If you have always dreamed of seeing Middle-earth in real life, the Hobbiton Movie Set is the most iconic destination you should visit.
Unlike other filming sites, where props have long since been dismantled, the Hobbiton Movie Set was built to last, and the gorgeous miniature village remains just as captivating and immersive as it appears on film. In fact, the movie set is much more extensive than the films reveal, with 44 exquisitely crafted hobbit-holes built into the rolling hillsides.
Your time at the Hobbiton Movie Set is sure to be a highlight of your LOTR holiday. These tips for visiting Hobbiton will help you make the most of your time at this very special piece of Middle-earth.
Even though tours depart frequently, they still fill up days–and sometimes weeks–in advance. You can still buy tickets on the spot if you’re willing to wait around and don’t have a large group.
However, around Christmas and New Year’s, every available time slot can book out weeks ahead of time.
The Hobbiton Movie Set is closed on Christmas Day, so be sure to plan around that if you’re traveling over the Christmas holidays.
The Evening Banquet Tour is a must-do for Lord of the Rings fans. This winning experience includes both a daytime tour of the movie set and an enchanting lantern-lit tour once the crowds go home.
And, of course, it includes a Hobbit-themed banquet in The Green Dragon!
If you are interested in experiencing the Evening Banquet Tour, you will need to arrange your itinerary to suit, because the tour only takes place a few times per week.
The Hobbiton Movie Set Tour lasts two hours (including a brief chance to enjoy a themed drink at The Green Dragon), so you will spend over an hour under New Zealand’s intense sun.
Don’t forget hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The Hobbit holes are just facades, so you won’t spend any time escaping the sun while touring the interiors–Bilbo’s home was filmed at a separate location.
(If it rains, umbrellas are provided for the tour.)
The Hobbiton movie set is situated in picturesque farmland, with no sizeable towns nearby. The best way to visit is to schedule your tour on a day you spend driving between nearby locations.
Popular options include Auckland -> Hobbiton -> Rotorua, Auckland -> Hobbiton -> Hamilton, and Rotorua -> Hobbiton -> Coromandel Peninsula.
(If you book the Evening Banquet Tour, you can stay in the nearby settlement of Matamata.)
The Hobbiton Movie Set offers plenty of options for fun, themed meals. The Green Dragon sells small meals, and the Party Marquee hosts a daily buffet lunch that needs to be reserved in advance.
Off set, the Shire’s Rest (where tours begin) has its own cafe with a few simple, kid-friendly lunch choices.
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