Hobbiton Delights While Undergoing Repairs

HobbitonTodd and I toured the Hobbiton film set while we were staying in Hamilton, a quiet city south of Auckland on the North Island. We drove down winding roads (on the left!) until we saw the sign for Buckland and turned off. Then we drove some more, until we came to a restaurant and had lunch. A bus named for a dwarf took us from the café/box office to the site, where we followed our guide, who was a knowledgeable but soft-spoken man. I was envious of some of the other groups, whose guides I could hear across the Hill. After a few attempts to listen to Mike and take photographs, I realized I needed to do the tour 3 times: the first time to listen to all his stories about production and meeting members of the cast; the second time to take photographs; and the third time to make sure I hadn’t missed anything.

But I had time for only one tour, which I present here. It was great fun to walk around this set; the level of detail was marvelous. I wonder how long these tours will be popular. Will I be able to go back 20 years from now?

The Hobbiton Movie Set is located on a sheep farm near Matamata, North Island, New Zealand.

The Hobbiton Movie Set is located on a sheep farm near Matamata, North Island, New Zealand.

Parts of it are a bit more tropical than you would expect for the Shire.

Parts of it are a bit more tropical than you would expect for the Shire.

I loved all the props at this hole.

I loved all the props at this hole.

It was easy to find our way around.

It was easy to find our way around.

Gardens far below Bag End, with a man-made tree above it.

Gardens far below Bag End, with a man-made tree above it.

Another view of Bag End from below.

Another view of Bag End from below.

Bilbo is apparently doing a renovation.

Bilbo is apparently doing a renovation.

We weren't allowed to go in, though we were allowed in another hobbit hole. There wasn't much to see because all the interior shots were filmed in a studio.

We weren’t allowed to go in, though we were allowed in another hobbit hole. There wasn’t much to see because all the interior shots were filmed in a studio.

A view of the Party Tree from Bag End.

A view of the Party Tree from Bag End.

On the way to the Green Dragon.

On the way to the Green Dragon.

"Come along, my hobbits!" It's time for a drink.

“Come along, my hobbits!” It’s time for a drink.