We had set out on a day trip from Auckland to go and see a thermal village in Rotorua. It’s a bit of a hike, but there were three of us to share the driving so we took the opportunity. About halfway there we ran into some road work and had to go on a detour through the countryside. As we were driving along we were all thinking to ourselves about how much it looked like the scenery from the Hobbit movie. One of us wondered out loud and then we all said we had been thinking the same thing. So we did a quick search on Google and found out that we were, in fact, very close to the movie set! Since we had no pressing deadlines to meet (the absolute bliss of being on holidays) we changed course and stopped in for a visit at the movie set in Matamata in New Zealand, to see what we could see.
Hobbiton movie set
We found a spot in the car park and went to enquire at the ticket office as to what our options were. To our absolute delight, there were spaces left on the very next tour. We only had to wait about half an hour or so – perfect amount of time to grab a coffee and get into the line.
My uncle used to read the Hobbit to me as a bedtime story when I was a child and it was always a magical tale for me. I did the same for my boys when they were young. So to stand, in person, in “The Shire” as recreated for the movie was kind of special to me!!
Attention to detail
The attention to detail was fabulous and the gardens were overflowing with beautiful flowers. Much to my son’s misfortune, as they set off his hay fever. He spent the entire time on the set sneezing and having itchy eyes. (Take an antihistamine before you visit in the summer if you have allergies!!)
We learned that they had created different locations at different scales, to assist with getting the dimensions right in the filming. – Movie Magic –
We also learned that they created the oak tree on top of Bag End and individually glued all the leaves on the tree. Now that is dedication to detail!
The Green Dragon
Our tour finished up with a complimentary mug of cold ale at the Green Dragon – an inn that was also part of the movie set.
A little spontaneity never hurt anyone
We really enjoyed our trip and were so glad we made the spontaneous decision to call in at the movie set.
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