Usually when we heard of someone heading to New Zealand, they almost always went to Hobbiton also. We grew up watching the Lord of the Ring movies and I always wished to stand in front of the iconic hobbit homes. It was surreal that this place was finally being checked off of our bucket list.
A living movie set from J.R.R Tolkein’s popular movie franchises, Hobbiton is an unparalleled experience that will fully transport you to middle earth. Located in Matamata on Alexander Farms, it’s about a 2 hour drive from Auckland, or a 1 hour drive from Rotorua.
We purchased the tickets at the front desk (although pre-booking online is recommended), and only had to wait about 45 minutes until our tour time. We used part of that small window to eat at Hobbiton’s cafe, The Shire’s Rest.
Before our tour we quickly visited the gift shop and tried not to succumb to every little bit of LOTR merch. I promptly failed and decided to buy a large welcome mat, along with prosthetic elf ears. Yes, I’m one of those people! We then loaded on the tour bus and started our otherworldly adventure!
The bus took us through the beginning of the farmlands, allowing us to see our fair share of sheep. The beginning of the bus ride showed us an introductory video to the land, as well as what we should expect during tour. A quick 10 minutes later we were at the center of it all. Our guide relayed some basic rules, and we were off!
The tour was incredibly scenic and extremely informative. Our joyous tour guide shared many movie magic secrets and was prepared to answer any question we had. She gave us all plenty of time to take pictures/film, and you could tell that she was a true fan of the two franchises. Everything was so detailed!
At the final leg of the tour we are taken to a tavern where we got a complimentary drink, along with some time to dress up and really geek out. As if my elf ears weren’t enough, wearing hobbit clothes was like icing on Bilbo Baggin’s birthday cake.
We highly enjoyed our time at Hobbiton and recommend it to any LOTR or Hobbit fan. We learned so much and loved being transported straight into the LOTR world; it was magical and one of our New Zealand highlights!
For more information on Hobbiton, click here.
Hobbiton Movie Set
501 Buckland Road
Hinuera, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
+64 (7) 888 1505