Hobbiton / Lord of the Rings movie set tour at Matamata review

Few weeks ago, when Calla's cousin was visiting from New York, we decided to go on a short road trip to Matamata. For those who don't know, Matamata is the area where Sir Peter Jackson shot the scenes of Hobbiton for his famous Lord of the Rings trilogy movies. We were actually pretty lucky  to see the actual hobbit houses used in the movie sets because if you were to visit few years ago, the entire area was torn down after completing the shoot for LOTR.

Photo credits: wandermelon.com
But now it's been restored as Sir Peter Jackson re-used the area to film his next trilogy, The Hobbit. Seeing that this is now a famous landmark for tourist attraction, they have decided to leave the hobbit houses as it is. I mean really, who would wanna travel all the way here just to see holes in the ground?

The journey to get to the movie set from Auckland City wasn't too bad although once we got into Buckland Road, we were a bit lost as the GPS does not actually lead you directly to the Shire's Rest. But after a quick call to the tour company, we found our way and got there in no time! I know normally I would put up pictures of my visits for this blog but for this trip, it is definitely a must to capture the place with videos!

If you're a huge Lord of the Rings fan, this place is definitely your heaven. You'll also get to hear stories from tour guides who helped out with production during the filming of the movie. Our tour guide for that day was also involved with the production of LOTR filming. He was in charge of transporting the hobbits from their makeup room to the film set and claimed that that was one of his highlights of being part of the production. "There's nothing more hilarious than driving a van filled with hobbits." The only downside to this tour is that most of us got too distracted with taking pictures of the place and missed out on the stories from the tour guide. Besides doing the movie set tour, there's also a souvenir store at The Shire's Rest where you can purchase official LOTR products. And you can also do a farm tour and get up close with some local sheep during peak season.

Even if you're not a fan of the movie, Hobbiton is still worth visiting because the geographical view of the area itself is simply breathtaking. Trust me, I've only watched the first Lord of the Ring movie.


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