Te Araroa Trail – Hobbiton Movie Set

Monday, December 4, 2023

For Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit fans I don’t think any explanation is required. For all others – Hobbiton is a fictional town created by JRR Tolkien in his books as named above. It is a village where hobbits live and the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins begin.

The Movie set located in New Zealand was originally created for the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies and subsequently the Hobbit movies.

I traveled to Hobbiton with another Te Araroa hiker named Jazz Hands. He is a fan of both the Movies and the books whereas I have only “read” the books.

The village was very detailed and the structures were of various sizes from about 1/2 human size up to 90% human size in order to use the camera’s perspective to make hobbits look small and Wizards look big.

The tour led us through the village pointing out various details as we went. One of the most spectacular features of the set is a fake oak tree built atop Bag End – Bilbo Baggins house. It was built by hand with thousands of leaves individually attached to the limbs.

The set originally built with just building facades was recently upgraded to include the interiors of two houses on Bagshot Row. We were there on the 4th day after these opened and the detail inside was amazing.

The tour ended with a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon.

Heading back to Hamilton I stopped and picked up a French hitchhiker trying to get into Hamilton Gardens and dropped Jazz Hands off in Whatowhato so he could get back on trail.

I then headed to Rotorua for the next stage of my “vacation”. I arrived about 6:00 and headed to the Polynesian Spa to enjoy the geothermal waters that Rotorua is famous for.

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