As soon as the sun shines I pop on my comfy shoes and head out on an adventure! This week I decided after finally finishing the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies I’d venture over the Kaimais to Matamata to check out the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours! Now, I wouldn’t necessarily class myself as a mega fan of the movies but I really did enjoy this tour and I’m pretty confident you would too!
Using my old friend Google Maps I was able to find my way successfully to the first Hobbiton Movie Set Tours sign and from then on in good old Kiwi road sign fashion finding my way was simple! The drive through the rolling hills was beautiful. If you’re a passenger I highly recommend taking the time to take it all in. There were plenty of parks available and everything was really well signposted with a clear layout.
I think it’s important to talk about the price of the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours here, it is no secret that this attraction is aimed at tourists and quite frankly there is nothing wrong with that! If you’re a mega fan or movie enthusiast the $79 adult ticket price will be worth every cent to you!
We were greeted by our tour guide Mark, he took the time to learn a little about each of us and made us laugh from the start. To reach the set we popped on a bus and drove through the Alexander families working sheep and beef farm which was full of baby spring lambs playing and running, this was a total highlight for me being a huge animal lover!Arriving at the set I knew instantly I was going to fall in love! After a quick safety talk we were on our way. No doubt if you’ve seen the movies you’ll recognise the location that first greets you, picture Bilbo running to meet up with Thorin and the Dwarfs to join in on their epic adventure.
The Hobbit Holes that first greeted us were much smaller than we expected, Mark told us some really interesting facts about how the scenes were filmed and about forced perspective shots! We were then free to wander around these holes, take photos, mingle and enjoy.
Moving on we made our way through Hobbiton. I don’t want to give too much away and ruin the experience for you all so I will just say that it is beautiful! The gardens and trees are so beautifully kept and it really transports you from New Zealand to Middle Earth! A highlight for me would have to be the Painters House, Mark took an awesome photo of us inside the Hobbit Hole which is definitely one of my favourites for years to come!
Bag End was magnificent, I wanted to live in it! You can see the whole of the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours from up here and the Hobbit Hole itself was glorious! It was HUGE! Again, we learn lots of interesting facts, get time to take photos and take everything in. As we weren’t there on party business, we couldn’t enter Bag End! No worries though, as we were on the trail to the Green Dragon Inn!I can’t explain to you the beauty of the Green Dragon Inn, it reminded me very much of the old thatched roof houses back home in England. Inside we even got to have a drink poured from the bar – I chose cider, but they also had two Good George beers on tap and a non alcoholic ginger beer. Two roaring open fires greeted us, we lounge in the leather seats and posed by the many windows. This was the best part of our tour! I would love to go back and eat there, yes you can actually do that!!
Mark had me in stitches when we saw a group of black swans at the end of the tour, his exact words were “No! I’m not going to lose another child to a black swan” as he ran over to stop a wandering child from approaching them. We all had tears in our eyes. What an awesome way to deal with a situation! He really was great.
Back on the bus, two hours later we all felt as though we truly did get our moneys worth on the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. It is great for people of all ages, whether you’re a huge fan or not. The photos alone will make for beautiful memories for years and years to come and next time you watch the movies you can say ‘I have stood exactly where Bilbo and Gandalf are right now!’ and that is a pretty cool adventure!