Exploring the Enchanting World of Hobbiton: A Guide to the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand

By: MapQuest Travel  | 
Iconic Location: The set features 44 Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, and lush gardens, all nestled in a picturesque landscape. Donovan Kelly / Pexels

Welcome to the breathtaking world of Hobbiton, the iconic movie set from the beloved 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Hobbit' trilogies. Nestled in the picturesque countryside of New Zealand, Hobbiton brings to life the enchanting Shire, where hobbits dwell in their charming little homes. Whether you're a die-hard fan of the movies or simply seeking a magical experience, a visit to Hobbiton is an absolute must. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the fascinating details of this incredible movie set, from its creation to practical information for planning your visit.


The Creation of Hobbiton

The story of Hobbiton begins in 1998 when Peter Jackson and his team scoured New Zealand for the perfect location to depict the idyllic Shire. Their search led them to the Alexander farm in Waikato, with its rolling green pastures, a picturesque hill, and a magnificent pine tree by a serene lake – the embodiment of J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptions. A temporary set was built, and filming for the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy commenced in 1999.

Following the immense success of the movies, Peter Jackson returned in 2009 to film 'The Hobbit' trilogy. This time, the decision was made to create a permanent set, complete with 44 Hobbit Holes and the iconic Green Dragon Inn. In 2012, the Hobbiton Movie Set opened its doors to the public, quickly becoming one of New Zealand's most sought-after tourist destinations.


Location and Getting There

Hobbiton is located just outside of Matamata, a small town on the North Island of New Zealand. If you're traveling from Auckland, it's a scenic 2-hour drive through charming towns and rural roads. Alternatively, there are bus tours available from Auckland that provide transport to and from Hobbiton, making it a convenient option for those without a vehicle.


Choosing the Right Tour

When planning your visit to Hobbiton, it's important to choose the right tour that suits your preferences and budget. Here are the main tour options available:

1. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

The classic Hobbiton tour is the most popular choice among visitors. This tour lasts approximately 2 hours and takes you on a guided walking tour through the Shire. You'll have the opportunity to explore the 44 Hobbit Holes, learn fascinating insights about the movies and the set, and even enjoy a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Tickets for this tour can be booked online in advance.


2. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Lunch

For a more immersive experience, consider the tour that includes lunch at the Shire's Rest Cafe. This small-group tour provides a deeper exploration of Hobbiton and allows you to enjoy a delicious Hobbit-themed lunch. The tour lasts approximately 8 hours and offers a more personal and in-depth encounter with the movie set.

3. Early-bird Access Tour

If you prefer a quieter and more exclusive experience, the early-bird access tour is perfect for you. This tour allows you to be one of the first groups to explore Hobbiton in the morning, before the crowds arrive. You'll have more time to take in the beauty of the Shire and capture stunning photos without the distractions of other visitors. Additionally, this tour includes transport from Auckland, making it a convenient option for those staying in the city.

4. Banquet Dinner Tour

For a truly magical and unforgettable experience, the evening banquet tour is a must-do. This tour combines the enchantment of Hobbiton with a delightful banquet feast at the Green Dragon Inn. You'll be treated to a sumptuous meal in the heart of the Shire, surrounded by the whimsical ambiance of the movie set. This tour is particularly popular and often sells out quickly, so it's advisable to book in advance.


Exploring the Hobbiton Movie Set

Once you embark on your chosen tour, you'll be transported into the enchanting world of Hobbiton. As you walk through the lush green landscapes and winding paths of the Shire, you'll be captivated by the attention to detail and the magical atmosphere that surrounds you. Here are some highlights of what you can expect during your visit:

The Charming Hobbit Holes

The Hobbit Holes, the delightful homes of the hobbits, are the true stars of the movie set. As you wander through the village, you'll come across these whimsical dwellings built into the hillside. Each Hobbit Hole is uniquely designed and adorned with intricate details, creating an authentic and immersive experience. While you can't enter the houses, you can peer through the windows and marvel at the carefully crafted props that give each home its distinct personality.


The Green Dragon Inn

No visit to Hobbiton is complete without a stop at the Green Dragon Inn. This iconic establishment, featured in the movies, offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere where you can relax and indulge in a complimentary drink. Raise a glass to your Middle-earth adventure as you soak in the rustic charm of the pub and reminisce about the memorable scenes that were filmed here.

The Beautiful Gardens and Landscapes

Hobbiton is a place of natural beauty, with vibrant gardens and picturesque landscapes that transport you into a fairytale realm. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, admire the colorful flowers, and imagine yourself living in this idyllic setting. Every corner of Hobbiton is meticulously maintained, and the lush greenery and serene surroundings create a sense of tranquility and escape from the outside world.

Behind-the-Scenes Stories

Throughout your tour, your knowledgeable guide will share captivating behind-the-scenes stories and insights into the making of the movies. Learn about the incredible attention to detail that went into creating Hobbiton, from the intentional variations in door sizes to the meticulous aging of fences and props. Gain a deeper appreciation for the dedication and passion of the filmmakers and crew who brought this magical world to life.


Best Time to Visit Hobbiton

Hobbiton is a year-round destination, and the best time to visit largely depends on your personal preferences. The North Island of New Zealand enjoys a mild and comfortable climate throughout the year, making it suitable for exploration regardless of the season. Whether you visit during the lush green summer months or the golden hues of autumn, you'll be captivated by the beauty of Hobbiton. Keep in mind that it's advisable to book your tour in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred time slot.


Where to Stay

While Hobbiton itself does not offer accommodation, there are several options nearby where you can extend your stay and fully immerse yourself in the enchantment of the region. Matamata, the closest town to Hobbiton, has a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. From cozy bed and breakfasts to luxury lodges, you'll find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after your Hobbiton adventure.



A visit to Hobbiton is an unforgettable experience that transports you into the magical world of Middle-earth. Whether you're a fan of the movies or simply seeking a unique and enchanting adventure, Hobbiton offers a glimpse into the beauty and charm of the Shire. From the meticulously crafted Hobbit Holes to the cozy ambiance of the Green Dragon Inn, every aspect of the movie set is designed to captivate and inspire. Plan your visit to Hobbiton and embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

So pack your bags, embark on an epic adventure, and prepare to be enchanted by the enchanting world of Hobbiton. Remember, "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."


This article was created using AI technology.