So, as I’m sure you’re all well aware, I’m currently in the middle of a trip around New Zealand. The last couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing! I’ve been black water rafting in a cave full of glow-worms, I’ve seen the biggest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere, and even visited the Tamaki Maori village where I was treated to cultural performances and a delicious dinner. Every single one of these activities are well worth the time if you’re ever in this part of the world. And of course, I couldn’t travel to New Zealand and not mention Hobbiton!
Myth: you’ll only enjoy Hobbiton if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, seen the films or read the books
The common misconception about Hobbiton is that you have to know what it’s about to be able to appreciate it. I can’t deny it certainly helps to put it all into perspective, but you can still go, blithely unaware of the whole Lord of the Rings franchise and still have an amazing time. Why? Because the Hobbiton set is so darn magical and impressive all on its own. You can still be amazed at the detail and craftsmanship that went into designing this set without having a clue what it’s about. The design is so impressive you could almost convince yourself that you’ve stepped into a real life working village in the New Zealand countryside.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Lord of the Rings franchise and are sitting there wondering “the heck is a hobbit?” In a nutshell, a hobbit is a fictional character of J. R. R. Tolkien’s creation. They are small humanoid creatures who live in holes in the ground and have extremely hairy feet!
The perfect day for a visit
From the moment you step into Hobbiton territory you’re transported into a stunning world of rolling emerald hills (New Zealand is just so GREEN) which rise and fall over the landscape and play host to a sheep and cattle farm. I was lucky enough to get sunshine when I went which bathed us all in a warm glow despite the winter season. We trundled through the farm on a bus to the sound of the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, which, just like any good film music, left you buzzing with anticipation as Hobbiton began to emerge from the hillside.
Every bit of Hobbiton is unique
What makes Hobbiton much more than a film set and so fun to explore is the careful attention to design. No two hobbit holes are the same! Each one is entirely unique and reflects a character in the village. Each hole is nestled in the hills with a bright round painted door. The colours and props determine the hobbit character, whether it be the village baker, the beekeeper, or the resident drunk. You only have to look at the hobbit hole to feel like you’ve met the hobbit personally.
Each hobbit hole has its own character and purpose in this imaginative village. Here, you can see that this is the home of the resident woodworking hobbit by the messy display of props. This painstaking attention to the props around the set is what brings Hobbiton to life.
Look, they even have dinky hobbit clothes hanging in the breeze!
Here you can see (as well as my gawky face) that this hobbit has a bit of a thing for potted plants! Amazingly, every plant is real and well tended to. In fact, despite not actually being inhabited, the makeshift village is a hive of activity with the presence of the visitors as well as the busy gardeners and maintenance team who work tirelessly to keep the place looking picturesque.
The garden in this photo is entirely real, including the produce. The on-site gardeners grow crops and are even allowed to take the produce home so it never goes to waste!
Perspectives break Hobbiton’s village illusion
As you might have guessed after looking at the photos, some of the hobbit holes are significantly bigger than others. I would say that this is reminds us most of all that Hobbiton is indeed a film set. Different sized hobbit holes are incorporated into the village simply to work with perspective when filming the characters depending on what size they would be. For example, an actor playing a hobbit would stand in front of a bigger hobbit hole whereas a wizard would position themselves by a smaller hole. Super clever really!
The perfect way to end a wonderful trip: finishing off with a pint in The Green Dragon pub
As you wind your way through Hobbiton you eventually come to The Green Dragon, a small pub by the lake. Better yet, it’s in operation and you can go inside and be treated to a mug of beer, cider or soft drinks. You can enjoy your beverage of choice in a squashy armchair by a roaring fire as jolly music is played from a speaker somewhere overhead.
No matter if you’re a fan of the Lord of the Rings franchise or not, Hobbiton is truly a wonderful day out and there’s no way you could ever be disappointed. It was the prettiest little village and I was sorry to leave.
This was not a sponsored post, I just really enjoyed Hobbiton!
Thanks for reading,