New Zealand: HOBBITON

Friday, April 22, 2016

Bilbo's House
OFMGROTFLMAOWTFBBQIwenttotheShire.

We left the boys, and mom, my sister, and I headed to New Zealand for yet another surreal trip - to the movie set of the Shire from Lord of the Rings in Matamata, New Zealand!! This is pretty much the main reason why we went to New Zealand so it didn't really matter that tickets cost a fortune. Worth.every.penny.

But then again, I'm a total LOTR fan girl. I had a life size Gandalf cardboard cutout in college. I own the LOTR Atlas. This is my place (although, admittedly, the hobbits aren't exactly my people).

Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Hobbit Holes
Dirt pathways worn down by crew's specially designated pathways. Green Dragon Tavern
Tourists in Gandalf's Cut.
Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit) Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
44 hobbit homes were built for the original LOTR trilogy. Although, really they're all just facades. The chimneys just props stuck into the ground; doors just attached to door frames that lead to a pile of dirt. Interior filming took place on sound stages in Wellington, so no need to dig out the actual hobbit holes. Some of the homes were built extra small to make Gandalf appear larger, while others were smaller to make the hobbit actors appear smaller. Our tour guide explained that plum trees were planted and just before filming, their leaves were picked and replaced with apple leaves and fruit, to make the trees the right scale next to the hobbits.

The level of detail on the homes was pretty impressive. Real vegetables growing in real vegetable gardens. Flowering bushes everywhere. Butterflies. Beehives on hills, cheeses aging in the window, abandoned fishing poles on the dock, etc. etc. The weather was lovely, too. Nice blue skies with puffy clouds. It felt just like being in the Shire. It was pretty lovely.

As part of the ticket price, you get to enter the only building with an interior - the Green Dragon tavern - and have a free drink!

Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Party Tree Tourists Partying
Manually-worn dirt paths
The only Hobbiton door that opens
GIRLS WEEKEND AT THE SHIRE.

Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Green Dragon Tavern
Butterflies flying everywhere!
Green Dragon Tavern
Hobbiton Movie Set (The Shire from LOTR and The Hobbit)
Fancy drains!
The original LOTR movie contract stipulated that after filming, the farm had to be returned to its previous state. All but 17 of the original hobbit homes were destroyed before the farm owners realized that LOTR tourism might be a lucrative side business. When the Hobbit films preparations were underway, the contract instead required that the Shire sets be built with permanent materials! The Hobbiton movie set currently employs about ~150 people.

Back onto the bus!
View from the bus.
Tourist gathering point.


4 comments:

Emmylou MW said...

OHMYGOSH! Can I just say how jealous I am you got to go here!?! I'm a huge LOTR fan as well, and going to New Zealand to see this is on my bucket list. Thank you for sharing the photos, and your experience there.

Lady of the Manor said...

What an awesome trip! Lucky ladies!! Your photos are so cool.

Ashley said...

I am JEALOUS!!

rooth said...

Yep, this is definitely on my list - I'm so glad that it's everything you expected it to be!

Related Posts with Thumbnails