Jess is a Wanderer (out here in 2018) finally got around to watching The Lord of the Rings… it’s been a long time coming and for someone who has a severe dislike of ‘the fantastical’, I have to say I thoroughly appreciated the films. Such stunning landscapes even if I didn’t thoroughly understand what was going on. Nonetheless, when the opportunity arose to visit Hobbiton, I jumped at the chance.
Located outside Hamilton in Matamata, Hobbiton was chosen for its perfect landscape set in the hilly grassland of the Alexander family’s farm. It really is a perfect spot.
As a rather new ‘fan’ of the LOTR trilogy, I was hesitant to part with my $80 (especially as I’m seven months into my round-the-world adventure and the pennies are fading fast) but actually, it was more than worth it. Actually, it was one of the coolest things I’ve visited. Despite being super duper touristy and super duper busy and rammed full of hobbit-lovers and elf-chasers, I really actually genuinely enjoyed myself! It was incredible to see the set and to imagine all the camera guys and actors milling around.
The facts which were shared by the guide were also pretty mind-blowing – from the amount of time things took to the teeny tiny details that took hours to create for less than three seconds screen-time, it was so fascinating to see and hear. And did you know, the tree on top of Bag End is totally fake? That’s right, the leaves get repainted every couple of years so they continually look fresh!
You even get to go to The Green Dragon for a pint of beer, cider or non-alcoholic ginger beer. It’s really quite marvellous. I do wish I’d tried the cider so if you go, do let me know how it is!