Being a huge Lord of the Rings fan myself, I couldn’t go to NZ and not visit Hobbiton. So on the way down from the Coromandel Peninsula towards Rotorua, we did a little detour and stopped off in Matamata. Near Matamata, there’s a working sheep farm that also is home to the Hobbiton set, and you can take a guided tour out there. Not cheap, mind you, but then, we quickly discovered that pretty much all touristy things to do in NZ are pretty pricey. So pick and chose, and Hobbiton was definitely a must-see.
Pretty much the entire set is still there, and for filming the Hobbit, a few more hobbit holes were added (although these were off limits to visitors). It’s pretty fantastic, walking around Hobbiton like that. Strange, but very cool. I half expected Gandalf to walk around the corner.
View across the ‘shire’ from Bilbo’s house, Bag End
in a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit…