Tour the Impossibly Cute Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand
Tolkien fanatics: Just outside the small town of Matamata, you can visit the actual Hobbiton set featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. Get a sneak peek here.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – the second film in director Peter Jackson’s three-part series based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 novel – opens in theaters Dec. 13. While protagonist Bilbo Baggins will be on an adventure far away from his homeland of The Shire, you could be there, strolling through hobbit holes or sipping a drink at The Green Dragon. Located on a working New Zealand sheep farm, the Hobbiton movie set is open year-round for guided tours.
Tour the Hobbiton Movie SetView All 14 Photos
Jackson spotted Alexander Farm during an aerial search of the North Island, and he thought its rolling meadows and fantastic views made it a perfect spot to build the set of The Shire. Construction started in March of 1999, and 37 hobbit holes, a mill and a double-arch bridge were built over the course of nine months. Filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy started in December 1999, and at its peak, 400 cast and crew members were working on site, including actors Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo) and Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo).
While the original Hobbiton set was mostly dismantled, it was rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit trilogy – this time as a permanent attraction. The latest addition is The Green Dragon Inn, a working pub serving up hobbit-inspired drinks like Girdle Fine Ale, Sackville Cider, Oak Barton Ale and Southfarthing Ginger Ale.
Check out the gallery above to get a glimpse at the Hobbiton movie set – Tolkien fan or not, you’ll be longing for a trip to this picturesque spot. Go to HobbitonTours.com to book your visit.