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The Hobbiton Movie Set – Auckland, New Zealand


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Helaina Ogle



The Hobbiton Movie Set in Auckland, New Zealand is a magical place that transports visitors into the enchanting world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. This iconic film location, created for Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies, showcases the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, which served as the backdrop for the Shire, the peaceful home of the Hobbits.


As fans of the books and movies will know, Hobbiton is the fictional village where Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, along with their fellow Hobbits, reside. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Waikato region, approximately two hours south of Auckland, Hobbiton has become an immensely popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world.


With its attention to detail and charming aesthetics, Hobbiton offers an immersive experience that allows visitors to step into the pages of Tolkien’s masterpiece. Walking through the quaint village, adorned with colorful hobbit holes, lush gardens, and the iconic Party Tree, it’s easy to feel like you’re part of the fantastical world.


In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of Hobbiton, explore its stunning location and setting, discuss the various tours and accessibility options, highlight the unique experiences visitors can enjoy, and showcase the range of Hobbiton souvenirs available to bring the magic home.


Whether you’re a die-hard fan of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies or someone looking to explore the beauty of New Zealand, the Hobbiton Movie Set is an absolute must-visit destination. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the Shire!


History of Hobbiton

The history of Hobbiton dates back to the late 1990s when New Zealand filmmaker Peter Jackson began searching for the perfect locations to bring J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth to life on the silver screen. After an extensive search throughout the country, the rolling hills and lush landscapes of the Waikato region were chosen as the ideal setting for the Shire.


The construction of Hobbiton began in 1999 for the filming of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. A team of skilled set designers and builders transformed the pristine New Zealand countryside into the fictional village. They meticulously crafted 37 hobbit holes, each with unique details and characteristics, to bring the Shire to life.


After the success of “The Lord of the Rings” films, the decision was made to preserve the Hobbiton Movie Set as a tourist attraction. The set was carefully maintained, ensuring that fans and visitors could experience the magic of Hobbiton firsthand.


In 2010, when work began on “The Hobbit” trilogy, the film crew returned to Hobbiton to expand and enhance the set. Additional hobbit holes were built, along with the Green Dragon Inn, where visitors can enjoy a refreshing Southfarthing beverage just like the hobbits in the films.


Today, Hobbiton stands as a testament to the incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into bringing Tolkien’s world to life. It serves as a beloved destination for fans of the books and movies, as well as a tribute to the natural beauty of New Zealand.


The preservation and maintenance of Hobbiton are thanks to the collaboration between Peter Jackson, the landowner, and the tourism operators. This partnership ensures that the movie set remains an authentic and enchanting experience for visitors for years to come.


Whether you’re a fan of the movies or simply appreciate the artistry and imagination behind them, exploring the history of Hobbiton is a delightful journey into the world of Middle-earth and a testament to the creative genius that brought Tolkien’s vision to life.


Location and Setting

The Hobbiton Movie Set is located in the picturesque rural town of Matamata, in the Waikato region of New Zealand’s North Island. Its tranquil setting amidst rolling green hills and lush farmlands perfectly captures the essence of the Shire as described in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books.


The Waikato region was chosen for its stunning natural beauty, which closely resembled the landscapes depicted in the films. As visitors approach the movie set, they are greeted by the sight of lush green pastures dotted with charming hobbit holes, nestled into the hillsides.


One of the highlights of the setting is the remarkable attention to detail. The Shire is adorned with vibrant gardens, blooming flowers, and lush vegetation that perfectly complements the whimsical village. The designers and landscapers ensured that every element of the set was crafted with care to reflect the cozy and welcoming atmosphere of hobbit life.


Another notable feature of the location is the presence of the Alexander farm, where the Hobbiton Movie Set is situated. The rolling farmland, with its grazing sheep and cattle, adds an authentic touch to the experience, making visitors truly feel like they’ve stepped into the rural world of the Shire.


The natural beauty and peacefulness of the surroundings make Hobbiton a truly captivating destination. Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the lush countryside, take leisurely walks through the gardens, and soak in the serenity of the Shire. It serves as a reminder of the stunning landscapes that captured the imagination of Tolkien and inspired the epic stories of Middle-earth.


For movie fans and nature enthusiasts alike, the location and setting of Hobbiton provide a breathtaking backdrop that enhances the immersive experience and transports visitors into the fantastical world of Tolkien’s imagination.


Tours and Accessibility

Visiting Hobbiton is an unforgettable experience, and there are various tours available to suit different preferences and interests. Whether you’re a die-hard fan, a casual moviegoer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, there’s a tour that will cater to your needs.


The most popular tour is the Hobbiton Movie Set Guided Tour, which takes visitors on a journey through the Shire guided by a knowledgeable tour guide. This tour provides fascinating insights into the making of the films, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and trivia about the filming process. Along the way, visitors can explore the hobbit holes, visit the Green Dragon Inn, and immerse themselves in the charm of the Shire.


For a truly enchanting experience, the Evening Banquet Tour offers a unique opportunity to enjoy a traditional Hobbiton feast. This tour includes a guided tour of the movie set, followed by a banquet feast in the Green Dragon Inn. Guests can indulge in a sumptuous meal, accompanied by traditional music and entertainment, making for an unforgettable evening in the heart of the Shire.


Hobbiton also offers tours that cater to accessibility needs. The Movie Set Accessible Tour provides wheelchair-friendly access to a majority of the sites, allowing everyone to enjoy the magic of Hobbiton. Additionally, the guides are knowledgeable and accommodating, ensuring that all visitors have a memorable experience.


In terms of accessibility, the Hobbiton Movie Set is equipped with accessible pathways and facilities, making it easier for visitors with mobility issues. There are parking spaces reserved for disabled visitors, accessible restrooms, and ramps to enable easy access to most areas of the movie set.


It’s important to note that due to the popularity of Hobbiton, it is recommended to book your tour in advance to secure your preferred date and time. Additionally, it’s advisable to wear comfortable shoes as the tour involves walking through the hilly terrain of the movie set.


Whether you choose a guided tour, an evening banquet, or an accessible tour, visiting Hobbiton is an experience that will transport you to the magical world of Middle-earth and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


The Hobbiton Movie Set Experience

Visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set is more than just a tour. It’s an immersive experience that allows fans and visitors to truly step into the world of Hobbits and experience the magic of Middle-earth.


As you enter the Shire, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable tour guides who will take you on a journey through the movie set, sharing fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and insights into the making of the films. The guides’ passion for the movies and their attention to detail bring the experience to life.


One of the highlights of the tour is exploring the meticulously crafted hobbit holes, each with its unique charm and details. From Bag End, the famed home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, to Samwise Gamgee’s cozy dwelling, you’ll have the opportunity to peek inside these charming abodes and imagine yourself living the simple and peaceful hobbit life.


The lush gardens surrounding the hobbit holes are a sight to behold. From vibrant flowers to bountiful vegetable patches, the gardens perfectly capture the essence of Hobbiton. It’s easy to imagine hobbits tending to their plants and enjoying the beauty of nature as you stroll through the well-manicured pathways.


A visit to Hobbiton wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Green Dragon Inn. This iconic establishment, featured in the films, offers visitors a chance to relax and enjoy a refreshing drink or two. The cozy interior, adorned with rustic décor, adds to the charm and authenticity of the experience.


Throughout the tour, there are numerous opportunities to capture stunning photographs that will transport you back to the magical world of Middle-earth. From posing in front of Bag End to sitting beneath the Party Tree, each corner of Hobbiton provides a picturesque backdrop worth capturing.


Immerse yourself in the serenity of the Shire as you stroll through the peaceful landscape, taking in the tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views. The rolling hills and lush green pastures that surround Hobbiton create a sense of tranquility and make it easy to understand why this location was chosen to depict the idyllic home of the Hobbits.


Whether you’re a long-time fan of the movies or simply looking to immerse yourself in the beauty and magic of New Zealand, the Hobbiton Movie Set experience is one that will stay with you forever. It’s a chance to step into the world of Tolkien’s imagination, to walk in the footsteps of the beloved characters, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Hobbiton Souvenirs

No visit to Hobbiton is complete without bringing home a piece of the magical world of Middle-earth. The gift shop located at the movie set offers a wide range of Hobbiton souvenirs that will delight fans and serve as cherished mementos of your visit.


One of the most popular souvenirs is the miniature hobbit hole replicas. These beautifully crafted collectibles capture the charm and whimsy of the Shire, allowing you to recreate a piece of Hobbiton in your own home. Each hobbit hole comes with intricate details and is a perfect way to showcase your love for Tolkien’s world.


If you’re a fan of traditional New Zealand merchandise, you’ll find an array of options at the gift shop. From Maori-inspired artwork and carvings to Pounamu (greenstone) jewelry, you can take home a piece of New Zealand’s rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the local crafts and bring a touch of Kiwi culture into your life.


Souvenir clothing is also available, allowing you to proudly display your love for Hobbiton. T-shirts, hoodies, and hats featuring iconic images and quotes from the movies are popular choices. Wearing these garments will not only remind you of your visit but may also spark conversations with fellow fans when you’re out and about.


The gift shop also stocks an extensive range of movie memorabilia. You’ll find replica props, including the One Ring and the Sting sword, which can make for unique and treasured collectibles for any fan of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies. These items allow you to own a piece of the films and connect even further with the magic of Middle-earth.


For those who enjoy culinary delights, the gift shop offers a selection of Hobbit-themed food and beverages. From Bilbo’s Seed Cake to Smaug’s Breath Hot Sauce, these unique edible souvenirs will not only satisfy your taste buds but also bring back memories of your visit every time you indulge.


Whether you’re a collector, a fashion enthusiast, or a foodie, the Hobbiton gift shop has something for everyone. The wide range of souvenirs ensures that you will find the perfect keepsake to cherish and remind you of the enchanting world of Hobbiton.


Remember to leave some time to visit the gift shop on your way out so that you can browse the extensive selection and select your favorite souvenirs to take home. Each item is a testament to the beauty and magic of the Shire, and they’ll serve as mementos that allow you to relive your Hobbiton experience for years to come.



A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set in Auckland, New Zealand is a truly magical experience that transports you into the captivating world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. The attention to detail, stunning landscapes, and immersive tours make for an unforgettable journey through the Shire.


Hobbiton offers a rich history, from its origins as a film set for “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy to its continued preservation as a beloved tourist attraction. It’s a place where fans can connect with the incredible craftsmanship and creativity that went into bringing Tolkien’s vision to life.


The location and setting of Hobbiton are nothing short of breathtaking. The rolling hills, lush gardens, and idyllic atmosphere provide the perfect backdrop for exploring the charming hobbit holes and envisioning yourself as part of the hobbit community.


With a range of different tours and accessibility options, Hobbiton caters to all visitors, ensuring that everyone can experience the magic. Whether you choose a guided tour, an evening banquet, or an accessible tour, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of Middle-earth.


Don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave. The wide selection of Hobbiton souvenirs allows you to bring a piece of the Shire home with you. From miniature hobbit hole replicas to movie props and traditional New Zealand merchandise, there’s something for everyone to cherish as a lasting memory of your visit.


In conclusion, a trip to the Hobbiton Movie Set is a pilgrimage for fans of Tolkien’s universe and a delightful adventure for those seeking to explore the beauty of New Zealand. The magic of Hobbiton will captivate your imagination, leaving you with cherished memories that will endure long after you’ve left the Shire.