New Zealand North Island

Excuse me, where do I find Bilbo Baggins?

We began our New Zealand adventure as the true Lord of the Rings fans by visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set…

Hobbiton is a village in Middle-earth inhabited by hobbits. In reality, it’s a place where the LOTR and Hobbit movies were filmed by the famous director Peter Jackson. Peter Jackson chose the location for his movies during an aerial search of the North Island. It was, and still is, located on a family-owned beef and sheep farm, but the Jackson’s generous budget persuaded the Alexanders to sell a part of the land. A road that leads to the movie set crosses  the farm and therefore you can only access the Hobbiton by bus in a group tour. We were pretty lucky because when we came only tickets for the last tour of the day were available. We had approximately two hours of waiting and we spent them chatting, drinking coffee, eating ice-cream and enjoying sun.

Peter Jackson is famous for his sense of detail and perfectionism. And it can be seen on the movie set. I was amazed at how realistic the village looked like. You would almost expect some hobbits to open the door and welcome you in the Shire. A beehive, laundry, wheelbarrow… just as if they’ve just left for lunch. Our guide was a Canadian guy and he supplied us with a bunch of funny stories and ridiculous details from the filming. What I was a bit sad about is that we didn’t have enough time to take photos and wander around. Yes, he gave us some time for taking pictures, but definitely not enough when there are 20 other people taking the same picture as you and standing in your shot.

We visited Bag End, the home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, we were standing under Bilbo’s birthday tent, we crossed the double arch bridge by The Mill and we entered one of the hobbit holes. Included in your ticket, you can have a glass of ale, cider or ginger beer in the Green Dragon, brewed especially for the Shire. I have to say that the visit to Hobbiton was one of the highlights of our trip.

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Here are a few interesting facts about the Hobbiton movie set:
– There were several hobbit holes that were not in the movie. They were only built so that actors feel as if they really were in Middle-earth.
– Movie scenes from inside the hobbit holes were done in movie studios, the holes are actually empty.
– There is a plum tree in the books, but there is no plum tree growing on the farm. At first, Peter Jackson wanted to plant a plum tree. However, he realized it would be too big and planted a pear tree and had plums installed on the tree instead of pears.
– The New Zealand Army built the road to the movie set.
– The Mill was only made digitally on a computer for The Lord of the Rings and it was only built later for filming of The Hobbit.
– The tree that overlooks Bag End was originally from a nearby village. It was cut into pieces, transported to the Hobbiton and assembled again. Artificial twigs were also mounted on the tree.
– A sunset was filmed during a sunrise because the movie set is situated in the opposite direction.

 

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15 Comments

  • Reply anotherday2paradise

    Great post. I really enjoyed your photos. So funny about the pear tree with plums, and the sunrise/sunset. :)

    April 2, 2015 at 03:59
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      Thank you so much! It is a very photogenic place and it was a funny tour with all the fun facts from filming :)

      April 2, 2015 at 08:21
  • Reply Girl Gone Expat

    Just like seeing the movie. Amusing fun facts from the movie set:)

    April 2, 2015 at 04:08
  • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

    Some people do not like Peter Jackson for spending money and time on every detail, but at least in Hobbiton it is so cool to feel like in the world of The Lord of the Rings :)

    April 2, 2015 at 07:32
  • Reply darwinontherocks

    What a wonderful place ! It would be my dream to go there. Maybe in two years, if everything works out :-)

    April 4, 2015 at 17:01
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      I think it’s a must for every fan of The Lord of the Rings, but also for any visitor to New Zealand in general because it really has a special atmosphere. Good luck with your plans! :)

      April 4, 2015 at 17:21
      • Reply darwinontherocks

        You are right, I also think it’s a must do for every Tolkien fan ;-)

        April 4, 2015 at 18:17
  • Reply Shadysace

    I’ve always wanted to see this! Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos with your story, I enjoy it :)

    April 6, 2015 at 23:34
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      Thank you, it’s always nice to hear that my photos helped to bring a piece of world closer to somebody :)

      April 7, 2015 at 07:23
  • Reply Nicole Dacanay

    I’m SO happy I can live vicariously through you with this post! Awesome pictures! I’d love to see Bilbo’s house in person some day!!

    April 8, 2015 at 04:16
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      Thanks! I’m very happy that my post took you to Hobbiton with us. Then it fulfilled its purpose :)

      April 8, 2015 at 07:21
  • Reply Mary Michelle Scott

    Thank-you for taking us on this trip with you! The photos are marvelous, as if we are truly there. Hopefully, one day I can see it in reality.

    April 9, 2015 at 22:19
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      Thanks! I wish everybody could visit this charming piece of world, to feel like being in a fantasy world for a while :)

      April 9, 2015 at 22:46
  • Reply Heyjude

    Hi Patricia – thank you for following my blog. I thought i should pop over and visit you especially as I saw you had a post on Hobbiton. I was very close to that region last December, but didn’t make it to Hobbiton. I actually believe that the Shire is based on where I live (Shropshire UK) but I guess NZ was a better place for filming. Thanks for the very informative post and photos.
    Jude xx (sometimes I go by the name of Bilbo_Baggins )

    April 10, 2015 at 00:30
    • Reply patriciatravelstheworld

      Thanks for stopping here! I think I should include Shropshire to my future travel plans if you say the Shire is there :)

      April 11, 2015 at 19:59

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