Before we go into the post ‘is the Hobbiton movie set worth a visit?’, I would say it’s a valid question as the entrance ticket is rather expensive and it takes a while to get there from Auckland (about 2 hours). For instance, the entrance ticket for adults is NZD84 and it’s about a 30 minute detour from the main road that we were travelling on. Hence, visiting Hobbiton is an investment of both money and time.
You can only go on a mandatory guided tour – which is pretty informative in my opinion, and there’s a free mug of beer waiting for you at the end of the tour. If you are a big Lord of the Rings fan, I would say that the experience is quite priceless. In our case, we didn’t check the ticket price before coming and paid for the tour since we had come a long way.
Is the Hobbiton movie set worth a visit?
It depends on your love for Lord of the Rings
I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy but have yet to watch the Hobbit film series. The Shire was my favourite part of the series – it represented my ideal kind of life in the Middle Ages, where everyone was contented, happy and living without a care (with lots of beer). I also loved the soundtrack which accompanied the Shire’s setting. In the video above, you can see scenes from the Shire, and those can be found right in the Hobbiton movie set.
Places we saw on the guided tour
As shared earlier, the guided tour of 2 hours is mandatory. I suppose the management doesn’t want visitors wondering around and stamping on the grass patches. Hobbiton is set in a working sheep farm in New Zealand and there are sheep grazing just a couple of metres away. The farm was found by location scouts some years ago. It was selected due to the rolling hills and a fine pine tree by the side of the lake.
You will first board a bus to the Hobbiton set. Along the way, there will be a short introduction by the guide and a video will be played on the bus featuring scenes from the movie and a short soundbite from Peter Jackson. It appears that the Lord of the Rings film crew and the farm owner got along very well together. Help was also rendered by the New Zealand army for creation of the set. Today, there are 44 permanently reconstructed Hobbit Holes and the Green Dragon Inn which functions as a working bar.
You will not get to see the interior of the Hobbit holes as they are filmed in the studio
Do note that the scenes featuring the interior of the Hobbit holes, like in Bilbo Baggins’ house, were not filmed on site but in the studio. You will not get to see the interior of the Hobbit holes during the tour. We were told that the size of the actors were digitally shrank to fit the size of the hobbit holes as those are about 1.3m – 1.6m in height.
At the end of the tour, you’ll be served with a selection of beer, cider or ginger ale at the Green Dragon, one of the inns in the Shire where Frodo frequents.
The Travelling Squid’s Take
I thought the visit to Hobbiton was a unique experience. Lord of the Rings is one of my favourite films and it was nice to see places from the Shire in person. I thought the ticket price was rather hefty but if you’re die-hard fan, it’s definitely worth it. After all, one of the reasons that brought me to New Zealand was Lord of the Rings. Till today, I still remember the epic mountains featured in LOTR, and in this particular case, undulating hills with little homes carved into them. The Shire was also one of my favourite scenes in Lord of the Rings as it represented pure innocence, joy and friendship. Is the Hobbiton movie set worth a visit? It’s definitely up to you, just take note of the hefty entrance fee!