The Hobbiton Movie Set is known to be a magical experience as visitors traverse The Shire depicted in the Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.
The Hobbiton Movie Set - an idyllic landscape of green rolling hills and lovingly tended farmland, where Hobbit Holes are framed by wild flowers and bumbling bees - is a glorious experience for Tolkien fans and tourists. So much so it has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most loved attractions.
In just a few short years the Hobbiton Movie Set has undergone an incredible transformation. From lush countryside housing lifeless Hobbit Holes made from white polystyrene, to an immovable set playing host to over 40 Hobbit Holes on the only remaining set in New Zealand, bursting with colour and film-star sparkle.
Hobbiton Movie Set tours are now taking the experience to a new level as they bring Hobbiton ‘to life.’ While they once sat darkened after hours, Hobbit Holes throughout The Shire are now wired with power, giving tour operators the ability to offer twilight tours with the set spectacularly lit against a dusk sky.
Illumination of key landmarks
New developments at Hobbiton include the illumination of other key landmarks; the Mill, the Bridge, the Party Tree and The Green Dragon Inn will all be lit. A mesmerising lightshow can also be viewed from some iconic locations as seen in The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies.
Day visitors to Hobbiton can also enjoy the new effects. Various Hobbit Hole chimneys will billow smoke into the sky. The faint sound of flutes and fiddles will float through the air and the twitch of a random curtain is sure to capture the attention of curious visitors.
The entire Hobbiton Movie Set has been redecorated with barrels, carts and new props, giving life to The Shire. A new shop selling The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit Trilogy merchandise, located at The Shires Rest where the Hobbiton Movie Set journey begins, is on track to open in December.
Oak tree releafed
The infamous oak tree that sits above Bag End has also received some recent attention. The towering tree has been painstakingly releafed with 376,000 leaves.
Hobbiton Movie Set’s General Manager, Russell Alexander said the developments are a great addition to an already impressive tour - especially with the release of the second instalment of The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 13.
"These are exciting times for us to be bringing Hobbiton in The Shire to life and embrace the release of the second movie ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’. Russell said.
Visits double again
The Hobbiton Movie Set has seen visits double again for the fourth successive year, with over 200,000 visitors expected to visit the set in 2013/2014. The 1250 acres (500 hectares) of farmland in which the set is housed is located in Matamata, the agricultural region of Waikato on the North Island of New Zealand.
Hobbiton Movie Set Tours currently run every 15 minutes from The Shires Rest from 9.30am until 4.30pm. From December 15 tours will increase to every 10 minutes. From December 26 the last tour will be 5.30pm.
Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around the first film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey showed 82% of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand.
With the release of the second instalment of The Hobbit Trilogy, visitors looking to experience what it’s like to live like a Hobbit for a few hours can do so at the Hobbiton Movie set - a truly unique slice of New Zealand’s Middle-earth.