Hobbiton! My husband knows me so well! For my 29th birthday I got a beautifully drawn IOU for a trip to the Hobbiton Movie Tour Set in Matamata, New Zealand. I pretty much immediately got on their website and asked whether my IOU was valid for the slightly (quite a bit) pricier and fancier evening tour, that runs once a week during the summer months. Of course Rob said yes and we booked it, and then planned our entire ten day trip around the North Island, with that as our highlight.
For the main tour, you are taken by coach from the carpark/cafe, ten minutes along a track to the film sets. Hobbiton is tucked away behind the rolling hills of The Shire, so that there is no sign of modern NZ. This was me the whole way round: grinning and clutching my camera. I took just over 700 photos, most of which are on our Flickr page (click on any of the pictures to see those) because every time we turned a corner there was a new view, a new hobbit hole, with new, beautiful details to capture. I absolutely loved every minute of it. I realise that this sounds crazy because I was actually there, but IT WAS LIKE I WAS ACTUALLY THERE!
The highlight of the tour, was of course a trip up to Bag End, the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. From the top of the hill, stood by the ‘no admittance except on party business’ sign, you could see right across the whole set, over all of the individual hobbit holes, across to the party tree, and over the pond to The Green Dragon Inn. When they rebuilt the set for The Hobbit trilogy, they made the inn a functioning venue, and all tours include a drink (it comes in pints!) at The Green Dragon. The best part about the evening tour though was that it didn’t end there…
… After finishing our drinks, another room was revealed, where three massive tables were set up for a hobbit feast! The food was amazing, piled high on the tables for all of the hobbit-guests to choose from, enough food to satisfy a hobbit appetite, with seconds and pudding!
And once everything had been eaten, and there had been enough dancing on the tables and by the fireplace, we were given lanterns, and headed out into the dark to stumble back to our hobbit holes. After bit more dancing underneath the party tree of course!
Unfortunately (although a few people tried) there isn’t an option to stay overnight at Hobbiton (yet), so we were bundled back onto the coach and to our cars. It was so much fun, and without a doubt my favourite trip so far in NZ (which is saying something!). I can’t wait to go again!