One of the first things people ask me when I’m overseas and they find out I’m from New Zealand is ‘Do you live with a lot of sheep?’, closely followed by ‘Are you a Hobbit?’ I never quite know if they’re serious or not, but I hope it’s the latter. Yes New Zealand has a lot of sheep, and no, we’re not Hobbits. But we still love everything Lord of the Rings and will always pride ourselves on being a close at least a little similar to Middle Earth. Minus the Mordor and evil ruler thing.
The greatest LOTR related locations in New Zealand is, in my opinion, Hobbiton itself. It’s the most wonderful place to visit if your’re a fan, and even if you’re not, it’s still a really fun outing.
Not sure if you want to add Hobbiton to your New Zealand trip itinery? Here are 10 reasons you should.
1 | It’s Hobbiton
Beginning with an obvious. It’s Hobbiton. You know it’s going to be great.
2 | Everything is small, which makes you feel like a Giant
Hobbiton is, well, it’s Hobbit sized. There are little vests hanging on trees, and little wheelbarrows everywhere. It makes walking through so much fun because you feel so big.
3 | It’s super fun, let’s face it
How often does a movie set remain standing after the film series is ended? Not that often. It’s so much fun being able to go back time and time again to a beautiful place full of exciting facts and stories.
4 | It’s exactly like the movies
Picture Hobbiton in the films. That’s 100% what it’s like. The houses, the gardens, the pathways, the hills, the Dancing Pole.
5 | The fruit and vegetables are actually real
The farm that Hobbiton is built on is a working farm, but as are the vegetable gardens around the set and the fruit trees. The produce from these plants are used in the Green Dragon and also driven into Matamata, the closest town. Having the real gardens may require full time gardeners, but they are wonderful and really add to the whole experience.
6 | You feel like you’re in Middle Earth
“I’m going on an adventure!” You can run through the exact part of Hobbiton that Bilbo does in The Hobbit, and see the Hobbit’s beautiful homes. You really feel like you’re there.
7 | The Green Dragon is spectacular
If you do the Green Dragon meal at the end of an evening tour, you get to explore the Inn. If not, though, you still get a pint at the end of your tour, and it’s delicious and wonderfully made.
8 | …and the food is the most incredible meal you’ll ever eat in your life
Just look at it. A-mah-zing. And it tastes even better (if possible) than it looks.
9 | Carrying lanterns around at night makes you feel magical
If you do the evening tour with dinner at the Green Dragon, then you get to carry magical lanterns around the site to end the tour. If that in itself doesn’t make you want to check it out, then you may want to reevaluate your love of LOTR.
10 | You learn a lot of behind-the-scenes information
If you’re a fan then you’ve probably read up on a lot of behind the scenes information, but actually being on set like this you get to see the information first hand, and it comes to life that little bit more.
Bonus | It’s Hobbiton
Ending with an obvious. It’s Hobbiton. You know it’s going to be great.
Have I convinced you? Book your tour here!