INSIDE: The Ultimate Guide to Hobbiton Movie Set 2018
Want some more facts about the 12 acre set of Hobbiton?
Hobbiton Movie Set Fact #1:
95% of what you see is real. 5% is fake, mostly the stuff on tables and in wagons. (See if you can spot the fakes!)
Hobbiton Movie Set Fact #2:
30 cameramen (and camerawomen) and their equipment can fit inside Bilbo Baggins Hobbit Hole. It’s the largest on the farm.
Hobbiton Movie Set Fact #3:
When Gandalf looks out the window to see the sunset, the hobbit hole was facing the wrong way. So Sir Peter Jackson filmed sunrise, and played it backwards.
There’s plenty more facts and intrigue to be found on a Hobbiton Tour of Middle Earth, but you’ll have to visit to find out for yourself!
- 1 Hobbiton New Zealand if you are driving
- 2 Hobbiton Buses from Matamata and Rotorua
- 3 Hobbiton Tours from Auckland and Hamilton.
- 4 Hobbiton Tours
- 5 Hobbiton The Shire
- 6 Wander the Hobbiton Movie Set
- 7 Hobbiton Evening Banquet Tour
- 8 Hobbiton Souvenirs to buy
- 9 Hobbiton Accommodation
- 10 Where is Hobbiton in New Zealand?
- 11 More Photos of Hobbiton
- 12 The Inside Scoop – Visit Hobbiton in Matamata
- 13 How to get to Hobbiton
- 14 Hobbiton Map
- 15 Toadstool Rating- Hobbiton The Shire
- 16 Looking for More Things to Do in New Zealand for Kids?
Hobbiton New Zealand if you are driving
The wander around Hobbiton and the Shire starts for self-drive tour participants at the Shire’s Rest Cafe, a 15 minute drive from Matamata i-SITE. (This super cute Tourist Information building in town is Hobbiton-themed too!) There’s plenty of free parking for cars and RV vans for the duration of your tour.
The Shire’s Rest has a cafe where you can fuel up before your adventure, plus there’s a ticket office, and Hobbiton souvenir shop selling all kinds of Hobbiton souvenirs. Click here for the menu.
The cafe and ticketing centre is open 7 days a week, from 9am to 4.30pm with extended hours in summer.
Hobbiton Buses from Matamata and Rotorua
If you are travelling New Zealand by public transport, catch the Hobbiton Tour bus from either the i-SITE at Matamata, or the Hobbiton Shop in Rotorua
Hobbiton Tours from Auckland and Hamilton.
You can also visit on a Hobbiton tour from Auckland. Hobbiton day tours are run by a bunch of different tour companies, offering different itineraries including one that heads to Hot Water Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula and another that returns via Waitomo Caves. Pick the one that suits you best.
From Shires Rest, you travel by bus (either one of official green Hobbiton buses, or with your coach tour) through the gates and INTO the boundaries of the Hobbiton Shire. There’s no other way in.
The drive takes you through the rolling hills and green pastures of the Alexander Farm. Spotted by Sir Peter Jackson and his team during an aerial search for suitable film sites, the lush scenery proved irresistible.
It’s truly magical.
Hobbiton The Shire
Soon enough, you reach your destination and head into the Shire on foot.
It’s not long till you spot your FIRST Hobbit hole. There’s 39 of them. The burning question on everyone’s lips: ‘Can we go inside’?
I’ll let you in on a little secret. Most of the Hobbit holes are cute whimsical facades only, but there is one Hobbit hole photo opportunity where you can see inside for yourself!
Wander the Hobbiton Movie Set
The Hobbiton tour is led by a guide, who orchestrates the group to meander through the Shire at a moderate pace. As you wander, you’ll see many, many groups ahead of and behind you, but somehow it’s not too bad, as you are spaced out and never intrude on one another.
Stay close to the guide and hear all the stories, a well-rehearsed humorous spiel filled with interesting titbits of history and Sir Peter’s filmmaking antics.
There’s plenty of time for photos and selfies in this super cute place.
Be prepared for a slog up a slippery slope as you head up the hill towards the giant (fake) Oak Tree, back towards the Mill, and over water to the elegant Green Dragon Inn. It’s the stuff of dreams.
End the tour with a complimentary glass of one of Hobbiton’s own exclusive drinks – brewed ales, apple cider or non-alcoholic ginger beer.
We nabbed chairs by the fire, enjoying the picturesque elf-like surroundings of this enchanting pub.
Be quick if you want to eat something from the snack menu – you have about 20 minutes to wolf it down.
Hobbiton Evening Banquet Tour
If eating a decadent meal in the Green Dragon Inn at Hobbiton is on your bucket list, join the Hobbiton Evening Banquet Tour for a banquet feast fit for a Hobbit, or a King. This tour includes an exclusive look at Hobbiton at night, and a secret celebration too.
Evening Banquet Tours depart four times per week on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings all year round, with additional departures subject to demand over summer.
Hobbiton Souvenirs to buy
Click here to have a look at some of the Hobbiton souvenirs you can buy in the Shire Store and Hobbiton Gift shop at the end of the tour.
If you want to stay close by, check out these Hobbiton farm stays.
Or if you desperately want to sleep a night in a Hobbit Hole, book one of these two Hobbit Hole hotel rooms at Woodlyn Park. (You can also sleep in a Bristol Freightor plane, in a train carriage, or on a ship!
Where is Hobbiton in New Zealand?
Hobbiton is an hour north-west of Rotorua, 15 minutes drive into the hills from the main town hub of Matamata.
It’s in the centre of the North Island, between Auckland, Rotorua, Waitomo, and Hamilton.
More Photos of Hobbiton
The Inside Scoop – Visit Hobbiton in Matamata
Correct at time of publication. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of.
Hobbiton Address: 501 Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata 3472
Telephone: 64 7 888 1505 Freephone: 0508 4 HOBBITON
Website: Click here
Hobbiton movie set prices:
- The Hobbiton entrance fee from The Shires Rest and Matamata i-SITE including bus transfers is $84 NZ for adults 17 years +, $42 NZ for kids 9-16, and FREE for kids 0-8. (You must book a ticket for everyone in your party, including kids under 8 to secure a seat on the bus.) Book Shire’s Rest if you are self-driving direct to the Hobbiton ticket office there – it’s across the road from the entry gates, or from Matamata if you don’t have independent transport from Matamata. It’s another 15 minute drive from Matamata to the Hobbiton ticket office
- Hobbiton prices for the tour and transfers from Rotorua are $119 NZ adults, $77 child 9-16, and $35 for kids 0-8 (transfer fee only).
- Add a meal to your tour. Festive feast lunch costs an extra $36 per person for anyone 9 years and above. A breakfast feast is $26 NZ per person extra for anyone 9 years and above. Book meals at the same time as you book your Hobbiton tickets.
Where to buy Hobbiton Tickets:
- Buy Hobbiton tickets online from the offical site to secure your spot, or in person when you arrive in New Zealand at the Matamata i-SITE, The Shire’s Rest ticketing office, or the Hobbiton Rotorua store.
- Pre-booking your Hobbiton tour is essential. Tours can sell-out well in advance so please pre-book to avoid disappointment.
- The only way to access the Hobbiton Movie Set is with a fully guided walking tour. Please arrive 15 minutes early to your departure point to avoid missing the bus.
Hobbiton Tours promo code: No, we’ve been unsuccessful in finding acurrent promo code to use at Hobbiton. Your best bet for discount entry is through one of the Group Buying sites listed above.
How to get to Hobbiton
By Self Drive Car:
- If you are self-driving, head straight to the Shires Rest at 501 Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata as there are no off-set transfers included.
- Click here for driving maps from most major cities
Parking: Free parking onsite at The Shire’s Rest for cars and RV vans.
How long does it take to drive to Hobbiton?
- Auckland to Hobbiton by car takes approximately 2.5 hours.
- Waitomo to Hobbiton by car takes an hour and 15 minutes.
- Rotorua to Hobbiton by car takes an hour.
- Hamilton to Hobbiton takes 45 minutes by car.
By Official Hobbiton Tour Bus:
- Hobbiton Tours depart the Matamata i-SITE regularly from 9.30 to 3.30. Additional tours departing at 3.30pm operate 1 Sep to 30 Sep. From 01 Oct 2018, Tours depart daily at 8.45am, 10.05am, 11.25am, 12.45pm, 2.05pm, and 3.25pm. Additional tours departing at 4.45pm may operate on all or selected dates between 01 Dec to 28 Feb .
- Hobbiton Shire tours depart the Hobbiton Movie Set shop at 1235 Fenton Street Rotorua at 8am and 1.20pm. Tour from Rotorua is approximately 5 hours long. Additional departure times are scheduled if these ones book out.
Hobbiton weather: New Zealand weather is extremely changeable. Bring raincoats or wind jackets just in case. Hobbiton provides giant umbrellas for the walking tour. These must be shared between two.
Toilets: Yes, including baby change table, at the Shire’s Rest. More toilets at the Green Dragon Inn. No toilets in Hobbiton Shire, so make a quick stop before you embark on your tour.
Disability access: Yes
Closest ATM: Credit cards and EFTPOS accepted at Hobbiton cafe and stores
Ground cover: Can be slippery when wet. Wear good walking shoes.
Picnic tables: Yes, at the Shire Cafe.
Hobbiton was last reviewed in October 2018.
Toadstool Rating- Hobbiton The Shire
More fun than we ever imagined!
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