Once again, I need to come clean. To the dismay of many of my close friends I have never been a Lord of the Rings fan. In fact, before visiting the Hobbiton set I hadn’t even seen the films. Last time I was in Rotorua I chose not to do the tour of the acclaimed ‘Shire’ in favour of saving my money for other activities which were on my bucket list.
This time round, I decided to give it a go because although the set would bare no meaning to me whatsoever, I thought the scenery would be picturesque nonetheless…oh and how right I was.
Fan of the films or not, this place is truly magical. We were very lucky with the weather with clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine. As we walked through the green hills, passing streams and little Hobbit houses I was transported to a mystical land.
The tour lasted about 3 hours, during which a tour bus picked us up from the ticketing office in Matamata and took us to the actual location which is about a 15/20 minute drive away. You can opt to drive yourself, but there is no difference in price. I think it is worth getting the bus, as the bus driver gives you little snippets of information along the way and exclusive Hobbiton videos are played on the tv showing interviews with the cast and crew of the franchise.
Upon arrival the group is shown around the grounds as the guide provides details regarding the various locations that make up scenes of both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. You are given ample chances to take pictures so be sure to bring your camera!
The tour was definitely worth the money and I will proudly admit that since visiting, I have watched all three Lord of the Rings movies…I can finally embrace the world of Frodo and his companions as I continue on my own adventure around the beautiful land of Middle Earth!