Hobbiton – the lord of the rings set
When you’re in New Zealand as a fan of “The lord of the rings”, a visit to hobbiton is a must!
Of course it’s a very touristy thing to do, so it has it’s pros and cons to keep in mind.
First of all you can only visit the shire trough a guided tour, so once you reach the shire’s rest a bus will pick you up and take you inside the movie set, from there you will start a quick tour (in my opinion) of all the shire. Groups depart every 30 minutes so if you’re dreaming of a peaceful shire with only few hobbits keep dreaming, cause it’s packed with tourists!
NZ isn’t famous for being cheap, neither a visit to hobbiton, it will cost 78 NZD.
The good thing is that you get a free drink at the end of the tour in the famous “Green dragon tavern” the only structure you can visit inside, all the other hobbit holes are just empty on the inside and just a few meters deep in the hills, any filming on the inside was made in a studio, a bit disappointing don’t you think?
So this is what to expect, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it, even if the tour guide is in a rush the whole time and so many chinese taking pictures every where, it’s still a must if you’re a fan.
The shire’s details are stunning and you can feel the magical atmosphere of the movie.
Getting there is really simple, if you have a car, but you won’t go far without it in New Zealand, best thing is to stop overnight in Matamata, a small village about an hour and half drive from Aukland. From there it’s just a short drive to the shire and you’ll get nice views of the countryside.
All visits must be booked in advance, on the official website of Hobbiton. If you don’t you might drive all the way there for nothing. I think the best time to visit is really early in the morning with the first tour or the last one before nightfall so you might not find as many people on the set.
Another way to enjoy Hobbiton is to book a dinner in the tavern, so you can spend a lot more time in there. The price is pretty high, around 190 NZD per person but i’m sure it must be an unforgettable experience.