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Tour the set of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in New Zealand

By Rachel Nash

Posted: 30th October 2012 11:37

By Rachel Nash

With the release of ‘The Hobbit’ this Christmas, tours to visit the real ‘Middle Earth’ are becoming hot property.  Visiting the picturesque New Zealand village where the ‘The Lord of the Rings’ shire movie set sits, is easier than you think, with plenty of tours to choose from. 

The ‘Hobbiton tours’ official website offers eleven different tours for the avid fantasy fanatic in everyone.  Depending on your budget and time, there’s a tour for everyone with most offering all a two-hour guided fascinating excursion around the set and views of the village.

Peter Jackson (director of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit’) filmed the famous shire scenes in the small village of Matamata that lies beneath the Kaimai ranges.  With its idyllic and quaint setting, Alexander farm was the perfect choice and now the farmland welcomes tourists and fans of the films alike.  The tour takes guests on a drive around the village for spectacular views of the roaming hills and green countryside.  Unfortunately because hobbits are scared of ‘big folk’ we can’t guarantee you’ll see one but you may just see a certain Bilbo Baggins hiding in the trees on your adventures.   

The hobbits of the shire have kindly leant their homes for our pleasure so all tours offer a viewing of the hobbits homes and holes.  You’ll see just how the magical live, as the props and furniture used in the film still lie within the sets.  As the set is located on a farm, you also have the opportunity to cuddle and bottle feed the pet lambs that frolic around the scenic surroundings. 

The tours typically end or begin at ‘The Shires Rest’, a tranquil cafe where you can put your (hobbit) feet up and enjoy some tea and a tasty meal.  The cafe boasts a balcony where you can appreciate the views that lie in front of you and two entertainment rooms with hobbit interior inspired rest rooms.  ‘The Shires Rest’ menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner but if you’re not hungry for a full meal the cafe also offers a morning and afternoon tea and nibbles menu. 

Tickets for the tours range between £34 for a standard tour to £174 for a private tour.  For a full list of the tours available and to book online visit the official ‘Hobbiton tours’ website here 

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