There’s something exciting and wildly intriguing about touring the set of movie, where you get to stand in the exact same spot as some of your favorite characters. That sense of intrigue is heightened, however, when your favorite characters are hobbits—the little people with epic quests in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies. Here in the rolling pasturelands and hills of Matamata, the set of Hobbiton, home of the hobbits, is masterfully maintained and exceptionally preserved, down to the smallest detail. Stand in the home where Bilbo hosts a party for his wizard friend, Gandalf, and grab a drink at the Green Dragon Inn, the local Hobbiton watering hole. Along with an exceptionally knowledgeable guide, wander the foot trails that weave through the village past rows of real-life hobbit holes, and soak up the pastoral beauty of The Shire—a hobbit village come to life.
Even for those not familiar with the films, the attention to detail when building the set is reason enough to visit, and learn the backstory and all the work required to transform this emerald pasture to a real-life Hobbiton village. Since the attraction is so popular, you can save time and get an up-close experience by booking a VIP, beat the crowds tour where you have The Shire to yourself.
Whether visiting independently or as part of a tour, all tours meet at The Shire’s Rest where you’ll board a bus for the short drive through the sheep pasture to Hobbiton. Sturdy footwear is recommended, and all visitors must arrive for their tour at least 15 minutes before departure.
Did You Know? The location of Hobbiton was found when the director, Peter Jackson, was searching the North Island by helicopter.