Lord of The Rings (LoTR) trilogy is one of my favorites movies of all time. It’s the movie that I could re-watch over and over again. I love the plot, the actors, and the setting. Actually, it is also one of few things that inspired me to study in New Zealand. Being so close to Middle Earth – a dream that all LoTR fans share, I guess..
So, naturally – Hobbiton was high up on my travel bucket list, which I have gladly crossed on March 18, 2017, less than a month since I stepped my foot in this country. To go to Hobbiton from Auckland, simply take a bus to Matamata (or alternatively rent a car). Bus connection to Matamata is provided by Nakedbus or Intercity. Bus fare is varied, depend on luck, it’s possible to get $1 fare one way but I got mine for $19 for a return journey. It takes around 2.5 hours to get to Matamata from Auckland. A full 2.5 hours of blue sky, green hills, farms, sheep, cows, the majority of New Zealand scenery.
Once arrived in Matamata, the bus stop is in front of the I-Site Office (45 Broadway Street), where Hobbiton tour ticket can be bought here (price: $79/adult). Or alternatively book in advance at:
Matamata is a very small city, which I heard from the tour guide that it almost did not exist before the Hobbiton was built. So timing is important here, as nothing much to do in Matamata. It is literally only one street lined-up with fast food restaurants and a few stores.
The Hobbiton tours itself only take around 3 hours in total, including the return journey from Matamata I-Site to Hobbiton location (30 minutes one way), which is already part of the tour. It is a fully-guided tour, so we have to stay with the guide and the group during the entire tour, which honestly I did not like. There were chances to take pictures and everything – but since there were so many people, we had to keep moving, so I felt like in a rush in the entire tour.
Despite all of that, the place is really beautiful indeed. Even with so many people there, I could feel the serenity of The Shire. The place is very well-maintained and the details are preserved, it was just like we have seen in the movie. My favorite place is the bridge near the Dragon Inn where I can see the lakes and hobbit holes from afar.
Anyway, it is a movie set, so wherever I pointed my camera, a good picture is guaranteed. Just make sure to check the weather before booking the tour, the fun won’t be the same without the sun!