Hobbiton!!! We were so excited to visit Middle Earth and tour around The Shire. The movie set is nestled in some hills; so you meet at a different spot with cafe, gift shop and parking lot. They pick you up in a bus and then haul you to the actual set that is located on a working farm. There are sheep all over the place. In order to protect the set, there is a massive electric fence around the entire premise.
The original set was located via helicopter. Peter Jackson loved the location because there was no evidence of the 21st century anywhere to be seen. The set for the Lord of the Rings was temporary. The agreement was that it be taken down when filming was finished. However, when they had to rebuild the set for the Hobbit movies, the farmers would only let them use the farm again if they built the set to be permanent so they could make a tourist operation out of it. Very clever farmers!
There are over 40 hobbit holes on the set. There were all different scales of holes as well to help with the forced perspective as many characters on the movie have different heights.
Our tour guide. I think he told us that it takes around 20 full time gardeners to keep the place looking ship-shape everyday.
Looking down on Hobbiton from on the hill.
By the Lake
These are just a few hobbit holes that we thought were extra cute. It was amazing the amount of detail that went into each hole.
Bag End!!! We were hoping to join Mr. Frodo or Mr. Bilbo for Elevensies but alas, no one was home.
The tree above Bag End is completely fake. The original tree from LOTR was a real tree brought in from a different location, reinforced with steel and then covered in fake leaves in order to achieve the look that Mr. Jackson wanted. However, when filming finished that tree was destroyed. So, for the Hobbit movies, they had to recreate the previous tree. Thus, a completely fake tree.
Side note: Porter won a leaf from the tree for answering a question correctly, you will see in our video further down.
Apparently, this is one of the most photographed trees in the world. It is the big tree from the birthday party scene.
A little movie from our morning.
After finishing our tour of Hobbiton we headed for drinks and a warm fire at the Green Dragon.
Porter was excited!
A giant hand carved green dragon was there to greet everyone.
Remember how I told you in my last post that there are shop cats every where in NZ? Well, the Green Dragon has a shop cat, and I found him!
We wore hobbit clothing while drinking apple cider by the fire. It was very cozy.
We loved Hobbiton!!! If you go to New Zealand, you have to go. It was one of the top 3 things we did there.
Porter's audition photo for a hobbit!
Porter reading a bit of the the Lord of the Rings to me that evening after visiting The Shire while sipping tea. This excerpt is discussing hobbit families and what they say happened to Frodo's parents (he didn't know I was recording ;)