My first visitors from home arrived in Auckland yesterday! My cousin Kim, her husband Jason, and Jason’s brother Scott came to NZ to celebrate Kim & Jason’s wedding anniversary and by a lucky chance I happened to be in NZ too. We had a lovely dinner together yesterday that gave me the chance to catch up with Kim and get to know Jason and Scott. The next day we planned on meeting early in the morning to drive to Matamata, the home of Hobbiton.
For those that don’t know what Hobbiton is, shame on you. Hopefully you’ve heard of Lord of the Rings, or at least people called Hobbits. Hobbiton is where Hobbits live in the books/movies, Lord of the Rings, and a real Hobbiton village was built for the movies. It was constructed on a working sheep farm, and they built permanent structures for fans to visit once filming was finished. Jason booked our tour at 10:30am, so we left around 7am to get there early enough for a bite to eat before the tour started.
It had torrentially rained the night before, and I was afraid it would be another rainy day today. Luckily, the weather turned out fine and we didn’t even need our jackets by the end of the tour. A bus shuttled us from the starting point out through the farm to the village. Along the way, our bus driver told us a little bit about the farm and the family who owns it. The farm covers 1,400 square meters with little sheep sprawled all over the place.
We catch a couple glimpses of the village buildings on the way, but soon we are parked and whisked off by our tour guide along the path to Hobbiton. We turn a corner, and all of a sudden, bam! Hobbit holes everywhere!
The tour was really fun, and our tour guide was so friendly and had lots of little facts about the movies and the village. I had heard that none of the doors on the set would open, but luckily, I was wrong! All of them are just facades, however some of the doors swing open for great photo opportunities!
Bag End was near the end of the tour, overlooking the party tree and the Green Dragon Pub. It’s hard to see, but they paneled the inside about 4 meters deep so they could get a camera crew inside for a great shot coming out of the house. It’s a great view.
Down by the party tree we got a great view of the whole village, plus we were only a few minutes away from our free drink at the Green Dragon Pub! Also, Jason found these for all of us…
Lucky four leaf clover! Our tour guide says she never finds any and Jason found like six in five minutes! It really must have been our lucky day. Oh, and I still haven’t told you the best part. We visited Hobbiton on September 22nd. In the books (and movies), Bilbo and Frodo Baggins’s birthdays are both on September 22nd. It’s called Hobbit Day. We went to Hobbiton on Hobbit Day. BY ACCIDENT. What?! Yeah, we didn’t even know until they brought out slices of cake to go with our free drinks at the pub!
Cheers, everyone! Happy Hobbit Day!