When we settled on New Zealand as our holiday destination, the first thing I decided I wanted to do was see Hobbiton- the movie set that depicts The Shire in The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit movies.
The set was built in the middle of a 1250 acre sheep and cattle farm outside of Matamata, originally for The Lord Of The Rings. When filming was over, it was dismantled, and then rebuilt permanently when The Hobbit was being made.
The only way to view Hobbiton is by guided tour, so we left Auckland at 6am in order to take it all in.
Stepping into Hobbiton is like stepping into a Shirley Barber fairyland book. I won’t say too much in case you are fortunate enough to go yourselves, but the attention to detail is mind-blowing, and the guides fill you in along the way with novel facts and small mistakes that you can see in the movies if you know where to look.
If you are planning a trip to Hobbiton, I would recommend going on a late afternoon, or an Evening Banquet Tour. We were lucky enough to have a cloudless sky and perfect weather, but it rendered a lot of my photos unusable.