“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.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien,
New Zealand IS Middle Earth, and now, welcome to to The Shire. Fans of LOTR would never give this place a miss! Even if you are not a fan, this place is so fantasy-like, you will be blown away.
We were lucky. New Zealand have been a bit temperamental. It would either rain for a day or two, looking very gloomy and mysterious; or looking bright and beautiful with newly-formed snow caps on the mountains. But that day seemed promising with a slight drizzle that lasted no more than 10 minutes.
We started our tour at Matamata, The Shire’s Rest. The tour cost us NZ$79 per pax (above 17 years old) which lasted approximately 3 hours. Transportation from The Shire’s Rest to the movie set with return are included.
What? Expensive, you say? Well, the movie set was built on Alexanders farm. It was a really big piece of land. (And for us, Singaporeans, we marvelled at the vastness since it is always cramp and densely-populated back at home.) When you arrive there, you will learn how much effort, time and resources needed to create the whole scene. With Peter Jackson’s (the producer) high expectations, every single thing matters. I thought so, because seriously, to sew and paint artificial leaves on to a dead tree are just so tedious! I pity the crew members for all the hardships they have to endure. So, 👍🏼 thumbs up for the hard work!
At the end of the tour, we enjoyed a mug of Ginger beer at the Green Dragon’s bar. The drink was inclusive of the tour and you can choose their ales or apple cider. I have fallen in love with The Shire and would love to live there if it was a real village! Sigh…
The Hobbiton Tour have various tour packages and you may check it out at their website, here.