Facebook Pixel

March 5, 2024

A Magical Visit to Hobbiton

We recently spent four days touring Matamata, the National Park, Taupo, and Rotorua before returning to Auckland and jumping on a cruise ship to Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Wellington, and Tauranga. Excellent weather, splendid company, and many adventures—what more can one ask for?

Going on an adventure!

Our first stop was Hobbiton, which we booked months ago. My husband went under protest. He’s not a Lord of the Rings fan, but he capitulated since our friends wanted to visit Hobbiton. I’ve visited before and loved the experience, so I was happy to return.

We arrived about fifteen minutes before our tour and checked out the gift shop while waiting for our bus. One Lord of the Rings T-shirt—check!

Tours are well-organized, and the buses leave for the shire right on time. They play a short introduction movie on the brief journey and give a little site history.

The Alexander family owns the 1250-acre sheep farm where the actual site is located. The crew built a shell village for the Lord of the Rings movies and dismantled it after filming. When rebuilding the set for the Hobbit Trilogy, the builders used permanent materials, and it took them two years to complete the reconstruction.

Fans showed interest in touring the Shire, so the Anderson family and Peter Jackson started guided tours. The rest is history.

The entrance to Hobbiton

Hobbiton is a magical place. As soon as you enter the gates, the magic takes hold. The gardens, the themed hobbit holes, the smoking chimneys, and the picket fences combine to create a fantasy world. It’s the meticulous attention to detail that sets the village apart. Washing hangs on the lines. Many of the hobbit holes have a theme, giving clues to who lives at that address. There’s the cheesemonger with wheels of cheese, a beekeeper with pots of honey and honeycomb, a fisherman, a baker, and others. Fruit trees and vegetable plots are everywhere.

Hobbit holes

The guide ensured the tour didn’t feel rushed and answered questions while imparting stories about the movies, the actors, and the filming process. There was plenty of time to take photos, take in sweeping country views, and soak in all the minor details.

The Hobbit Hole interiors are another part of the attraction, and they opened in December 2023. They’ve furnished two hobbit holes on Bagshaw Row. The guide splits the group into two, each going through one residence.

Bagshot Row

The interiors are amazing, and once again, the attention to detail is exceptional. There were bedrooms, kitchens, larders, dining rooms, bathrooms, and toilets. Even better, we could touch items, although they frown upon pilfering or souvenir taking. I believe they glue items into place to prevent this. We could sit on beds, take a seat in front of a fire, or at a dining table. You could even take a seat on the toilet. There was so much to look at—the interiors were more extensive than I imagined, and I could’ve explored for much longer.

Hobbit hole interior

Hobbit bedroom

Hobbit interior

Hobbit Hole Interior

Our last stop was at the Green Dragon Inn, where we could have a beer, a cider, or a ginger beer. You can also grab a snack here, but that’s an extra cost.

Green Dragon Inn

The entire tour is two and a half hours long. There is a decent amount of walking (around 2 km), although it’s mostly flat and at a slow pace. There are also bench seats around the site for a brief rest if required. I believe there are golf carts for those with mobility issues, but they must be pre-booked and possibly shared with other patrons. Check the website for further details.

I can’t recommend this tour highly enough, especially the recent addition to Bagshot Row. My skeptical husband enjoyed his visit very much, and I heard him recommending others to go, given the opportunity. I call that a win!

1. Book ahead of time on the website. Don’t leave it to the last minute. We met a tourist from overseas who wanted to visit but couldn’t. Hobbiton had no availability for the following two weeks.
2. The tours go ahead, rain or shine. We were lucky with the weather, but I imagine a rainy day might be muddy underfoot.
3. You don’t need to watch the movies to enjoy your visit, but it will add to your enjoyment. Hubby is a case in point. He watched the first movie years ago, and that was all.


  1. Janie McGaugh

    We visited in 2018 and loved it. Wish they’d had the interior tours at that time!

    • Shelley Munro

      My initial visit was about the same time. I enjoyed it very much then, but the interiors are so well done. A lot of thought has gone into furnishing the rooms, and I loved that we were allowed to sit or touch.

  2. Denise Tiblis

    I was so disappointed when our cruise around NZ was canceled in March 2020 due to the pandemic. This place was on our tour list and I was looking forward to it, as well as a winery tour and several others – some of which you recommended to me. I hope to be able to book another cruise in the near future and finally get to see your beautiful country. I have kept all my literature and emails so I can, hopefully, rebook all my preferred tours.