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…
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 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).