Hobbiton tour from Auckland
Hobbiton at Matamata is the only Lord of the Rings film set remaining in New Zealand. All others all around New Zealand were completely cleared away and they were returned to their natural state.
I joined a Movie Set Tour to Hobbiton, with FreewheelingNZ.com. I was picked up at my accommodation in Auckland at 8a.m. and drove through the countryside toward Matamata. While driving, an overhead monitor gave me lots of information about New Zealand.
We had a short break in Huntly.
Luxury tour minibus. It was roomy inside and I could enjoy my travel in comfort. FreewheelingNZ.com also operated some tours for visiting the filming locations of "The Last Samurai". It sounds interesting, but unfortunatly I'm not a fan of Tom Cruise....
By the way, what is the word "Uruchi"?
The Shire's Rest
After a 2 hour drive from Auckland, I arrived at the Shire's Rest. It was in front of the entrance of the sheep farm, where Hobbiton was created, and I waited to be picked up by the official tour bus. Because Hobbiton is on a private farm, we aren't allowed to visit there by ourselves. So everyone has to take the official 2 hours guided tour.
The Shire's Rest and my tour guide, Robert. He was waiting here until I came back.
On the other side of the road was a farm including Hobbiton.
After a short time, I got on the tour bus that picked up lots of tourists at Matamata. The bus, which was named "Gandalf", went through the gate and drove on the dirt road.
There were grassy rolling hills streching as far as the eyes could see in all directions.
Sign board on the top of the hill overlooking Hobbiton
Hobbiton is down that hill. Hobbiton is the place in the Shire where the Hobbits lived in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Hobbiton movie set was created around that pond in the background.
There used to be catering, costumes, make up caravans, technical carpark and an animal kingdom around the field. So there were a few color markes to show where they had been. The tour guide was great. He showed us the photo boards and told us what it looked like during filming.