed, with joint ownership, and today there is this INCREDIBLE village left behind.
The details are incredible! As our tour moved through the set, Kevin and I kept losing our group because we could not stop looking at all of the houses! Every single house was different with a new set of details.
I wish this was my farm…
I swear Kevin and I each took a picture of all 44 Hobbiton houses on the farm. Not to mention, the gardens, clothes lines and other miscellaneous small details that cover the set. What is most incredible is how every Hobbiton house is fully functional with a door that opens up inside. Even better, they all have fully functioning chimneys! Apparently, they light the chimneys every so often to show that they all work.
Can it get any better than that?
It was a great afternoon full of fantasy and adventure.
Better yet, it ended with beers at the Green Dragon! I have to say – the Hobbit beers were delicious (and luckily not Hobbit size)!
Sometimes touristy spots are popular for a reason.
They are, simply, just awesome.