Hobbiton, New Zealand

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Our seventh day in New Zealand was spent waiting around at Queenstown airport for flights to start going again (everything was delayed due to morning fog) then picking up a hire car at Auckland airport and driving to my uncle’s place in Rotorua. Once there, we met my three-year old cousin and spent the evening eating takeaway curry and drinking wine/beer. I have no photos or interesting tales from that day, so we’ll skip straight to day 8 when my uncle had booked for us to go to Hobbiton. He had chosen a fairly early tour so that it would hopefully be less busy so we headed off straight after breakfast. I don’t remember our tour guides name,  but he was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. You could tell he had found his dream job and was absolutely in his element. Did you know that there are two versions of some of the hobbit holes – a “human” sized one and a smaller one. The people playing hobbits were filmed in front of the larger/human-sized one so that they looked the right size for it while the actors playing humans were filmed in front of the smaller ones to make them look too big for the little doorway. Obvious when you think about it, but it had never occurred to me before.

Anyway, I’m sure what you’re actually here for is photos. The place is truly stunning and the little hobbit doors are incredibly cute and colourful. I think everyone can agree on that, whether they’re into The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit or not 🙂

Because most of the hobbit holes were only filmed from the outside, there were only a few that actually had an inside, and even those only went back a tiny bit. The scenes inside hobbit holes were, of course, filmed in studios.

Those of you who were hoping to see a photo of me in a hobbit hole are out of luck 😉 The only photos that were taken involve other people. Jan doesn’t want to be on my blog and there’s no way I’m sharing a photo of a three year old for the entire Internet to see! Have some more hobbit holes and scenery instead 😉

I love how there are so many flowers everywhere. They obviously put a lot of work into the upkeep 🙂 Did you notice the bumblebee in amongst the last gallery? I couldn’t resist taking his photo when I saw him buzzing around outside one of the hobbit holes. I love bees! (Not wasps though, nasty vindictive creatures!)

Our entrance fee included a visit to the Green Dragon complete with a drink. I chose the red ale wile Jan went for a stout. There was also a ginger ale for children and non-alcohol drinkers. My cousin didn’t like hers so we all tried it and proclaimed it very tasty. You could also buy food. I’m not sure how you would find the time to eat it though! It wasn’t long before we were being shepherded back to the bus…

I actually thought that Hobbiton was very well done. It could so easily have been horribly commercialised, but it wasn’t particularly (well, other than only being allowed to go in with an official tour which isn’t really cheap!). I’m quite glad they didn’t go the route of having the tour guides dress as hobbits, with other people in costume buzzing around and some kind of “hobbit experience” that would make the whole thing feel a bit like a theme park! Instead we got a lovely walk in the sunshine, a tour guide who gave the impression of just wanted to talk about something he loves, and even my little cousin seemed to enjoy herself despite having no idea what was going on (she liked that everything was three-year-old sized). Overall, I think Hobbiton was worth it… although it’s possible I might think differently if I had been the one to pay for it 😉

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24 thoughts on “Hobbiton, New Zealand

  1. oh my goodness this looks SO fun. i didn’t know about the different size doors for humans/hobbits, but i do remember watching behind the scene thingys on my LOTR dvds and how they filmed things like riding in the carriage (gandalf up close, frodo far away but it looks like they are on the same bench) and i always thought that was so neat. i hope we get to visit hobbiton when we go!

  2. I’m not *into* LotR though I have seen and liked the films – but I really enjoyed this post. I’ve always loved miniature things and models, and I have no doubt I would enjoy a visit here. Your photos are fabulous and especially nice for me since I am pretty sure I will never be in that part of the world. What a fun experience!

  3. Oh, this is amazing! I would love to see Hobbiton! I loved the films, but I’ve never finished the books, I made it through the first one but never got any further (it’s a goal for this year!). I heard something similar about the different sized things for the hobbits and the human characters. Apparently when the film the scenes where Gandalf and Frodo are drinking together, they use an extra long table and give Gandalf mini cups and such and then give Frodo extra large cups and things, then using some fancy film perspective they get the cool effect of them being different sizes. I thought that was pretty neat.

  4. How ADORABLE it all looks – and so green, I love how colourful everything is. Getting a good guide is always an added bonus, so yay. Glad you had an amazing time!

  5. It s a shame you didn’t get longer there but this is one of those once in a lifetime experiences! I would just love to go there at some point I life xxx

    1. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience! We wanted to do it while we could still fly over easily, and with Jan on Swiss wages it was easier to afford it 🙂

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