Nestled into a tiny corner of lush verdant hills on New Zealand’s north island is a little picturesque storybook village just waiting to whisk you away into a fairy tale. Once you step foot into Matamata’s Hobbiton, you will instantly feel transported into another world.
You don’t have to have seen the movies to visit Hobbiton
Here I must make a sobering confession. I’ve never actually seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies. I’ve never even read the books, although I have to say I did make a valiant attempt once. Maybe I gave up before the story really got going, but I just couldn’t get into it. I hate to admit that, book-lover that I am, but it’s true. [And while I am confessing things, I might as well go ahead and tell you that I don’t particularly enjoy reading Jane Austen either. I know, I know. But this post isn’t really about books.] BUT, the guide told us that a lot of visitors to Hobbiton haven’t seen the movies. In fact, if I remember correctly, she said somewhere around 70% of the visitors haven’t seen the movies and are only visiting to make friends jealous! In my case, I went because A) my traveling companions were going and B) it’s a stunning location for photography. So, whether or not you’ve seen the movies, it’s still a fun place to visit.
Random tips and tidbits
- Hobbiton is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist attractions
- Be sure to prebook a ticket for a set time before you go. Otherwise you might have to wait for a while, or not be able to enter at all.
- The first movie set was constructed with temporary materials. After the set was rebuilt in 2011 for the Hobbit Trilogy, they made it with permanent materials, which are the ones you can see today.
- The farm is still family-owned and makes quite a bit off of tourists who visit in droves.
- After your visit you will get a free drink at the Green Dragon
- The entrance fee is steep, you’ve been warned. But how many times will you visit New Zealand? If you really want to see it, you won’t be disappointed. And remember, you get a free drink out of it [wink].
- And last but not least, should your visit happen to coincide with some liquid sunshine, never fear! The grounds are equipped with plenty of black umbrellas just awaiting your use!
So, whether you are a Lord of the Rings fan or just simply want a cute backdrop for some fun Instagram selfies, when in New Zealand, Hobbiton is certainly worth a stop!
Have you been to New Zealand? Have you been to Hobbiton? What did you like best?