Hobbiton, New Zealand

One of the places I've been that people ask about most...is the Hobbiton. I had written a brief overview of the roadtrip that Lindsey, Simon, and I had taken with quick little bits about all the awesome stops along the way.  But, I thought it was probably time I wrote about Hobbiton in depth.

As many times as I've visited/studied/lived in New Zealand, it wasn't until 2014 that I finally made the journey to the movie set. But, man, was it worth the wait! 

A tour is the only way to see Hobbiton, meaning you can't just stroll along and view it for yourself. The movie set is located on private farmland, so you have to buy a ticket at one of the various locations {we booked at the I-Site in Matamata for $79 NZD} and then drive to the tour location. Once there, you get in line for a tour and a bus takes you down the road a ways to the actual town of Hobbiton!

As you walk in, you are immediately greeted by colorful hobbit holes. The details of the village, as with anything associated with WETA, are so well thought out. Laundry left on the line, gardening tools in the flower beds, etc.

The tour guides are knowledgeable about all things Lord of the Rings and know so many behind the scenes details about the making of the movies. I eat that kind of stuff right up, so I totally dug all of it.

We were told by our {really, really cute} tour guide that we picked the best tour of the day-- the last one in the evening. He explained that this is because you get to see the sunset over the hobbit holes.

Towards the end of the tour, you are lead to the Green Dragon pub where you receive your complimentary beverage served in the proper hobbit mug. It truly completes the experience! Then, you are allowed time to explore further on your own and enjoy your ginger beer.

You may spend your time drinking away in the pub, but Lindsey and I decided to take in the evening {and the aforementioned sunset} outside under the lanterns. Going in April could have made this risky, as it just starts to get chilly during this time and rain is inevitable. However, the weather gods were with us and we enjoyed a beautiful evening drink outside the tavern.

It was a tick off the old bucketlist getting to tour and play hobbit for an evening! And sharing it with such an invaluable friend was the cherry on top of the cake. We finished our ginger beers and a French family kindly took photos of us overlooking the pond.

I often look back and think that that roadtrip around the North Island was one of my favorite roadies ever. Two of the most fun people in my favorite place, doing all the things I had been wanting to do for too long. Hobbiton was the right way to tie it all together.

I absolutely recommend visiting Hobbiton if you're ever in New Zealand. Two thumbs way, way up, guys! And a third thumb up for the ginger beer...if I had a third thumb.