Trip to Hobbiton : An Unexpected Journey!

Harshita Kasera
Published in
8 min readMar 21, 2023

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” - JRR Tolkien

On our trip to New Zealand in December 2022, my husband and I were able to visit the Hobbiton movie set. It is truly one of the coolest tourist attractions in New Zealand and one of the highlights of our New Zealand trip. The tour offers a unique opportunity to see a real-life film set.

📍 Bag End : Bilbo Baggins’ house, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author , Source: Instagram)

A visit to this movie set transports you out of reality and right into the Hobbiton, a fictional place in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. If you are a fan of the movies like my husband, then a visit to this place is nonnegotiable. Even though I was not into these movies, the whole experience was truly magical.

Hobbiton is absolutely worth a visit on a trip to New Zealand ❤️


The movie set is only accessible via a pre-booked tour. The tour can be booked online via the Hobbiton website. There are different packages to choose from. The tour experience & its price varies based on the package you choose. Based on our budget, we booked the classic movie set tour.

Booking the tour in advance is a must. It usually gets booked months ago.

The classic movie set tour lasts about 2 hours in total and includes :

  • A short bus ride from the departure location to the movie set.
  • 1 hour 15 minute guided walking tour.
  • Visit to The Green Dragon Inn including a complimentary beverage.
  • At the end of your experience, you will walk with your guide back to the bus and take another short bus ride to the departure location.

It is a shared tour with other Tolkien fans excited to relive their favorite movie memories.


Matamata, a town in the North Island of New Zealand is home to the Hobbiton movie set. The movie set is located on a working farm owned by the Alexander family.

📍 Welcome to Hobbiton Sign : Matamata (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

A little bit of history..

In 1988, when the film director Sir Peter Jackson was aerial-scouting for locations to shoot The Lord of the Rings, he came across a huge sheep farm in Matamata in the heart of Waikato. The Alexander farm was just perfect, so the crew transformed part of it into the movie set.

After the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy filming was over, the set was completely torn down.

As word got out about Alexander family farms, Tolkien fans started to show up to see the remains of the set.

Later in 2009, when the Jackson team decided to use the farm again for the “Hobbit” trilogy, the Alexander family convinced the team to build the set out of permanent materials this time so that the tourists could come to visit Hobbiton after filming was over.

In 2012, the set officially opened up to the public for tours.

Tour Check-in | Maps

The Shire’s Rest is the tour headquarters and the meeting location where all the tours depart from.

Our tour was from 9:30 am to 11:30 am. We reached the check-in office a bit early around 8:45 am to explore the area and of course click pictures ;). There is ample parking on the site, with plenty of space for large vehicles and camper vans too.

My husband, Antriksh Saxena excited to start the Hobbiton tour (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

At the check-in office we received a map of the area. Since we were early we had the time to explore the cafe and the gift shop near the visitor center.

Movie set tour map created by Hobbiton tour company (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Arrive on time. If you miss the bus at the start of the tour you won’t be allowed to join late.

📍 The Shire’s Rest, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Tour Experience

The guided tour begins with a bus ride from the visitors’ center through the countryside and finally, to the set itself.

On the way our guide played a few video clips of the Shire featured in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and shared interesting tidbits about the set.

Bus ride to Hobbiton movie set (Video Credits: Shot by author on Pixel, Source: Youtube)

After the bus ride, we finally reached the set location. Our tour guide instructed us to stay in the group as there are multiple groups touring the set at the same time.

Tour guide leading the Hobbiton movie set tour (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

As we entered, we both were in awe of this picturesque place. ❤️ It really is a paradise! Photos definitely don’t do justice to how you feel when you enter this place.

The set is built with such authenticity that it seems like you might find hobbits running around and Gandalf might show up anytime.

First glimpse of the Hobbiton movie set (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

During the tour, our tour guide stopped at different spots and shared interesting facts about the set. This was also the time to click pictures.

Tip: If you want to listen to the facts as well as click photos, it will be a constant struggle since you would have limited time on the spot. My advice would be to read about the interesting facts beforehand so you can focus on clicking pictures.

There are 44 unique hobbit holes in the set.

Some of the hobbit doors are smaller than others to create the perspective they needed for Gandalf, the Dwarves and the Hobbits.

Each of these hobbit holes have different details that describe the occupations of the hobbits living in there.

Can you guess what is the occupation of the hobbit living in the hobbit hole below ?👇

Bread loaves at Baker’s house, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author , Source: Instagram)
Honey pots at the beekeeper’s house, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author)

Every nook & corner of the movie set is extremely photogenic. We took so many photos in front of these cute Hobbit Holes.

📍 Hobbiton, New Zealand (Photo Credits: Shot by Antriksh Saxena, Source: Instagram)

We made our way up to the rolling hills. And at the top of the topmost hill stands a green door below the bottom of a great oak tree. My husband literally jumped as he saw this hobbit hole.

The fence near the hobbit hole says “No admittance : Except on party business”. (Can you guess whose house it is?)

📍Bag End: Bilbo Baggins’ house, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author)

This was Bag End, the house of Bilbo & Frodo Baggins.

✨ The location of the hobbit holes on the hill also determined the hobbit’s wealth. Bilbo had his house on the topmost hill as he was the wealthiest hobbit.

We were surprised to know that the oak tree on the hill above Bag End is fake. Artificial leaves were attached to the fiberglass tree one-by-one and were repainted on fading to make it appear real!

✨ The oak tree was deliberately built smaller than it appears in Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is because the Hobbit trilogy is set 60 yrs prior to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The attention to detail in designing this place is truly mesmerizing.

A magnificent pine tree towering over a nearby lake in the Hobbiton is referred as the Party Tree in the movies where Bilbo Baggins’ celebrates his 111th birthday in the movie.

✨ The location of this tree near the lake caught Sir Peter Jackson’s attention while aerial scouting for the movie location.

📍Party Tree, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Across the stream from the Green Dragon Inn in Hobbiton, a mill perches on the water’s edge next to a stony bridge. The whole setting is so dreamy!

📍Water Mill, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

At the end of the tour, we headed to The Green Dragon Inn. The Green Dragon Inn is a pub on the set and the perfect place to relax and enjoy a complimentary pint of beer served from the barrels of The Green Dragon.

The Green Dragon Inn is only accessible as part of the Hobbiton Movie Set tour.

📍The Green Dragon Inn, Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

After enjoying our drinks it was time to say goodbye. We were definitely not ready and wanted to stay in this magical place forever :)

The bus ride back to the car park was very pretty. The view of the rolling hills out of the window was gorgeous.

Rolling Hills on the Alexander family farm (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)

Once we reached back to the Shire’s rest, we stopped by the gift store to purchase some souvenirs. We purchased the Green Dragon Inn mugs and Frogmorton Ginger Beer brewed only in Hobbiton.

Souvenirs from the gift store at Hobbiton (Photo Credits: Shot by author on Pixel)


Enjoy !

Seeing the iconic hobbit holes, sipping beer at the Green Dragon Inn, and walking along the same footpaths as Frodo, Sam, Bilbo and Gandalf made my husband’s geeky little heart so happy. There are so many special little details in every corner of the set. Truly, there was nothing quite like being in Hobbiton ❤️

If you are planning a trip to New Zealand, don’t miss out on Hobbiton!

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