Waikato: Hobbiton

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort”– J.R.R Tolkien

A Village in The Shire of Middle Earth

Matamata, North Island, NZ – Visiting Hobbiton is delightful! Staged on the greenest of green hills with 44 hobbit holes dug into the hillside.

First built in 1999 for Lord of the Rings (LOTR), the set on Alexander Farm was dismantled when filming was complete, yet fans made pilgrimages to visit Middle Earth. In 2009, Hobbiton was recreated in exquisite detail for filming The Hobbit. Upon conclusion of the trilogy, the set was left intact, oh, so nice!

Tailored to the height of a hobbit (3’6″), the hobbit holes are different sizes for shooting scenes with various characters – e.g. doors that make Gandolf appear huge, and the hobbits small.

Scale and authenticity – The props reflect the personality of the Hobbit (e.g. beekeeper, chess player, gardener). The grand tree above Bilbo Baggins Bag-End is fake! Fiberglass with silk leaves, attached one-by-one. During filming, the leaves were repainted by hand to adjust for fading from the sun. All other trees, ponds, gardens are very real.

Keeping It Real

During filming, one job was to tramp between the clotheslines to ensure the paths appeared worn and authentic. Another was to remove croaking frogs from the pond before filming.

A Stroll Past The Mill and a Drink at the Green Dragon Inn

Hobbiton is Built on the Alexander Farm

The Alexander Farm is a working sheep farm with 13,500 sheep, which nearly double (25,000) by the end of lambing season.

Orcs, Trolls and Other Horrible Beings

In Wellington, giant trolls greet you at the Weta Workshop. This is the special-effects company responsible for props and creatures from LOTR, The Hobbit, and hundreds of other films. The Weta Artists built a tribute to Gandolf and the eagles at the Wellington Airport. (see Wellington post HERE)

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem, “The Riddle of Strider, The Fellowship of the Ring.

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7 thoughts on “Waikato: Hobbiton

  1. What fun! So beautiful and full of whimsy.

  2. The girls would love this! Maybe we should get onto The Hobbit and visit at Christmas.

  3. The attention to detail is impressive – looks like a super fun day!

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