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Between Monks and Monkeys

A trip to Hobbiton

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 12 May 2013 | Views [727]

Last week we visited the set of Hobbiton, which all "Lord of the Rings" fans will know is the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. The set was almost completely dismantled after LOTR was filmed, but was reconstructed for the filming of "The Hobbit" and is now a major tourist attraction.

It's brilliantly done. There are so many great details - hobbit washing hanging out on the washing lines, tools lying about, flourishing gardens, beautiful carving around the windows and doors of the houses. The Green Dragon has been set up as a pub and function centre, and you get a drink there (cider, beer or ginger beer) as part of the tour of the set. Once again the inside of the Green Dragon has been done with lots of care and detail - check out the fantastic carving of the dragon above the bar, and the community notices pinned up on a pillar. You could easily imagine that Frodo and Sam are going to come in and order an ale.

The tour takes about two hours from the time you get on a bus at The Shires Rest (booking office, gift shop and cafe). Our guide, Lucy,  had lots of knowledge about the set and the filming, and was very good at answering questions. I am a huge LOTR fan (both the books and movies) and expected to enjoy myslelf, but it exceeded my expectations. If you are in the North Island of New Zealand, get yourself to Matamata (near Hamilton) and take the tour. The website is www.hobbitontours.com  (Strangely, Lucy said that about 30% of their visitors have not seen the movies or read the books - but they still enjoy the tour..)

Tags: hobbit, hobbiton, lord of the rings, movie set



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