After a good night’s sleep, we head to the tourist info center to book our tour of Hobbiton.

We head out on a 3hr guided tour to Hobbiton. The drive out is picturesque – rolling green hills with hedges separating the fields full of sheep and cows.

Hobbiton is a permanent movie set on a 1250 acre sheep and beef farm belonging to the Alexander family. The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit Trilogies were filmed here. The Alexander family had the movie company make the sets permanent in the hopes of attracting tourists.  Boy was that a smart move!

Hobbiton contains 39 hobbit holes built into the hillside. These are made to various scales depending on how it was going to be filmed. Each one is just a front with a small shed behind the door so that lights and objects can be placed in the window except Bilbo Baggins, which was built to scale even though no filming was done in it.


Even with the help of the New Zealand Army it took over 2 years to create all the hobbit caves, as well as the road network required by the film crew.


I wasn’t expecting to be impressed but came away amazed at the length they went to creating “The Shire”. The tree above Bilbo Baggins house was made out of metal and silicone with over 200,000 leaves, took over 2 years to build and was on camera for only 6 seconds!!

We ended our tour at the Green Dragon Inn for a complimentary drink. I had the Ginger  Beer and it was delicious. Despite the rain and cost of entry I really enjoyed visiting “The Shire”



We pushed on to Tokoroa to check out a YouTuber I’ve watched for a couple of years. We drove out to the aerodrome where most of his flying is done, but due to the weather nobody was about. Afterwards we continue on thru the rain to Rotorua. About 6km out of town we could already smell the sulfur smell that blanketed the town even in the drizzle.



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