A Walking Tour of Amsterdam | The Netherlands

2013 saw me headed to Amsterdam for 2 days. That’s it. 2 days. I was tagging along on a work trip, and we stayed in a youth hostel quite centrally. One of the things that the good people of the hostel offered was a free walking tour of the city. This was probably the highlight of trip.

walking tour of amsterdam walking tour of amsterdam walking tour of amsterdam walking tour of amsterdam walking tour of amsterdam

Not only did it mean I got to hang out with about 20 of the other people from all over the world, but it meant that I saw a lot of things off the main roads, and things that I wouldn’t have seen had I done an official tour, or took myself off wandering. It was the best part of my trip, and I got to see a lot of things that not everyone would have seen. We went down alley ways into big garden squares, we wandered through a book street, and learnt about the quirky things of the city.

If you ever get to go on a walking tour, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth it.

10 Reasons you need to visit Hobbiton, stat | New Zealand 

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.

10 Reasons you need to visit Hobbiton, stat | New Zealand 

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.

Hobbiton - The Wandering Jandal

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.

10 Reasons you need to visit Hobbiton, stat | New Zealand 

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.

Hobbiton - The Wandering Jandal Hobbiton - The Wandering Jandal

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!