Chasing hobbits in New Zealand

Have you ever watched a film so good that you wanted to be in the movie yourself? Let me clarify that. Have you ever fell in love with the movie location that you spend your life savings to set foot on it? Haha I might be exaggerating but once a blockbuster movie made its millions in the cinemas, the movie sets they left behind become an instant tourist attraction.

Exhibit A: Ubud, Bali. Before the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ movie, only travelers looking for an idyllic escape from the busy scenes in Kuta make their way to Ubud. After the film made its rounds in the cinema, tons of fans flock to Ubud to make their own journey as Julia Roberts did in the film. Consequently hoping to find either love or some clarity on their destiny.

Exhibit B: Iceland. Well, if winter has a synonym, that would be Iceland. The ‘song of fire and ice’ movie spent months filming the winter scenes in Iceland. Some of these locations are easily accessible through booking a day tour from Reykjavik. Last winter, I did my own GOT journey and I couldn’t be more cold. I mean, happy!

Exhibit C: Hobbiton, New Zealand. Actually it is on a town called Matamata. Before the LOTR and The Hobbit era, Matamata was simply a sleepy town with rolling green hills. Through a helicopter search, the director Peter Jackson, spotted the most perfect location for Hobbiton. The set was built using temporary materials only as there were no future plans after filming. After the filming of LOTR movie in the early 2000s, the set was left without maintenance.

Luckily, they made a prequel spinoff and rebuilt Hobbiton with permanent materials this time. Since then, Hobbiton became one of the most visited tourist attraction of New Zealand. It attracts up to 650,000 visitors each year with fans from all ages. This year, I was one of the lucky visitors to set foot on the film location of Hobbiton. I never thought this day would but there I was finally.

Sarah in Hobbit hole

I couldn’t stop smiling while exploring the Hobbiton. It’s like a tiny town filled with Hobbit holes and charming gardens. Visitors can only come in and out through a guided tour for a smoother navigation around the area. For those who wanted to know more about the behind-the-scene trivias, they are advised to stay in the front where the guide usually is. I was there for the photos, to be honest. I’ve had enough LOTR and the Hobbit trivia for a lifetime so I relish every moment I had while in there. I happened to meet fellow Asian travelers so I had help when taking photos with me in it.

No AdmittanceIn some important film locations such as Bilbo’s house, we each took turn being photograph in front of Bilbos gate with the sign ‘No admittance’. It’s a classic photo op since this scene was quite memorable when Gandalf visited Bilbo for the party.

The tour is pretty straight forward and it is easy to wander around the hills and holes. However, it is highly not advisable since you must return with the same group you came in with. Sometimes, we must count off to know if nobody has gone astray.

The tour concluded with a cup of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. It lasted less than 2 hours with tons of stops for photo opportunities. Nevertheless, it is suitable to all fitness level.

A childhood dream came true today. The Hobbit holes are very colorful and well thought of. Even if you are not an LOTR or The Hobbit fan, it is still worth a visit to see and appreciate the amount of effort put into making the film set. It is truly magical in so many ways.

34 thoughts on “Chasing hobbits in New Zealand

    1. Sarah B. Post author

      NZ is definitely an amazing place! I’m already planning my next trip.

      Actually, I’ve already moved my home base to France but I still visit Cebu 1-2 times a year to see my family. Glad to have you on here!


  1. jamozax

    Actually I’ve watched a couple of movies that I’d really love to visit the scene, but I love the ones you’ve discussed here.


  2. sumit

    I would love to go to Ubud, Iceland to see the GOT sets and of course, Hobbiton.i would have gone berserk clicking the pics as I see your lovely pics


  3. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    I would really love to chase hobbits too. I’m a big LOTR fan and have lots ng wished to visit NZ.


  4. Franze Garcia

    It was always my drean to go to NZ, because some of my friends are already there. Thanks for giving me some virtual ride there. Hoping to see more of your travels soon.


  5. Polly Amora

    Maayong adlaw! Oh man! I’m a fan of movie locations though I’ve only been to a few. I’ve learned about this place a few years ago and I seriously want to fly to NZ! Hobbiton is a quirky place!

    ps: UGGGHHH! I’m so jealous right now! I was supposed to travel to Iceland to do the GoT Tour this September but I don’t think I’ll push through. *cries in the corner*


  6. rosannabailey40

    New Zealand is one of my dream holidays and I absolutely love the hobbit! Great photos, thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚


  7. blair villanueva

    These hobbit houses are on my list! I just got my New Zealand tourist visa approval, but it will be effective on September once they reopen. I am excited to experience the new travel bubble.


  8. Elizabeth O

    Ohh, that is really a beautiful place I want to visit someday. Those photos are so inviting, Gonna add this on my bucket lists.



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