Please feel free to play this Youtube vid and listen to the music as you view the pictures here. hahah (It’s the Hobbit/Hobbiton theme from Fellowship of the Ring and one of my favourite movie themes from the trilogy.)
When you arrive at Hobbiton in Matamata, this is where you go first to get your tickets:
The Shire’s Rest. You have to wait here for the bus to come and get you. They don’t allow you to wander randomly about the movie set; you have to go with a tour guide. (I think this makes sense because some people would really abuse the freedom to wander at will.)
We got here later than we were supposed to. Steph had booked tickets for a 2.30 tour but we got stuck in a massive traffic jam leaving Auckland (due to it being a public holiday – Good Friday) and what should have been a journey of 1 hour and 40 minutes turned into 3.5 hours. Really really tiresome. But we got there in the end!
For some reason I saw mostly cows and horses on the way to Hobbiton. I expected to see more sheep. But there were plenty of sheep around Hobbiton. Haha And as you can see, even the sheep like to sit in the shade.
The view of the Green Dragon pub and the rolling fields beyond. Steph and her friend made sure to tell me that the fields there and en route to Matamata aren’t supposed to be so brown – they’re usually greener but NZ has been experiencing a drought…
This is one of the other tour groups in front of Bag End. Soooo many peopleeeee. The number of visitors kind of spoilt the experience for me
It just made the whole place look so crowded and that took away from the magic of “Hobbiton” for me. It also did not help that in my group were two small groups of Chinese tourists – two parents and their young son, and another trio who looked about college age – who were constantly lagging behind, thus forcing our poor guide to keep going back to nudge them to please hurry up. I also saw the Chinese boy run and pose atop one of the Hobbit holes – which you’re not supposed to do. And because they didn’t seem to understand much English, they were – naturally – not paying much attention to the guide. But they kept chatting to each other in such loud tones that sometimes I missed stuff the guide said. Sigh :/
It was really quite nice to be in “Hobbiton” and lovely to see the setup. Some of the “magic” got sapped away by the sheer number of tourists crowding the place, but it was still interesting to visit. Definitely one of the main highlights of my trip (alongside Zealandia and the dolphins).