Located in Matamata, New Zealand is the popular tourist attraction of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which is famed for its use in The Lord of the Rings film series. The Shire, which is the home to Hobbits in Middle-earth, was first created in 1999 and now fans are able to explore the whimsical 12-acre set. Throughout tours, guides recount scenes from the movies while explaining the details of the movie set. Visitors from around the world become immersed the Shire whilst discovering the quaint village and exploring the quirky elements.

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The history behind Hobbiton Movie Set begins prior to the creation of The Lord of the Rings film series, on a sheep farm in Matamata. In 1998 location scouts were searching for luscious green pastures and rolling hills to create The Shire, which is the home of hobbits. The stunning Alexander farm strongly resembled the world described in the book series by author JRR Tolkien. The spot was immediately chosen and the crew began construction on the set, and over 9 mounts 39 temporary Hobbit Holes came to life. After filming, demolition was scheduled to commence and after an initial attempt to deconstruct the Hobbit Holes 17 still remained. Yet, in 2002 the shells were the site of a guided tour that launched after the popularity for Lord of the Rings grew. The Hobbiton Movie Set was given an upgrade when The Hobbit Trilogy was being filmed in 2009. The crew reconstructed the site and expanded Hobbiton, which now has 44 permanent Hobbit Holes on the site. Since then The Green Dragon Inn has been added in 2012, which is now a popular addition to the area as a place to visit and try different beverages. Today the movie site is a tourist hotspot that gives movie fans a chance to explore the wonders of The Shire.

As a popular movie lover’s destination, the Hobbiton Movie Set allows visitors to become fully immersed into the world of The Shire due to is phenomenal beauty and untouched nature. There are tours that take visitors around the village that explain the details of the movie set while recounting different scenes. The groups weave through the set, which is dotted along the rolling hillside to explore the Hobbit Holes and the Green Dragon Inn. Famous for the circular doors the Hobbit Holes show the personalities of the different characters and give insight into the culture of The Shire. Hobbits are much smaller than other characters in Lord of the Rings and the solution to showcasing the miniature world on film was to use three sizes of doors to change height perspectives. All of the houses have a rustic look to them and almost seamlessly blend into the surrounding hills because of the overgrown plants that add character to the set. Tours of the quaint village come to an end in the iconic Green Dragon Inn, which has a fully reconstructed interior and exterior that embodies the warm atmosphere of The Shire. As a meeting place for all the residents in Hobbiton, visitors are now able to indulge with a beverage or a specially poured beer from the taps of the Inn. There is also a selection of traditional fare available for guests to purchase and eat while they overlook the quaint village. Throughout all of the aspects at the Hobbiton Movie Set, visitors can step into the enchanting world in Middle Earth and experience life as Hobbits would.

Hobbiton is a popular location that hosts various events throughout the year, which add to the whimsical atmosphere. Visitors are able to have a real Hobbit experience through the activities of Mid-Winter Feast and International Hobbit Day. Guests can participate in a special celebration at the Green Dragon Inn during the Mid-Winter Feast. The evening will begin with a tour of the set and after a themed dinner will be served with Mulled wine and other Southfarthing beverages. The feast will conclude with another tour guided by lantern light to see the beautiful village glow under the moon. For International Hobbit Day, the movie set holds a special event in the little village to celebrate. Visitors are able to wander through the vibrant Marketplace, which is filled with themed stalls offering traditional Hobbit fare such as cheeses, baked breads, cured meats, and fresh produce. Throughout the sets and the events at the Hobbiton Movie Set, visitors are able to discover the magical village of The Shire.

501 I Rd, Buckland, Matamata 3472, Phone: +64-78-88-15-05

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