Today’s post is all about Hobbiton. If Hobbit holes and little round doors don’t get you excited, probably best to go elsewhere and come back next time.
Still with me? Good. Hobbiton is a tourist vortex. Tour buses arrive from the near by towns at all hours and depart for the movie set every 20 minutes. There are people everywhere. And you know what? It’s still awesome. We lucked out and had a bright, sunny day. The tour guides are great, balancing the need to herd groups quickly from stop to stop and let everyone take pictures and look around. The free drink at the Green Dragon (ale, stout, cider, or ginger beer) is a nice touch.
All of the staff was friendly and the other tourists were delightful. What impressed us the most was how much effort went into a location that gets very little screen time. The facades for each of the holes are real brick and wood. Each hole appears to have a unique owner. And yet, I can only think of a couple of scenes actually taking place out in the Shire and not inside Bag End (WETA studios in Wellington) or elsewhere.
One movie tidbit we heard had to do with the laundry on the lines – a crew member was responsible for putting it out every morning and taking it down after filming was done for the day. The reason was to tramp down the grass and make it look like Hobbits actually lived there and made their own paths.
We’ve been all over the two islands at this point. We’ve been multiple areas where the films (LoTR and Hobbit) have taken place. Some look exactly like the film. Our fishing spot was strikingly similar to the border of Lothlorein. Were we in the exact spot? Probably not, but it looked pretty close. The same region is home to Isengard. The glaciers were home to Caradhras (we think). It was nice to be able to root ourselves in a spot and say this was filmed here.
We finished the day at a tea plantation. We enjoyed some delicious whole leaf teas that came off the plants we could see behind us. It was a lovely way to end the day. More pictures here. Only one more day left in NZ!