All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
Since I was a child, the Hobbit has been my favourite book. My mind used to run wild with imagination – the trolls, dragons and dwarves all made my childhood just that bit more interesting. I’ve read all three Lord of The Rings books countless times from cover to cover and fell in love with the languages, folklore, characters and endless stories.
J.R. Tolkien, in my opinion, is an absolute genius.
So, when I found out that we would be stopping at Matamata on the Kiwi Bus, I was over the moon! As we caught the tour lot bus down to Hobbiton and I got my first glimpse of the Green Dragon Inn, the tour bus guide had to laugh at my excitement. It was a little bit sad just how excited I was.
Hobbiton can be found in the North Island in New Zealand and is essential for any fan of Lord of The Rings and even if you’re not – you’d have some serious bragging rights visiting the Hobbit homes on the other side of the world!
Here’s a low down of what you can expect to see and do – and you’ll be happy to know it does include second breakfast!
Your friendly, admittedly Tolkien obsessed, guide will show you around the set. They will test your knowledge and ask you questions and you’ll be surprised to know that somewhere in your group there will be Lord of the Rings experts around you! Don’t worry, you don’t have to know anything about it to enjoy it!
You’ll find they do move quickly and there will be other groups behind you so make sure if you do want a picture you stay behind and grab it! You don’t pay $90 to go into Hobbiton and not have a few photos right? You can always ask questions a little later.
The Hobbit holes will be dotted around in all different shapes, colours and sizes! It’s amazing how even a little person like me can look huge in front of small round door! The power of perspective!
Hang out with Bilbo Baggins at Bag End
Of course, you can see the house of the Hobbit who started it all and felt like going on an adventure! How little did he know what he would get himself into? Unfortunately, you can’t go in for supper (and Bilbo would probably be quite happy about that) but you can marvel from the outside. After all, it does say “no admittance, exception party business!”
A quest to find the Green Dragon Inn
After your tour around the various movie sets and Bilbo Baggins pad, you’ll be on the quest for a flagon of ale at the Green Dragon. Follow the signs, and make your way over!
Have some Pie and Ale (or cider) at the Dragon
You will finish your tour at the Green Dragon Inn and if you visit in winter it will have a lovely roaring fire to greet you! You can try a selection of Hobbit Ales and Ciders which are complimentary in the price of your ticket. I highly recommend their scrummy steak and ale pie, if you want some second breakfast! This does come at an extra cost but it’s so worth it. Then indulge and warm your toes by the fire.
And of course, don’t forget to get a cheesy picture of you acting like you serve Hobbits every night behind the bar! How many tourist points do I get?!
Exit through the gift shop
Inevitably, no tourist experience is complete without some souvenirs to take home and the LOTR souvenirs here range in price depending on how serious a fan you are. It can go from pens, badges and bookmarks to Gandalf’s hat and a marble chess set! Whether it’s a cloak, jewellery or Elven brooch you’re after it’s all here for you to spend your kiwi dollars on. I decided to go for a Green Dragon Inn mug; which amazingly survived in it’s bubble wrap in my backpack for a whole month!
Don’t miss it!
I have to admit, even if you’re not a fan of Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit, just to visit and see where the blockbusters were filmed is an awesome experience. It is pretty expensive but it’s a small price to pay in my opinion to stand where Elijah wood, Orlando Bloom and Vigo Mortensen all stood! Make sure you don’t miss this attraction and immerse yourself in Middle Earth!
Are you a fan of Lord of the Rings? Would you like to visit? Comment Below!