The Real Life Hobbiton

I couldn’t visit New Zealand and not see the verdant rolling hills that were transformed into J.R.R. Tolkein’s imaginative creation of Hobbiton, the tiny community inhabited by Hobbits in his fantastical world of Middle Earth. After flying out of Christchurch and being very well cared for by our new friends Katy and Paddy, we landed in Auckland for the final few days of our epic life-changing six month adventure abroad.

After leaving the airport, we headed over to a local car rental and got ourselves a nice left-hand driving car for our stay in the city. Actually, we were situated just on the outskirts, very close to the airport where the pickings were cheap (by this time, our finances had run very thin and we’d soon need to be returning to Canada to begin to rebuild our savings). The agent helping us looked fairly suspicious after asking me if I’d driven left-hand before and I responded that I’d done so on a motorbike all throughout Asia. Nevertheless, we got our car and were on our way.

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Looked a little different back in 2013!

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An absolute must for us was to head about an hour and a half out of the city near a town called Matamata to visit the set where “Hobbiton” was created for the Lord of the Rings movies as well as the Hobbit trilogy. This area of New Zealand’s north island is known for horse breeding and racing. After booking a tour through Hobbiton Tours, we made our way to Matamata and hopped on a bus which took us deeper into the sprawling farmland after providing us with some knowledge on the equestrian culture.

Before arriving at the set, we were taken to a sheep farm where a farmer demonstrated the process in which a herding dog coerces a flock of sheep and forces them to group together. It was an interesting demonstration and the dogs are extremely well trained and skilled.IMG_3126IMG_3130

Hobbiton was a gorgeous area, and looked identical to how it looks in the movie. We re-watched The Fellowship of the Ring soon afterward and couldn’t believe that we were literally walking through the entire area so recently. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

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Bilbo Baggins home as he preps for his 110th birthday party

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Drinks inside the Green Dragon tavern

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Our visit to Matamata and Hobbiton was a neat little side trip unlike anything we’d done on this adventure so far. With only a couple of days left to explore Auckland, our trip was coming to a close and would signal a turning point in our lives from which there would be no return. Simply put, there is a stark line between life before this and life after this. Occasionally, I wish I could go back to the before, knowing what lies before me. But that’s not how life works, nor should it. This happened exactly as it should have as here I am, perfectly content with things as they stand. Still, the wrap up will not be easy.

27 thoughts on “The Real Life Hobbiton

  1. Thank you so much for these pictures! This place is one both my wife and I want to visit as we love lord of the rings (okay I am the bigger geek who has read everything about middle earth and revolving around it multiple times + playing still lord of the rings online).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything about this screams amazing! Is it possible to actually live in Hobbiton? Please say yes.

    Also, I can’t help but feel curious as to why you occasionally wish things could go back to the way they were before this trip. You are under no obligation to answer this if you don’t want to, but what do you mean by, “the wrap up will not be easy?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol I wish you could live there
      The property is a tourist attraction so I don’t think there is anywhere to live there, but the surrounding areas (which span for quite a distance) I’m sure there is property there. As far as the wrap up…I finished this trip in November 2013, it was 6 months total. It’s why I started this blog and I’ve had the privilege of reliving it through my writing. I only have 1 or 2 articles left to write on this particular trip so it’ll be sad to wrap up. It was my first backpacking trip and has set quite a high standard of travelling for both myself and Teresa.

      Liked by 1 person

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