Our family went to the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit set called Hobbiton, which is where the Hobbits live in these movies. This was more entertaining for some of us more than others. My Dad and I were very excited to see this, as we have seen all of the Hobbit and LOTR movies.
When we got there it was not very busy, because we got there in the morning around 9 o’clock. Our guide told us that peak time is in the afternoon. (This was also the most useful thing that he told us all tour). Although it would have been more enjoyable with a guide that was more enthusiastic about what he was talking about (ours was a Belgian backpacker just earning enough money to carry on with his travels), this seemed to be bad luck, because all of the other guides that we saw seemed to be much more into the tour. Even though our guide was a disappointment, we still enjoyed the experience.
(In the photo shown on the right below, can you guess which is the only tree that’s fake? They wired 200,000 leaves onto it…)
We were all surprised at the size of the set. In the movies, there are dozens of little round doors in the hills that hobbits live in. We were expecting a few hobbit holes and thinking that the background ones were computer edited in the movie, but when we got there, they told us that they actually made over forty holes for the Lord of The Rings, then took them down, but when they built them for the Hobbit, they built them more permanently so that they could take tourists though to see them. Unfortunately, all of the interior scenes of the hobbit holes were made in a film studio in Wellington, so there were no interiors to the hobbit holes. They are all built at different scales — the little ones make the actors look really tall.
We got to take heaps of pictures with some real props from the movie such as a horse buggy made of a barrel, and we got to go inside a replicated interior of the Green Dragon Inn and had scones and a complimentary drink.
Overall, this was a great place to spend a morning walking through hobbit hole suburbs, and grabbing lunch at the café afterwards for a reasonable price. All of us enjoyed this tour, even though not all of us have seen the movies filmed here.