Hobbit Fan Fellowship: Real Middle-earth Diaries

A company of the world’s most passionate Hobbit fans have been on an unexpected adventure – travelling through New Zealand on a real life Middle-earth experience.

The fans visited locations and saw landscapes made famous by both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies throughout New Zealand’s North and South Islands - real places they’d already seen on the big screen. And, topping off their dream journey, they met celebrated film director Sir Peter Jackson for a preview screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies at his private studio in Wellington – four weeks ahead of the official London première.

The fan journey set off as global anticipation builds for the 11 December release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) - the third and final film in the filmmaker’s epic The Hobbit Trilogy.

Up to 75 lucky Hobbit fans from 25 countries were the winners of the global Fan Fellowship Contest run by Warner Bros, Air New Zealand - the official airline of Middle-earth - and Tourism New Zealand.

Follow their Fan Fellowship adventures here as they travelled through Middle-earth posting daily video diaries.

Fan preview: Hobbit Fan Fellowship reaches journey's end

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship contest winners were treated to the ultimate celebration at their journey’s end.

Their dream adventure concluded with a celebration of the Fan Fellowship and the success of the contest at Sir Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production Ltd. in Wellington, where they were invited to be among the first in the world to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, followed by a private Q&A with Jackson and key members of his filmmaking team.

Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Real Middle-earth Diary: Day Five

Day FIVE: Hobbit Fan Fellowship meets movie magic

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship visits Wellington – New Zealand’s creative capital, variously known as ‘Wellywood’ and ‘Middle of Middle-earth’ – for some real VIP movie magic.

Arriving at Wellington International Airport, the fans were welcomed by creative maestro Sir Richard Taylor for the unveiling of Weta Workshop’s latest giant installation – a fearsome fire-breathing Smaug that joins the gigantic eagles already swooping through the airport’s main passenger concourse.

Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Real Middle-earth Diary: Day Five

 
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship took time out to experience some of the thrills and chills in Queenstown’s great outdoors. Middle-earth is everywhere in Queenstown - from the deep greens and blue hues of the ever-changing lake vistas and the restful dappled shadows of the beech forests on the shoreline, to the tops of great craggy mountain ranges.
 
Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Real Middle-earth Diary: Day Four
 
 
The Hobbit Fan Fellowship is in Paradise as the Fellowship continue their search for more Middle-earth magic. Day three saw the fans fly south to Queenstown. New Zealand’s adventure capital and the scene of countless battle scenes from The Hobbit Trilogy.
 
While in Queenstown the Fan Fellowship visited Paradise - an area renowned for its beautiful backdrops, used to depict the perfect Middle-earth in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogies. The fans also had the chance to experience the site of the Pillar of Kings, home of the Kawarau Bungy and Zipline.
 
Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Real Middle-earth Diary: Day Three
 
 
Emotions ran high and shutters ran hot as an army of fervent Hobbit fans discovered the real Hobbiton Movie Set for the first time. 
 
Hobbits, Elves and Dwarves – winners and guests of The Hobbit Fan Fellowship – followed in the footsteps of their big-screen heroes, knocking on famous doors, feasting and listening to insider stories from actors and the owners of the farm that became a film set in the lush agricultural area of Matamata - in the Hamilton - Waikato region of the North Island.
 
Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Real Middle-earth Diary: Day two
 

Day ONE: Hobbit Fan Fellowship arrives in Middle-earth

Gearing up for the final big screen journey to Middle-earth with the December release of The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, the third film in Sir Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit Trilogy, an army of up to 75 keen Hobbit fans, their guests and around 40 high profile international media have converged on New Zealand for The Hobbit Fan Fellowship, a six day Middle-earth adventure.

From Auckland the Fellowship were whisked away to the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua. Here fans received a traditional welcome at Te Puia – one of New Zealand’s most prominent Māori cultural centres.

At Te Puia the Fellowship watched the world famous Pohutu Geyser – an active volcanic zone of geysers, boiling mud and thermal pools on the outskirts of Rotorua – in all its glory, before cross cultural relations were given work out as Hobbit Fan Fellowship members from USA, France, England and Asia learn to perform a traditional Maori haka.

Downloadable images above - exclusive video content: Day one: Real Middle-earth Diary

To keep up-to-date with the Fellowship via social media check out the #HobbitFanContest

About the Hobbit Fan Fellowship journey

The multi-national Fan Fellowship flew into Auckland, rated the third most liveable city in the world, and travelled on to Rotorua, New Zealand’s famous, long-standing tourist destination, where they were welcomed with a Māori cultural performance and traditional hangi banquet (cooked in an authentic underground oven).

Their next stop was the Hobbiton Movie Set near Matamata in the Waikato region for a private tour of the picturesque shire which is the big-screen home of Bilbo Baggins. At Hobbiton, the fans were treated to a country feast in the comapny of four dwarves from The Hobbit Trilogy - Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori), John Callen (Oin) and Stephen Hunter (Bombur).

The fan journey continued south to Queenstown in the South Island. Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital and the scene of countless battle scenes from The Hobbit Trilogy. The Fan Fellowship not only had the chance to walk in the footsteps of their heroes through Paradise but also visited the site of the Pillar of Kings, home of the Kawarau Bungy and Zipline.

The journey ended in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city and Sir Peter Jackson’s home town, for a private screening of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Better known as ‘Wellywood’, Wellington is the home of Sir Peter’s filmmaking operations, which has become a must-stop for film fans visiting New Zealand.

The Hobbit Fan Fellowship Journey was recorded by a group of high-profile international and New Zealand media who captured the highlights for global television, print and online outlets.

The fans’ journey was supported by Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and New Line Cinema, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, which will handle the worldwide theatrical distribution of The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies later this year, along with MGM in select territories.