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first view once you enter Hobbiton

Hobbiton Movie Tour

Hobbiton, The Shire, Middle-Earth
Alexander Farm, Matamata, New Zealand

*This post contains Hobbiton tour spoilers!* 

This blog post is challenging for me to write. I am no wordsmith, and I cannot accurately describe the beauty and wonder of Hobbiton. It was pure joy for Carlie and me to experience the movie set while on our honeymoon. We both agree that our trip to the Shire was the highlight of our time in New Zealand. If I had to pick one word to describe the Hobbiton movie set, it would be picturesque.

When Carlie and I decided to travel to New Zealand for our honeymoon, the Hobbiton movie set tour was the first experience we booked. We chose to do the evening dinner tour which I wholeheartedly recommend if you can spare the extra coin. I will go into more detail below.

the feast

The drive to Hobbiton is filled with green rolling hills filled with sheep farms.

Seasonal flowers dot the sides of the winding roads leading to the Shire’s Rest (parking, storefront, and café).

Shire’s Rest

The tour starts the minute you get on the bus to head over to the Alexander farm (they don’t allow you to drive yourself in).

headed to Hobbiton

During the short drive, the guides give a detailed account of the history of the farm, the Alexander family, and stories about the actors and film crew during filming LotR and the Hobbit.

 I Think I Will Stay Here Forever

After walking down the rock-walled path into Hobbiton, you are greeted with vegetable gardens,
flowers, and of course hobbit holes dotting the hills and grassy mounds.

the first view once you enter Hobbiton
some gardens

I can’t express how happy and lighthearted I felt walking around the dirt paths between the hobbit holes, picket fences, gardens, and flowers. The attention to detail is visible everywhere you turn. Each hobbit home is decorated according to the profession of the hobbit. The woodcutter and his small lumbering area, the cheese maker, the town bread maker, the small little chimneys sticking out of the hobbit mounds, everywhere you look is beautiful and intricate to look at and behold. My favorite hobbit hole was definitely the beekeeper.

beekeepers home

The tour guides are amazing, happy and energetic, fun to be around, and full of information. They really do love their job (I know I would love to work there). As we followed them around the village, we got to hear all kinds of stories about the creation of the site and the filming of the movies. The tour is incredibly informative and it is hard to take it all in. The evening banquet tour winds through the village and ends at the Green Dragon Tavern.

lantern-lit path leaving Bag End

Because it was an evening in the fall, we got to experience Hobbiton in all lighting, daylight, dusk, and nighttime dance party in the Party Field under the Party Tree.

Feast Fit for a Hobbit

after the feast

The tour concludes with a community banquet dinner inside the Green Dragon Tavern. Another indescribable experience. The long community tables are filled with food fit for hobbits. You gather at a long table with people from all over the world and dine as friends and family, enjoying the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that the tavern has to offer. Carlie and I loved the dinner. The communal aspect of the banquet highlights the hobbit-style of living and partying. Even inside the Green Dragon, everywhere you look is another detail to see and enjoy.

Green Dragon details
Drying herbs in the Green Dragon Inn

Singing in the Rain, Under the Party Tree

After dinner, we were able to experience Hobbiton by lantern light. In the dark, everything is just as magical. In the dark of the Party Field, we gathered as a group, a family if you will, for story time led by our tour guides. They led us in songs and dance and we were treated with the best ending of all, the dark clouds above gave away, and we were all caught singing in the rain under the Party Tree.

Carlie and I were like little kids running around trying to soak up every ounce of happiness and joy this place brought to us. It is like a peaceful excitement. I don’t know the word to use to describe the feeling but it is everywhere in Hobbiton. You are at ease, happy and carefree, and at the same time filled with overflowing excitement. Around every little path, you find another hobbit hole, uniquely decorated, another garden brimming with vegetables and fruit, and another flower bed full of color. Hobbiton is everything you imagine it to be.

Hobbiton, across the lake, as the last light disappears
the details – message board
Green Dragon Inn

Some Hobbiton Movie Tour Logistical Information:

  • pre-booking is essential
  • fully guided tours around the 12-acre set
  • complimentary Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your adventure
  • they offer 6 tour options
  • all tours are walking tours – dirt paths, up and down hills, there may be some steps
  • They also offer special event packages (ie. weddings)
    1. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
      • $84.00 – Adult (17 years and over)
      • $42.00 – Youth (9-16 years)
      • FREE – Child (0-8 years) with a full paying adult- Must have a ticket allocated.
      • Meal
        1. Marquee Festive Feast Lunch (9Yrs +) additional $36.00pp
        2. Brunch (9Yrs +) additional $26.00pp
    2. Evening Banquet Tour (these prices went up effective April 1, 2018)
      • $195 – Adult (17 years and over)
      • $152.50 – Youth (9-16 years)
      • $100 – Child (5-8 years)
      • FREE – Child (0-4 years) with a full paying adult- Must have a ticket allocated.
      • Family/Hobbit-style feast, at The Green Dragon, is included
      • Wednesday & Sunday evenings year round
      • limited bookings (I believe they only take 50)
    3. Private Tours
      • $750 – up to 4 people
      • $79 per additional adult (17+ years)
      • $39.50 per additional youth (9-16 years)
      • FREE per additional child (0-8 years) with a full paying adult
      • Meal:
        1. Marquee Festive Feast Lunch (9Yrs +) additional $35.00pp
      • limited to 6 guests for private tours
    4. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour – Chinese
      • $84.00 – Adult (17 years and over)
      • $42.00 – Youth (9-16 years)
      • FREE – Child (0-8 years) with a full paying adult- Must have a ticket allocated.
      • Meal
        1. Marquee Festive Feast Lunch (9Yrs +) additional $36.00pp
        2. Brunch (9Yrs +) additional $26.00pp
    5. International Hobbit Day Event 22nd of September 2018
      • $295 per person
      • A tour of Hobbiton Movie Set
      • Hobbit Southfarthing beverages on tap throughout the evening
      • Marketplace entertainment
      • Dinner and dessert served from the marketplace and inside the venues
      • Evening lighting tour of Hobbiton Movie Set
    6. Experience the Trilogy
      • Please note: transport between attractions is not included. 
      • The Trilogy Package
        • 45-minute Tour of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waitomo
        • 2-hour tour of Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo
        • 1-hour 45-minute Tour of Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata
        • 4.5-hours exclusive guided tour of Te Puia; Maori welcome ceremony and cultural performance & Māori Feast (traditional indigenous dinner), Rotorua
        • Adult $302
        • Child $141
        • Family $796 (2 adults and 2 children; extra child add $127)
      • The Trilogy Supercharged Package
        • 1-hour 45-minute tour of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Matamata
        • 3-hour Black Labyrinth black water rafting adventure, Waitomo
        • 3.5-hours Maori welcome ceremony and cultural performance at Te Puia Steambox experience, Rotorua
        • Adult $302