Hobbiton Movie Set is located in Matamata on the northern island of New Zealand. The Hobbiton Movie Set is the site of the Shire in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and the Hobbit Trilogies.
The movie setting of the shire was a truly beautiful place and exploring the lush pastures of the Hobbitton Movie Set is every bit as pretty as the movie showed it to be.
The movie set for the Hobbit Village is approximately 12 acres and includes hobbit houses along gravel trails, the mill on the banks of the pond and next to the stone bridge and the famous Green Dragon Inn.
Hobbit Houses (Holes)
The hobbit houses or holes are the main feature of the movie set. There are 44 hobbit holes to visit and all of them are unique. Most notably the round doors are several different colors but some hobbit holes have picket fences in front and some have windows that pop out of the ground away from the entrance door.
Many of the houses have fireplace chimneys coming out of the ground and some even have smoke coming out making the underground home feel even more real.
Unfortunately, almost all of the hobbit homes are just facades covering empty holes. The Bag End house is the only hobbit hole with an interior design which is just a segment of wall to give the illusion of house inside when the door is propped open but it does make for a great photo opportunity (see our photo at the end of the post).
Rolling hills and winding roads
The shire is set in the middle of beautiful green rolling hills that are dotted with huge stately trees. Since the Hobbit Holes are dug into the hill tops, the gravel roads in the shire wind through the hills leading to the houses.
The natural setting along with the unique designed Hobbit Holes are more than enough to make the Hobbiton Movie Set an exciting place to visit but there is an abundance of Hobbit charm scattered throughout the site that makes the setting even more entertaining.
While it is easy to be fully captivated with the setting and the main features, don’t let those keep you from noticing all of the subtle details that make the shire even more special.
Most of the time move sets are completely fake but the Hobbiton Movie Set is actually a living set. It is hard to walk through the set without noticing all of the flowering plants. There are between 30 and 200 plants around each hobbit hole. There are so many plants to care for that Hobbiton employees five to seven gardeners to maintain the grounds.
While Hobbiton doesn’t raise livestock on the move set, it is New Zealand so just look around and I am sure you will see plenty of sheep and the environment is natural enough that undoubtable there will be ducks on the pond.
Walking around the Hobbiton Movie Set instantly brought back visions of Frodo and Sam, Bilbo Baggins and of course Gandalf. It was fun to see the Hobbit Holes, the charming Hobbit village and to just enjoy being in a truly beautiful setting.
One of the most fun parts of being at the movie set was that it provided some really great photo ops. There are places to interact with the movie props and to get up close to the Hobbit Holes. Our favorite photo op was to stand inside the door of the Hobbit Hole and welcome our visitors.
The tour ends at the Green Dragon Inn where they serve you a glass of the exclusive Hobbit Southfarthing beverage. The beverage is a choice of an ale or an alcoholic apple cider that are served from the barrels of the Green Dragon Inn.
Walking around the Hobbit Village was a lot of fun. The Hobbit Holes, the beautiful rolling hills, the set was loaded with Hobbit charm: all of it exceeded my expectations and at the end of the tour they send you off with a true “taste of the Shire.