The Lord of the Rings was one of the most successful film series in history, and fans worldwide fell in love with the picturesque Middle Earth sets. Visiting The Hobbiton Movie Set is a must for fans and non-fans of the films.
The history of Hobbiton
Jackson teamed up with Rings Scenic Tours Limited to allow movie fans to visit the newly reconstructed and permanent film set which is located in the North Island of New Zealand near Matamata.
The first tour the Hobbiton Movie Set was in 2002, and thousands of people have visited since then.
Jackson first began the nine-month construction at the Alexander family farm on Buckland Road in 1999, thanks to the emerald rolling hills untouched by 20th century clutter such as roads, buildings, or power lines. 37 hobbit holes were created and The Mill and double arch bridge were built. The large established tree placed in front of the lake was already perfect for the Hobbiton landscape, and it was renamed the 'party tree' since Hobbits are a merry folk who love nothing better than a good party.
Filming The Hobbit
Despite the parade of movie stars on and off the set, the site was still a working sheep and beef farm, where tourists have the opportunity to cuddle and bottle feed the pet lambs. People can actually stay the night in Bilbo's original home, Bag End, now turned into a guest house.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the fourth film in director Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film franchise and the first of a two-part prequel to the trilogy, which became among the biggest blockbusters ever. The film follows home-loving hobbit Bilbo, who is guided by the wizard Gandalf and a company of 13 dwarves on a dangerous adventure that sees him become an unlikely hero.
J.R.R. Tolkien's first foray into Middle Earth has been split into two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and the cast and crew endured a mammoth 254-day shoot to recreate the thousand-plus pages.
Jackson said: 'You just get in that state of tiredness and stay there, but that's OK. The movie keeps you going. He revealed that actor Martin Freeman has slipped easily into the Hobbit feet of his predecessor, Ian Holm. He said: 'He fits the ears, and he's got some very nice feet. I think he's got the biggest Hobbit feet we've got so far.'
Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
visited before the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
We had an early start this morning, jumped into the bus and our driver ask how his hobbits where this morning, we had a bit of a laugh and then off on our 45 minute drive to the movie set of the new Peter Jackson films The Hobbit. Also the location of the movie set for ‘The Shire” in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Now I’m sorry, I can’t tell you much about this trip as we had to sign a confidentiality agreement as the set has been fully built for the upcoming movie. What I can tell you, is the drive is about 70 km from Rotorua, through the most amazing farm land of the Waikato area of the North Island, and is set on farmland that has a size of 1250 acre’s with unbelievable views of the Kaimai Ranges, We had a guild take us through the 10 acre site which the movie set has been built on.
After seeing the amazing set, we headed back to the ”Shire Rest” and the “Woolshed” where we got to experience shearing of sheep and also hand feed baby lambs. After a bite to eat from the cafe, we had a look around the gift shop and I was able to buy a bottle of Beer that the Hobbits drunk under the party tree in the first Lord of the Rings movie. It’s only 0.13% alcohol so I don’t think I’ll get too drunk!