Are you a book or movie lover? If so, you may have watched the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. In breathtaking New Zealand, you can visit the Hobbiton movie set! Visiting Hobbiton in New Zealand was a must-see experience for both my husband and I. Take a look below to learn more about this amazing bucket-list travel adventure.
In the small town of Matamata, you can visit beautiful Middle Earth. We decided to visit Matamata during the Auckland portion of our New Zealand trip. If you’re wondering, Auckland is about two hours north of Matamata. We decided to go with a tour company, because we didn’t rent a car on this trip. Red Carpet Tours did a fabulous job providing transportation, entertainment, and conversation.
We were picked up early in the morning right outside of our hotel. After picking up more passengers, we began our journey to Matamata. We got to see the beautiful countryside of New Zealand as we listened to Vic, the owner and our personal guide, talk about trivia from the movie as well as the history of his company. During the drive, he also showed us a handmade contract replica from the Hobbit. (Can you picture Bilbo looking at the contract in the movie?!) It was really neat to look at and it really felt like a rustic document.
Once we got to the Shire, we had to separate from our guide. Anyone who comes to Hobbiton has to hop on company provided tour buses and then gets a tour from official guides. We got our tickets and took a few minutes to explore the gift shop while we waited for our tour to start.
During the tour, we were guided all around the Shire. Our tour guide shared facts about how Hobbiton came to be built in this small town and many interesting stories about the filming process It was really interesting! The best part about visiting Hobbiton is the fact that we really felt like we were in the movie. Much of what is seen is real and it takes many farm hands to keep everything on the set alive and healthy. While exploring, we also had the chance to take lots of photographs.
After seeing all of the hobbit holes, we got to walk over the bridge towards the Green Dragon Inn! This was something we were both looking forward to. As soon as you walk in, it feels just like a pub and very much like what we remembered from the movie! Everyone gets a free pint of beer or cider with their admission. We sat down and enjoyed our drinks and then took some photos inside. Nick had a South Farthing Ale and I had a Sackville Cider. They also have Frogmorton Ginger beer for kids.
We also got to enjoy a delicious meal (this isn’t part of the normal ticket entrance, but came with our private tour) on site. We then started our journey back to Auckland. The whole day was a lot of fun!
I still can’t believe that we had the opportunity to visit Hobbiton in New Zealand. It’s one of those bucket-list items that we will always remember.
If you’re interested in touring Hobbiton from Auckland, we recommend Red Carpet Tours. If you plan to visit the Shire on your own, you can purchase tickets from the official Hobbiton Movie Set website. Tours run from 9:00-4:30 daily. Tickets are $79 NZD ($55 USD) per adult and $39.50 NZD ($27 USD) per child.
If you find yourself visiting New Zealand, don’t miss out on this amazing experience!
If you’re new to these wonderful movies, I recommend watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’s available for purchase on Amazon.