Hobbiton is a place I have often wondered about while passing through Matamata.
It’s one of New Zealand’s most successful tourist attractions with over 500,000 visitors per year but most are international folk so I decided to take a look at what us Kiwis, are missing out on.
On the rolling hillsides of the Alexander family farm, just out of Matamata are thirty-nine hobbit holes. Originally built to film Lord of the Rings they were made from untreated timber, ply and polystyrene and were dismantled at the end of the three-month shoot. However, they were rebuilt with permanent materials in 2009 for the filming of The Hobbit Trilogy so’ The Shire’ could live on forever and we could all enjoy it.
Sir Peter Jackson and Russell Alexander have done well working together to create the biggest and only live movie set in the world. Scouts found the undulating hills needed for hobbits’ homes from an aerial search and then set about to build a road with the help of the New Zealand Army to provide access to the site.
The attention to detail in the hobbits’ homes is unimaginable. Miniature clothes blow in the breeze on the clotheslines, there’s an abundance of vegetables in the gardens, the baker, the painter and cheese maker have delightful small shops and the funny thing is it all looks real.
All of the hobbit homes have what’s called functional facades. The doors open, but the depth of the homes is only a metre. It would have been great if there was just one hole, just one, where we could have gone inside and seen a real hobbit’s home.
It’s a great day out for the kids and adults alike and the only thing that would make it more fabulous would be seeing hobbits going about their daily lives in Hobbiton.
For tour information Hobbiton