Hobbiton, A Dream Come True
Ever since the first Lord of the Rings movie came out back in 2001, I always wanted to see Hobbiton in real life. More movies came out, both in the Lord of the Rings movie series, but also notably the three Hobbit movies recently. As a kid, I didn’t realize it was actually possible to go there. However, as I grew up, I found pictures online from various people who visited the real movie set in New Zealand. Too bad New Zealand is so far away … Oh wait, I’m here now!
To clarify a bit; Hobbiton is a Hobbit village in the region of The Shire, which is exclusively inhabited by Hobbits. Everything is a bit more relaxed here, they don’t want any trouble, they simply want to live their lives in peace. Basically, it always seemed like a really nice place to visit!
The Hobbiton movie set is located near the town of Matamata on the Northern island of New Zealand. We were picked up by a bus at the Matamata tourist center, and on the way, the driver told all sorts of different stories about the history of the movie set. For example, he showed us the house where the movie director Sir Peter Jackson lived while the production was ongoing.
Walking Around the Movie Set
When we arrived at the destination, there was a short walk before reaching the entrance of the village. It was really an amazing sight as all details have been thought of. Seriously, all plants in the gardens are real. Only the props in wheelbarrows, in vases, or in the windows are fake. There’s a lot of people working on keeping this movie set alive and of the highest authenticity.
The attention to detail is amazing. All of the Hobbit Holes — as the homes of Hobbits are called — have been uniquely designed to fit the environment. At some Hobbit Holes, there are vegetables for sale. At other Hobbit Holes, they are in the process of chopping some wood. It all feels alive even though, sadly, no hobbits are actually present. As a side story, our guide told us that the maximum height to star in the movies as a hobbit, was 160 cm. Are you small enough to be a hobbit?
Germans Are Weird
When we reached Bag End, which is the home of the famous Bilbo Baggins, our guide told us another story which deserves to be told here as well. You probably know that there are many fans of the Lord of the Rings worldwide. You could probably also imagine that some people would show up dressed as one of their favorite characters.
Alright, so just a few weeks before we were there, a German guy had travelled halfway around the world dressed up as a hobbit to this movie set. All of a sudden, in the middle of the tour, he shouts wildly and loudly “This is where I feel at home! It my one and only destiny in this world to spend the rest of my life as a hobbit, and there is nothing you can do about it!” Afterwards, he ran very quickly into the home of Bilbo Baggins, barricading himself inside. He shouted out to the security team that if they came in, he would break everything inside.
Police was quickly on their way, but it took no less than 7 hours of negotiation before he came out. He had to come to the police station, and from there the story doesn’t tell what happened. Some say he still roams around the roads of New Zealand.
Alright, this is it for today. It was a really cool experience which I can now cross off my bucket list. We’ve seen so much I’m actually having trouble keeping up with the blog posts. We have been in the country for two weeks already, but I’ve only covered the first few days. Hopefully, eventually I will get up to date.