“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down or to eat : It was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
My first visit in Hobbiton movie set in Matamata, New Zealand was back in 2012.
We went back here again last Easter break to bring our cousin around since this was his special request.
This time, however, I took lesser photos but enjoyed and listened more intently to the tour guide. Here are some facts I learned:
- The director Peter Jackson had twelve farms to choose from for the film location in NZ. He last found the Alexander Family Farm in Matamata as this particular area perfectly looked like Tolkien’s description of The Shire.
- This is the only movie set for Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit that stayed intact in NZ since the beginning of the filming of the trilogy in late 90s. This was rebuilt for the filming of The Hobbit with additions of more hobbit holes.
- Gardens were meticulously create to give a more “Hobbiton” feel. The hobbits love gardening, plants, and flowers.
- During filming, the frogs in the pond were croaking so loud that the actors couldn’t hear each other and their noise could be heard in the camera while shooting. They had a production crew that had to catch and move all of the frogs far away and then brought them back again after filming.
- The famous Oak tree overlooking the Bag End was imported from elsewhere and each branch was carefully chopped and its leaves were individually patched together.
- The tour includes ales, cider and non-alcoholic ginger beer, brewed for Hobbiton, and are served from the bar at the Green Dragon Inn.
These spiels were most likely the same as in all tours but what I liked about my second time tour is that I noticed there were more props (real and fake) that have been added to the set. They’ve put so much attention to every detail. Actually, it doesn’t even feel like a movie set at all. It really felt like a hobbit village. (For example, the tiny clothes in the clothesline, the cheeseboards in front of their house, the lichen on the fences looked as real and old as in the movie).