So after lasts nights introduction to the fantasy world of Hobbits, Elves and dwarfs I have revised our very tight schedule.
I had planned Waitomo Caves, glow worm tunnels and hot springs but I think the kids will get more of a buzz out of visiting the restored set of The Hobbit Movie.
Hobbiton Movie set was constructed on a working farm just outside Matamata. After the first movie was filmed the set was demolished as is normal practice in the movie industry. When the sequel was to be made the property owner negotiated to have the set built from more durable material so that it could be a permanent attraction.
So as it turns out just one day before the premier of The Hobbit we are visiting the fantasy world of Hobbiton.
One thing from the book which has stuck in my mind is that hobbits like to eat, so I am hoping there will be a cafe which reflects this, second breakfast and morning tea provisions will be needed.Lord Of The Rings Movie Quote Aragorn: “Gentlemen, we do not stop till nightfall.”
Pippin: “What about breakfast?”
Aragorn: “You’ve already had it.”
Pippin: “We’ve had one, yes. What about second breakfast?”
Merry: “I don’t think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.”
Pippin: “What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn’t he?”
Merry: “I wouldn’t count on it.
We arrived at Hobbiton to find that tours run every half hour and we were just in time to jump on a tour bus and head off into the hills to find the first hobbit house in the shire.
I am regretting not having watched the movies because I did enjoy the books, and I felt I needed a refresher course as there were some real enthusiasts on the tour.
The set has been meticulously built and maintained to preserve the integrity of JR Tolkien’s classic fantasy. There is so much attention to detail, cute little bench seats, wheelbarrows and carts, gorgeous flowers in cute little garden beds and also scattered around the lush green hills.
The tour was conducted with the help of a guide who had so many stories to tell about the logistics of filming at this location. He was a wealth of information and even told us how the brand new fences were made to look so old, and how this tree below was constructed from a metal frame and each leaf added to the branches and painted individually!
The tour snaked its way around the grassy hill, and we continue along the dirt trail. The guide told us about the various problems the director had to resolve with the site so that the scene fit the books description perfectly.
Swamps were drained and filled to become the area used for th Hobbits picnicking and drinking area. Specific beer was brewed so the cast could drink a 1% beer whilst filming festive drinking scenes and still manage their lines.
All the information given was very interesting, and it was easy to be lulled into believing Bilbo Baggins would come walking down the path any moment.
I loved the cute little bench seats and the flowers, it all set the scene of a quaint little village where unseen small people should be going about their day.
Our guide mentioned that he has had some real fanatical enthusiasts who have written and spoken elfian, and have been able to recite passages from the book.
Wow! That is dedication
The tour ends as we cross a constructed stone bridge past the water mill and into the green dragon. This area is still under construction and will form a pub where the public can have a pint of hobbit beer after the tour.
Tours are $75 per adult and $10 per child. Whilst I enjoyed the tour I don’t think I will be rushing across New Zealand on a mission to visit all the locations filmed in the two movies.
A question for readers; On my last trip to Melbourne I was tempted to have a drink at the pub where “Secret Life of Us” is filmed. I know the De Vinci Code has inspired specific Parisian sight seeing tours, and Sex in The City tours of Manhattan are also popular. Would you be tempted to go on one of these tours? If so, where would be your pick??
Hobbiton Movie Tours
501 Buckland Rd
Matamata, North Island, New Zealand