The Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand is one of the most sought after adventures you can do in the whole country. It’s the most known setting from the record breaking movie trilogy called Lord of the Rings and it attracts thousands of travellers every year. It has been invented by the world famous director Sir Peter Jackson, who among others was also the creative brain behind the movies King Kong and District 9.
For a geek like me, this is definitely one of the coolest places to visit in New Zealand. I have to say that I had different expectations. I thought it might be a little bit like visiting a very boring museum, but instead it was very informing and exactly like you see it in the movies. You can actually even take a picture with a big Gandalf statue, but before I get into detail I want to give you an update on the general informations you need to know before doing a Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand.
Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand – General information
Generally a Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand is something you just have to do when visiting this country. This movie setting is situated on a property, which has been picked by Sir Peter Jackson to use it as the setting where Froddo and his Hobbit friends start their journey. At first he only wanted to use it until the filmings are over, but the property has been kept, because so many fans wanted to see this place with its 44 Hobbit Holes in the heart of Waikato.
Today hundred thousands of people do the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand per year, which simultaneously is an incredible and crazy number. There is almost no other movie setting on planet earth that gets visited that much. This outstanding result not only comes from the great story and the detailed setting, but also from the fact, that the company, which is running the location, offers various kind of tours. Besides the trilogy-, movie set- and banquet tour, there even is a special Chinese tour showing the magic of this movie set.
How to get there
Hobbiton is located almost exactly in the middle of northern New Zealand. It’s quite close to the Tongariro mountains. To get there from Auckland you’ll need round about 2h. If you come from Hamilton, Taurango or Rotorua, then you can probably calculate with 45 minutes.
The only ways to get there are by car, tour bus or motorbike, unless you want to hitchhike. I would highly recommend the motorcycle, if you have the money for renting one. It will be expansive, but definitely worth it, because you just get an incredible feeling of freedom when driving through the scenic landscape of New Zealand. Additionally, just like with a car, you have the option to stop wherever you want. So you’re ultimately just way more independent.
Taking the bus is good if you want to save money. They are quite cheap for Kiwi standards, but many of them come with a transport-tour combination. You’ll find heaps of them on the internet. I went with Kiwi Experience, which I can highly recommend.
Before going on the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand you should definitely check the weather forecast. I went there on a rainy day, which was not as great as it’s suppose to be. Don’t get me wrong, it was still great, but the whole experience could have been even better with good weather, since the scenery of Hobbiton and everything around it are absolutely beautiful.
Most people do the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand during summer (November to March) where the temperature goes up to 30°C+. During winter it drops down below 5°C. Like you can imagine, during summer it’s sunny most of the time, whereas it’s rainy oftentimes during the winter. In between it really depends on the current weather situation.
Many people say, that a Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand is the best during Spring, since nature starts to show its full beauty again. Lush fields of daffodils, cherry blossom, wild lupins, pretty rhododendrons and all kind of other flowers in different colours are blooming in “the Shire” during this period of the year.
Before you attempt to do the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand, its probably a good idea to sort out your accommodation first. To find something is not that difficult. There are various good hotels and hostels around. I prefer hostels, since they are pretty cheap and you probably only gonna stay for a short time anyway.
Most hostels in New Zealand have a pretty decent standard anyway, so it might be a good idea to save some money. If you rather want to go for a proper hotel or guest house, you don’t have to worry. You’ll find lots of options in the proximity.
To name a couple good hotels/ hostels:
This section is relative. It really depends on if you’re a LOTR fan or not. For people, who are not really interested in the movies it might be quite “expensive”, but for travellers, who love the world famous movie series, the price is relatively low 🙂
The Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand itself is the most expensive part from all you have to consider. Here is an overview for your personal calculation:
- Transportation: variable
- Food: 10-15$+ NZD if selfmade
- Accommodation: 30$+ for a hostel (50$+ for a hotel)
- Tour: 84$ – 119$ NZD for adults, depending on starting point (Matamata or Rotorua)
I can tell you this from my own personal experience: If you like Lord of the Rings, then don’t think about the money, definitely go for the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand and just enjoy it. And even if you don’t like it, go for it anyway… 😉
There are a couple things you should definitely have in mind, if you want to do the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand:
- Bring a good photo & video camera – This is a once in a lifetime thing
- Bring a rain jacket and water proofed trousers – Weather conditions can change quickly in New Zealand
- Take some extra cash with you for souvenirs and food/ drinks in the tavern
- If you want to save money on food, BYO
- Pre-book the Hobbiton one day tour – They can be sold out very quickly and booking on spot doesn’t always work
Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand – Highlights
Since the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand is relatively short in time and distance, there are not that many highlights in comparison to other adventures of the country like the Tongariro Crossing for example.
Still, there are a handful of really cool things, especially if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan.
A big positive thing to mention is that the guides are really professional, so if you don’t have any clue about the movie, you’ll be way wiser after the tour. Promised! 🙂
The overall scenery respectively setting is the first thing I have to mention as a highlight from the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand. Everything you can see is set up with love and passion. Additionally the constructors did extremly detailed work. The Hobbit Holes, where the Hobbits live in, actually really look like proper houses. One or two are actually walkable, so that you can see how the Hobbit Holes look like from the inside. All the others have only been used as mock-ups.
Hobbiton is situated in a beautiful evergreen valley (Kaimai Ranges) and on top of a hill you can actually also see the big tree where Froddo and Gandalf drove by in one of the first movie scenes from the first part – The Fellowship of the Ring.
Houses of Bilbo & Samwise
Bilbo’s house and the one of Samwise are big highlights of the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand. You can see the frontdoor of them from outside. Bilbo’s Hobbit Holes is actually wlakable, but we were not allowed to get in on that day. But you get to sneak a peek, if you ask politely. The sights are just two out of 44 the houses/ Hobbit Holes in total. You’ll pass them in the middle part of the tour.
Generally you’re allowed to take pictures of everything you see. Bilbo’s house and the one of Samwise are two of the main photography subjects for most visitors, because they just looks extremly cool and they are a milestone from the story of Middle Earth.
Open space firework
Another highlight you’ll recognize during the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand is the open space, where the big firework takes place in the first movie of the trilogy.
The film crew has even set up Middle Earth looking like tents and benches, which are all still standing.
The Mill is one of the coolest buildings you can see during the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand. It’s the one you can see in a particular movie scene in the first part of the trilogy where Gandalf and Froddo take a ride together on the carriage.
Besides that fact, it also might be the prettiest building in all of Hobbiton. Just like all the other ones it has been built only for the purpose of creating the movie. Sir Peter Jackson gave it a really old look, which perfectly fits into the scenery.
Green Dragon Pub
Last but not least I have to mention the Green Dragon Pub as one of the big highlights during the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand. Not only because it’s my favourite place in Hobbiton, but also because it’s the one, which most other people consider to be the best.
It is quite big and it looks very old from the outside with its wooden material and the lovely thatch roof. From the inside it’s actually even cooler. Everything is made out of old wood. It includes a fireplace as well as a bar where you can order some drinks. A good beer is perfect to end the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand.
But the coolest thing about it is that you can book this tavern as a weeding location for round about 3.500$ NZD. Everyone would have to dress up as characters from Lord of the Rings and get wild.
Imagine that: dancing around as Froddo Baggins with your friends Samwise, Gandalf and all the others. I know, almost no girl would like that, but I think its fricking amazing 🙂
Overall I can only highly recommend to do the Hobbiton one day tour in northern New Zealand, because it just belongs to this country and it will be a major highlight from your journey through the whole north island.
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