Nerd alert! Nerd alert! This post contains explicit imagery of numerous hobbit holes that may tip Lord of the Rings obsessives over the edge. A place where it is impossible to get a bad photo, Hobbiton, near Matamata, is a guided set tour especially preserved for camera-clicking tourists. The whole village is available to walk around (in sections with your guide) so you can take in every tiny detail you would never have noticed in the films. The visit lasts about two hours and ends with a “free” drink – by free, I mean included in the admission price – in The Green Dragon.
Good Points about Hobbiton
- As it is a film set, it is made to please a lens. Lots of pretty pictures!
- So so detailed with random buckets lying about, clothes on the washing lines, bread outside of the baker’s house, etc.
- You can dress up as a hobbit in The Green Dragon if you so desire.
- The guides tell you facts about the set and the Lord of the Rings films – some of them rather interesting, but no spoilers here. Even the bus driver from the ticketing office to Hobbiton is quite the story teller when explaining which parts of the films were shot in which location.
Bad Points about Hobbiton
- It’s $75. For two hours of controlled fun walking around a movie set and a alcoholic beverage at the end, this price is too much. If you, like me, are a fan of LotRs and The Hobbit then it’s hard to say no to Hobbiton anyway, but a few people in our travelling group were not fans and not too impressed. If I had to make a comparison to Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studios in London, which I realise no one is asking me to but I’ll do it anyway, HP studios are far better value for money at a similar price to Hobbiton.
Hobbiton is a “New Zealand must do” for any true Lord of the Rings fan, otherwise you might find disappointment that there isn’t much else to do here other than be in Hobbiton and have a drink. The photo opportunities are exactly what Hobbiton is all about – they will be a real crowd pleaser on your Facebook, trust me.
Now, who else is in the mood for The Hobbit?