Right after Auckland, we packed up from the city and ventured out to Middle Earth to the most whimsical place in the world, Hobbiton Movie Set. With a 12 acre set, 44 Hobbit Holes and the famous Green Dragon Inn, you’ll be entranced by the magic where Bilbo Baggins began his adventure. Here’s everything you need to know about the Hobbiton Movie Set located in Matamata, New Zealand.
We rented a car and embarked on a two-hour drive from Auckland to Hobbiton. Remember, they drive on the opposite side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right. This took some time to get used to, but you’ll get the hang of it. The drive is fairly straight forward; you start on a major highway and end up driving through smaller roads and towns. The two-hour drive passes by so quickly with the gorgeous scenery and endless pasteurized hills.
Once you’re near, follow signs for the Hobbiton Movie Set and find parking (it’s free). Be sure to book your tour in advance since they can sell out and it’ll help with a smooth check-in. For the popular Hobbiton Movie Set Tour, a coach bus will take you right to the movie set entrance where the magic begins.
Your tour guide escorts you (along with about 30 other people) through The Shire for 1 hour and 45 mins. They will show you the Hobbit Holes and provide fun and interesting movie tidbits. Don’t forget to snap the most famous Hobbit Hole of them all – Bag Ends (pictured below)! At the end of the tour, enjoy a complimentary beverage at the Green Dragon Inn in Shire-style! The apple cider beer can’t be found anywhere else in the world!
If you’re ever planning a visit to the North Island in New Zealand, the Hobbiton Movie Set is an absolute must-do. It’s different than anything I’ve seen in the US and something I’ll never forget. If you’re ready to become a Hobbit and transport yourself to The Shire, here are Hobbiton Movie Set tips that you should know before you go.
Hobbiton Movie Set Tips:
- Book your tour tickets early and online. Tour tickets can sell out so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Tickets are directly available through their site.
- Bring a fully charged camera. This is a once in a lifetime experience so be sure to make and capture memories here! For all photos in this post, we used the Sony A6000.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be walking on small dirt and grass pathways. Stick with flat shoes or even flip flops. You can never go wrong with these sneakers.
- Dress appropriately for the weather. If you are going during the summer, wear shorts, a dress, or something lightweight. It gets hot!
- Put on sunscreen. There is less ozone in New Zealand so the sun rays aren’t blocked as they are in the US. It’s important to protect your skin so be sure to put on body sunscreen as well as SPF products for your face and lips.
- Fill up your water bottle beforehand. You’ll get a refreshment at the Green Dragon Inn towards the end, but you’ll be thirsty during the tour. Stay hydrated especially under the hot sun.
- Watch The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings Trilogies prior to the tour. Trust me, you’ll appreciate the tour so much more and the movies are really good! I found an awesome deal for both trilogies.
- No tipping. There is no tipping in New Zealand so don’t feel like it’s necessary to tip the tour guide or bus driver.
If you have any questions about your trip, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I hope this post was helpful!