While I was sifting through my photos from the 4 days we spent in New Zealand back in March(why I did not take a longer vacation is beyond me!), I realized that I had about 10 pictures of other parts of the country and about 240 pictures of the Hobbit movie set. So these pictures are a good representation of the highlight of this mini trip! But lets not forget the Montreal style bagels we discovered in Aukland.
When I was planning my trip to Australia just about a year ago (I booked my flights at the end of July last year!) my sister told me she had a friend’s wedding to attend in early March in NZ. So we thought a little trip within a trip would be a great addition to my vacation. It cut down my time in Australia but how could I not take advantage of my proximity? Especially once my sister suggested we visit the movie set of Hobbiton. I thought it would be a cool idea but had rather low expectations because I didn’t know anything about the local tourist attraction. Luckily all my expectations were blown out of the water.
I hadn’t expected such a high quality from a movie set almost 20 years old. It was back in 1998 that Peter Jackson’s team flew over a sheep farm and decided that was where they wanted to film Lord of the Rings. Our tour guides told us many fun facts about the making of the set and everything else Hobbit related. Needless to say, my sister Steph and I were in heaven. And after rain every single day we were in New Zealand (oh, except the day we drove to the airport) we were so lucky to have a dry afternoon to visit the movie set. Every little house had something to show what the inhabitant did for a living. Whether it was the fishmonger’s catch of the day or the sweets from the baker on a table on their front yard, you could always identify who lived in each house. What blew me away the most was that the gardens were overflowing with real produce and all of the plants were real. They maintain the grounds so impeccably well and change the produce (and clotheslines) to reflect the different seasons of the year.
After our tour of the homes in Hobbiton, we headed over to the Green Dragon Inn for a pint of ale. They have their own range of beers that are only available at the movie set, and brewed in New Zealand. Then we were all ushered into the dining room where we enjoyed a grand meal (overflowing throughout the tables) and a generous dessert. And they had no problem feeding this vegetarian despite the fact that there probably aren’t any vegetarian hobbits! (I could be the first!?)
It’s definitely an experience to be had, wether you are a fan or the spouse of a fan like my sister’s husband. (He had lots of fun too!)