Growing up I was always a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings books and films. Even now, more than a decade since the first film was released, I still enjoy a good movie marathon session from time to time.
I remember when The Fellowship of the Ring was released, me and my younger sister queuing for hours and hours to meet the cast when they were in our home town for Collector Mania. So needless to say, embracing my inner childhood nerd and visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set was always going to be on my list of things to do when visiting New Zealand.
The story of J.R.R Tolkien’s LOTR needs no introduction (unless you’ve been living under a rock all these years!) so I won’t go into the backstory (plus we’d be here for hours…heck even days). But I think the reason this story resonates with me and so many others is because it is an inspiring story about adventure, hope and bravery.
As Tolkien eloquently puts it in the quote below, finding the courage to leave the comforts of your home to head out into the unknown is not always easy. Yet these small hobbits, who have never even set foot outside of The Shire, still rise to the occasion in order to save Middle Earth. And even when faced with adversity, they still bravely soldier on and remain hopeful.
While I was a little sceptical at first about what to expect, visiting Hobbiton was not a disappointment. The level of detail that goes into the movie set is just insane and it truly captures the magic that you see in the films.
Walking around you’ll see everything from tiny hobbit-sized clothes being hung to dry on the washing line to picnic sets and adorable garden patches with colourful flowers and miniature gardening tools. Even hundreds of beautiful tiny butterflies (yes, REAL butterflies) roam around the Hobbit Holes, just adding to the enchanting charm.
Is it any wonder Hobbits don’t want to leave?
So fellow Hobbitses…take a journey with me into The Shires and see for yourself just how wonderfully magical it really is 🙂
Top tips for visiting Hobbiton Movie Set
- If you’ve not got a car, book a bus tour. I booked through Hobbiton Tours (via my hostel in Rotorua) and can say that they were reliable with awesome tour guides. I can’t remember the cost exactly, but it was definitely worth every penny!
- Prepare for all weather conditions. Take sunscreen if it’s hot, take waterproofs if it’s raining and wear suitable footwear. I was fortunate with the weather, but I can imagine it gets quite muddy if it’s wet!
- Take a camera with a fully-charged battery. Trust me, you’ll want to get really snap happy here. Our tour guide said the record holder of most photos taken was someone who snapped 2000 photos. While not quite as impressive, I think I took somewhere in the region of 200!
- Be prepared for it to be crowded. Inevitably a place like this is bound to draw in a lot of tourists.
- Don’t forget to pay a visit to The Green Dragon at the end of the tour. Sipping a ginger beer next to a roaring fire was my idea of bliss!
Do you have an inner Hobbit that wants to explore Hobbiton? Do you recognise any of these places from the movies? Feel free to share your thoughts below!
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