Visiting Hobbiton in Matamata, New Zealand

If you’re a big fan of the Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy, then a holiday or vacation to New Zealand is for you. 

When director Peter Jackson spotted Alexander Farm in Matamata during an aerial search of the North Island for the best possible locations to film The Lord of The Rings, he immediately thought it was perfect for Hobbiton. 

The New Zealand Army was contracted to build 1.5km of road into the farm’s property to begin the set’s development.  Site construction started in March 2009 for nine months and filming commenced in December 2009.  During filming, nearly 400 people were on set.

HobbitonVisiting Hobbiton today

Today, fans of the Lord of the Rings films can visit the leftover film site of Hobbiton.

Although some of the original village was demolished after filming, enough remains for the visitor to imagine life as a hobbit, including 17 of the original 37 hobbit holes made of untreated timber, ply, and polystyrene – including Bag End, home to Bilbo and Frodo. 

A 1250-acre sheep and beef farm, visitors can go on the Sheep Farm Experience and learn about traditional New Zealand sheep farming practices while they explore Hobbiton.  Weary travellers can stop by the Shire’s Rest café for a meal, snack, or afternoon tea. 

Hobbiton is located in Matamata, a small agricultural town nestled at the base of the beautiful Kaimai ranges in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. The lush, dairy-farming landscape here successfully portrayed the peaceful Shire region of Middle-earth.  Tours are available from the nearby towns of Matamata or Rotorua. 

The Hobbit begins production in Hobbiton

 The Hobbit is set to begin shooting in New Zealand in March 2010. Director Guillermo Del Toro has already moved his family to Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, to begin the intensive pre-production phase.

Locations in New Zealand as well as cast are still to be confirmed, however redevelopment has started in Matamata at Hobbiton, and Sir Ian McKellen has announced he will be returning as Gandalf.

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