Pat and I arrived in New Zealand at around midday last Wednesday. We landed in Auckland and decided to hire a car so that we could do some serious exploring of the beautiful north island. As we only had five days, including travel time, we did our best to squeeze in as much as we possibly could. For our first full day of adventuring, we traveled a couple of hours south of Auckland to the town of Matamata; home of the Hobbiton movie set.
The Hobbiton movie set was created for the filming of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was recently used again to film The Hobbit trilogy. Peter Jackson, the director of the films, spotted this particular farm whilst on an aerial search for the best possible set locations for The Lord of the Rings, and it immediately struck him as the perfect location for Hobbiton. After close to a year of preparation and construction back in 1999, the set was complete and ready for filming.
The farm is owned by the Alexander family, who have lived and farmed there since 1978. Originally, the set was completely temporary, and was to be torn down upon completion of filming. Fortunately for us, due to a weather delay and a change of heart, the Alexanders decided to keep the set and implement it as a permanent part of their farm. Five full time gardeners have been employed to keep the set looking beautiful for tourists all year round. It really was magical to be in such an amazing landscape where so much film history had taken place. Pat was definitely in his element!
The “Hobbit holes” were adorable. The details that had been put into each and every one of them (there are 35, if I remember correctly) was outstanding. From what our tour guide told us, Peter Jackson was a perfectionist when it came to these films, but it definitely paid off. Everything looked immaculate, as if they had just finished filming yesterday. It was so cool to pretend to be a Hobbit for the day, and to re-live some fantastic moments from the films. Pat and I joked about how cool it would be to live in a place like this. Okay, I was joking, but Pat was definitely more on the serious side!
One of the highlights of the day was getting to go inside The Green Dragon pub, which had specifically been created for the Hobbiton tour. The exterior of the pub had been made for the films, but the internal shots were filmed in a studio. Designers recreated the interior of the pub on set so that it exactly matched what was seen in the films. I was extremely impressed and amazed when I walked inside, and even more so when we were offered a complimentary drink! It was a fantastic day, and I would recommend this day trip to anyone, even if they haven’t seen the films.
I kept my outfit nice and simple here, as I really wanted to showcase my bright red Doc Martens. I haven’t had much of a chance to wear them this year. They aren’t exactly work appropriate! I’m doing my best to pair them with more things, and I might even bring them out in the summer months if I get the chance. They are the perfect shoe for walking on uneven surfaces, and went great on bush walks and slippery surfaces. They have nice grip on their soles, and are super comfortable! Stay tuned for part two of our adventures around the north island of New Zealand, to be posted in the next couple of days. I can’t wait!