Hobbiton and the home of Middle Earth!
A trip out of Rotorua to Hobbiton was a highlight of my trip to New Zealand! Having been a Hobbit/LOTR (Lord of the Rings) fan since I was 18 years old and my then boyfriend got me to read it and bought me the books, I am hooked!
I hadn’t realised until someone I knew, who had lived in NZ for a while, told me when we met completely by accident and she was giving me tips and ideas. Then I was obsessed and luckily, EVERYWHERE in NZ there are Middle Earth opportunities for battle sites, building sites and stories and trips from every major place out to filming sites and places! It was amazing
(See Weta Studios in Wellington, the jeweller from Nelson who made the One Ring and other intersections of tours that have Middle Earth links in them!)
Bringing in 30,000 people a year and the biggest attraction of the country along with the healthy (scenic walking and riding) and risk-taking fanatics (home of the bungee!)
I waited and even called them to make sure I hadn’t missed the bus from Rotorua, and then the dark green Hobbiton signed bus turned the corner towards me! I was so excited – it was a surprise to me just how excited I was to do this and, in future, other trips around LOTR! It was filmed here, and then later rebuilt in the field they rented from a farmer for filming and then bought to build and allow tourists to visit.
When I got there I was telling our young guide how long I’d been a fan and how excited (almost tearful!) I was to actually be there and see it all!
And we were not disappointed! Lots of the visitors are real Hobbit fans and know the scenes, know the books and stories, the underlying adventure and aims and so over the day, a few of us lone females shared photo opportunities, a drink and I had a quick bite in the Green Dragon pub made out like the Hobbit inn in the books! It was amazing.
The Party Tree was why they picked this field from the air! The start of Frodo’s adventures to save the world from Mordor and the One Ring started when Bilbo disappeared from the party!
Small doors for perspectives to make Gandalf look big and larger ones to make Hobbits and dwarves look smaller! The detail was great – pumpkins in the gardens, tiny windows with curtains, plants and wheelbarrows, ladder against trees where Hobbits pick their apples, washing on the line with small sized clothes and along the paths, signs in Middle Earth font showing the way from the Shire over the hill and to the Green Dragon! You feel you are there, in the books, and the stories, on an adventure with Frodo and Sam!
Again, another experience I will never forgot and certainly one of the highlights of my trip for me!