“A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early; he arrives precisely when he means to.” — Gandalf
Film history is not something I usually delve into, but as a fan of The Lord of the Rings film trilogy it would be remiss not to write about my visit to Hobbiton!
Hobbiton was a movie set for both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and was the set for the Shire where Frodo Baggins lives. The movie set is located at the Alexander sheep farm in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, which was originally scouted as the site for the Shire way back in 1998! We were excited to visit the set after having seen it in Peter Jackson’s amazing movies based on J.R.R Tolkien’s novels.
Upon arrival at The Shire’s Rest we picked up our pre-booked tickets and queued for our tour bus. Once all the tour group were on the bus, we set off and saw the beautiful landscape as we were driven to the movie set. Our guide spoke about the history of the movie set and how Hobbiton came to be. We then watched some introductory videos (including one from Peter Jackson) welcoming us to the tour. The video finished with a clip of Gandalf the Grey and Frodo Baggins meeting in the Shire. This really helped set the scene and we couldn’t wait to see the set for ourselves!
As you can tell from the pictures we were incredibly lucky with the weather, and seeing the Shire in the sunshine definitely invoked the feeling of peace and tranquillity that you see represented by the Shire in the movies.
What amazed me most during the tour was the attention to detail on the set, every item and feature was clearly carefully thought out and placed with purpose. It was a feast for the eyes with so much to see and explore. Our guide was great and he told us lots of cool behind the scene facts about the movies and how they did filming on the set.
We passed important places in the movies including Bag End, Samwise Gamgee’s house and the party tree!
The tour was set at a leisurely pace so we had plenty of time to see the different hobbit holes and take pictures. The tour ended at The Green Dragon pub with a glass of ginger beer. The pub was super cosy and you could totally picture Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin spending many an evening there!
It’s rare you get the opportunity to visit a film set from such a beloved movie series. The original set for The Lord of the Rings was mostly destroyed once filming ended, but some tours began in 2002 based on what was left. The beginning of the subsequent The Hobbit trilogy created an opportunity to recreate a permanent version of what had been before that could be used for filming, but also remain afterwards as a permanent tourist attraction.
If you ever visit this area I couldn’t recommend it highly enough, even if you’re not the biggest Tolkien fan, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
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Hobbiton Set Movie Tour: https://www.hobbitontours.com/en/experiences/hobbiton-movie-set-tour/
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