This is a blog entry about my trip to Hobbiton. It’s mostly photos. Some of you will think this is cheating, while others will be glad that I’ve shut up for once. Anyway, the main reason it’s a photo entry is because I because I was too busy taking pictures to listen to any of the tour, so I learned nothing and have too many photos. Classic Me.
Anyway, brief introduction: Hobbiton is the movie set that serves as The Shire in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Nestled in a 1250 acre sheep and beef farm outside the rural town of Matamata, it was first built in 1999 using machinery provided by the New Zealand army. Initially it was made of temporary materials and dismantled after filming for Lord of the Rings. When the set was rebuilt for filming on The Hobbit, it was deliberately constructed of more permanent materials to allow it to be maintained as a tourist attraction. The Shire is an important part of the Middle Earth films, and Hobbiton is the setting for the first acts of Fellowship of the Ring and An Unexpected Journey. It also features at the conclusion of Return of the King.
And here it is on a beautiful day… Oh also I post-processed (sacrilege!) the photos to make them look more like film publicity shots. (Basically just whacked up the warmth and saturation.)
This is a fairly self-explanatory photo.
One of the many hobbit holes dotted around The Shire. Most of them are just facades, although some have rudimentary interiors that serve as storage spaces.
There are duplicates of some of the hobbit holes, built to different scales. This allowed director Peter Jackson to film human characters against the smaller sets and hobbit characters against the larger ones.
Our excellent guide, endlessly patient with the fact that the Brazilians and I were miles behind everyone else, still taking photos. She’s probably talking about something really interesting.
Hobbit holes and tourists as far as the eye can see.
A view over The Shire.
You can see the detail put into the set, including fake vegetables that I really wanted to steal.
I live in Hobbiton now.
The famous Bag End, home of Bilbo and later Frodo Baggins. (In the films, you understand. They aren’t real.)
I met Cristiane from Brazil on the bus. Brazilians take a lot of photos, even by my standards. Anyway, after her camera died (from taking too many photos), I stepped in.
Cristiane attempting to break into a hobbit hole. Again.
The famous tree at the top of Hobbiton had each one of its leaves painted green by hand after Peter Jackson decided they weren’t naturally green enough.
Here I am, resisting the urge to pretend to climb the tiny ladder beside me.
Here I am, succumbing to temptation. IT’S A HILARIOUS TINY LADDER, HOW CAN ONE RESIST?
Cristiane and I posing for the next front cover of Shire Real Estate, a must for all Hobbits wanting to climb the property ladder (instead of hilarious tiny ladders).
The lake that separates Hobbiton from The Green Dragon.
A classic movie location on a beautiful day. A worthy pilgrimage for any film or LotR fan.
The Green Dragon: Hobbiton’s inn and a working pub.
Inside the Green Dragon. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more excited: free cider!