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NZ: Hobbiton

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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
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!

Sheep!
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.

Sam's house?
Once at the movie set, we got down from the bus and began our tour. This here hobbit house with a bright yellow door is, I think, Sam Gamgee’s home.

Little details
I really like all the little details the production crew set up.

Hobbit hole doors
Hobbits, according to the designers of the movies, like to have brightly-colored doors.

More hobbit hole doors
More door…s. (Teehee. Mordor?)

Hobbit laundry
Hobbit laundry hanging out to dry.

The Party Tree
The Party Tree.

lovely view
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…

Look in the windows too
Look in the windows! I liked that they included little things in the windows even though you can’t see them all that clearly.

The Green Dragon
Closer look at the Green Dragon.

Far too many people.
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 :/

Love the colours here
Pretty colours!

Hobbit-sized well and swing
A Hobbit-sized well and swing and bench.

Bag End
Bag End!

Bag End's view
The view from Bag End

Fake leaves
The tree atop Bag End has fake leaves.

Opposite view of the pond
Opposite view of the pond, as we walked down to the Green Dragon for our complimentary drink.

Hobbits live by the pond too
Hobbit holes by the water.

Scarecrow
Scarecrow!

Inside the Green Dragon
Part of the interior of the Green Dragon. I had apple cider to drink.

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).

 

Got anything to add or say? :D