Travel

Visiting Hobbiton {New Zealand}

Hi friends! If you have been wondering where I have been the last few weeks, we have had some technical difficulties that hopefully have been resolved now. Here’s the post I have been trying to get up for the past few weeks…

So I am only a couple months late on finally sharing our trip to Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings movie set) in New Zealand. But better late than never!

As you may already know my 10 year old nephew came with my mother in law, Sandy, to visit us in July. Before his trip we were brainstorming things we could do while he was here and Travis suggested taking a trip to the north island of New Zealand, since we had already gone to the south island with my mother in law a couple of years ago. Little did we know, Dylan is a big Lord of the Rings fan so when he found out that was where the set was he was SO excited. Unfortunately Trav’s boss was out of town and there was no way for him to go with us. So, Sandy, Dylan, Leighton and I ventured off on our own for three nights of fun in kiwi land.

We got a really great deal on an Airbnb that was right in the city center and walking distance from loads of things. This was the view out the apartment window when we checked in.

We had booked our tickets for Hobbiton for the following day (our first full day). You do have to book them in advance because it’s a guided tour and time slots will sell out. We kept hearing different estimates on the drive time from Auckland to the set, anywhere from an hour to three. When I looked it up that morning google said it was an hour and 45 minutes. We had a bit of a late start but managed to get on the road just in time.

Unfortunately road construction was terrible and a lot of times we were stuck behind super slow trucks on two lane roads. We realized we were not going to make it in time for our tour we had paid for (you have to check in 15 minutes before). We called and they were helpful and let us move to the next tour where they were openings. This was especially helpful because the winding roads getting up to Hobbiton did not agree well with poor Leighton and she got very, very car sick. So we needed that extra time to get her all cleaned up (but mom of the year forgot her spare clothes since we were running late). So learn from our mistakes and give yourself plenty of time to get there :).

Once we got on the tour bus everything was all good. The weather had been predicted to be cold and quite rainy, but in the end there wasn’t a rain cloud in the sky. There was quite a bit of fog which really just added to the magical atmosphere.

I will admit that I have never seen a Lord of the Rings movie in my life, but I still really enjoyed to tour. Our guide made it really fun and shared lots of behind the scenes stories. The tour took you through Hobbiton and by all of the different hobbit holes. All but one were just the outside though, the inside scenes were filmed at a studio.

The detail that is put into keeping up all of the little “town” is really impressive. You honestly felt like a hobbit would come popping out of a house at any minute. They had real veggie gardens, fruit trees, honey stands and other little trinkets that gave you clues as to who lived in each hobbit hole.

As we finished the tour our guide gave each group a little souvenir, an artificial leaf from the giant tree that was made just for the movie. We let Dylan keep it. The tour ended at local Hobbit watering hole, the Green Dragon.

Our tour included a beverage (alcoholic or non) and you could purchase additional drinks or food. We just stuck to a drink before heading out to get last minute pictures before the tour bus took us back to the main area where the souvenir store and cafe were.

By the time we left the sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, a far cry from what the weather predicted. Even though I haven’t seen any of the movies, I still really enjoyed visiting Hobbiton. The only downside was the traffic on the way back to Auckland (and the speeding ticket I received in the mail this week).

Linking up with my girls LaurenMarcellaVan and Isabel at Wanderful Wednesday.

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  • This looks so much fun! I’m not a Lord of the Rings fan but as you said, It looks like somewhere you can still enjoy! Those little houses are so cute.

    • Yeah I didn’t have that high of expectations but I was really impressed. Apparently a lot of visitors haven’t seen the movies.

  • Lorelle Catalano

    Wow Courtney, this is something I have been wanting to do. Huge LOTR fan so visiting Hobbiton would be awesome. Thanks for the insight and the tips. Lorelle 🙂
    #WanderfulWednesday

  • have to do it!!:) looks great

  • This is on my bucket list for sure!!

  • Bummer about the traffic and the speeding ticket, but I’m so glad that y’all were able to make it there and go on the tour! I can’t even imagine getting to visit Hobbiton and that’s one of the main reasons New Zealand is on my list of places to visit (well besides how beautiful it is and the wine!). I can’t wait to hear more about your NZ trip!

    • Yeah who knew they would go to the trouble of sending it internationally and it wasn’t even that expensive!

  • Bryna | Dotted Line Travels

    I imagine this must be such a treat for Lord of the Rings fans. I’m not one (never watched the movies or read the books!) but it still seems like an interesting place to visit, and so pretty too! Sorry to hear you got a speeding ticket!

    • My 10 year old nephew was lovingggg it. I am pretty sure it was his dream come true. Luckily the speeding ticket was pretty cheap compared to Australia.

  • It does look like a movie set. So cool! I like when family and friends are visiting and we can show them the best of our area. I am kind of a tour guide, so, my people have a wonderful time. #wanderfulwednesday

    • It is so fun being a tour guide and even more fun when you get to check out places you wouldn’t normally get to go.

  • I am dying to visit this place! my husband and I love LOTR!

  • We never did make it to the North Island and Peter is still bitter about missing Hobbiton haha.

  • I read the hobbit book (although couldn’t care less about Lord of the Rings) so I’d love to visit Hobbiton!! It looks so eerie in the mist as well, just the perfect setting!

  • My cousin went last year and really really enjoyed it despite having never seen the film. Gives me great hope as a fan haha

  • Even though I’m from NZ and have seen the films, I still haven’t been to Hobbiton! I do like the mist effect, I agree it adds to the atmosphere 🙂

  • toooo cool!!! although i’m so so sorry to hear leighton got so car sick! how sad (and also my worst nightmare). i’ve seen a few of the movies and how cool that you still enjoyed it even though you have’t seen them. also very nice to give your nephew the leaf haaaha

  • This memories will stay with you for the rest of your life!! As everybody her… I also think, it`s unreal place
    By the way< great photos with your children!