Visit Hobbiton: how to get there, opening hours, prices and useful information

Summary of content of this post

How we wanted to talk to you about Hobbiton! For lovers of the sagas of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as we do, this visit to The Shire was one of the essential activities of our route through New Zealand.

So, of course, in this post we want to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know about visiting Hobbiton: schedules, prices, how to get there, tips and other useful information.

Visitar Hobbitton: somos hobbits por un díaVisitar Hobbitton: somos hobbits por un díaVisit Hobbiton: we are Hobbits for a Day

And watch out! Because even if you’re not a fan of movies or books, this site is magical, and we’re sure you’ll love it anyway. In fact, we were very afraid of encountering something excessively artificial, and nothing could be further from the truth.

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Let’s talk a little bit about Hobbiton

In September 1998 (over 20 years ago!), Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema, the producer of the Lord of the Rings saga, discovered the Alexander Farm (what we now know as Hobbiton) during an aerial search for locations to shoot the films.

And it was a crush. So much so that in March 1999 they were already starting to build the sets to begin filming on the rolling hillsides of this farm in Matamata. Did you know that the first works were carried out with heavy machinery provided by the New Zealand army?

Visitar Hobbitton: la casa de Bilbo y FrodoVisitar Hobbitton: la casa de Bilbo y FrodoVisit Hobbiton: Bilbo and Frodo’s home

39 Hobbit holes were dug, trees brought from other locations were planted, the tavern and the bridge were built, the tree above Bilbo and Frodo’s house was created (and I say created, because it is false) from scratch… And in December 1999 the shooting of all the scenes that take place in The Shire began.

The filming took about three months and then absolutely everything except the Hobbit holes was dismantled.

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So what happened to Hobbiton?

And what happened next? So The Hobbit had to be shot and in 2009 they had to rebuild everything again (including 5 more hobbit holes), but this time with permanent materials so that the set could be visited by all the lovers of the two trilogies. This reconstruction process took 2 years… 2 years!

Visitar Hobbitton: vista completaVisitar Hobbitton: vista completaVisit Hobbiton: full view

And the shooting of The Hobbit, which began in October 2011, took just 12 days.

When filming ended on this second trilogy, the Alexander family, owners of the farm where Hobbiton is located, reached an agreement with the production company to keep the sets and make them ‘visitable’. And the truth is that all the lovers of this literary saga could not be more grateful to them.

Visitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super caredVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super cared

How to get to Hobbiton

The Hobbiton film set is about 45 minutes east of Hamilton and about two hours south of Auckland. Getting there is super easy and you have the exact location on Google Maps:

Tours to visit Hobbiton if you are not doing a camper route

If you are not travelling around New Zealand in your own transport like we are, you can hire one of these tours:

Visitar Hobbitton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbitton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super cared

How much does it cost to visit Hobbiton?

We won’t fool you, the Hobbiton visit is quite expensive. It costs 84 NZD per person, just over 50 euros. But seriously, this visit is worth every euro you pay for it because it is an incredible experience.

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You can buy Hobbiton tickets safely here. If you feel like spending more time in the Shire, you can also book this other tour which also includes lunch at the Green Dragon’s tavern.

Visitar Hobbitton: taberna del Dragón VerdeVisitar Hobbitton: taberna del Dragón VerdeVisit Hobbiton: Green Dragon Tavern

Can you visit Hobbiton on your own?

Hopefully! But the answer is no. The only way to visit Hobbiton is with a guided tour from The Shire’s Rest, the place where the offices with the lockers, the cafeteria and the gift shop are located.

There is a huge car park where you can park your car or camper (depending on what you have rented) and then a bus takes you to Hobbiton.

Visitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super cared

What’s the schedule for visiting Hobbiton?

Depending on the time of year there are more or less tours, but they start at 9:00 am and from that time they leave every 15/20 minutes until 3:30 pm.

We did the first tour and we recommend that you do the same because that way when you get to the set there will be practically no one there.

Visitar Hobbiton: somos hobbits por un díaVisitar Hobbiton: somos hobbits por un díaVisit Hobbiton: we are Hobbits for a Day

How is the visit to Hobbiton?

The bus ride to the film set takes about 10 minutes, during which you will be shown a short documentary with the story of how the farm became Hobbiton, a world famous place.

Once there, the guide will explain things to you and tell you stories and anecdotes related to the movies while you are visiting.

We don’t want to keep you up too much longer, because it’s certainly best if you experience it first-hand.

Visitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super cared

Please note that the tour is in English only, although you will be given a brochure with the explanations given by the guide in Spanish.

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In total the visit takes about 2 hours (which is made super short) and anything we say is not going to help you get an idea of what’s cool. Also, at the end of the visit you are invited to a beer at the Green Dragon’s tavern. You can choose between two types of beer, cider or a non-alcoholic ginger beer.

Those of us who are fans of movies can’t help but get excited. But if we had to put some stick to this visit is that we would have loved to have some more free time to visit and be able to take more pictures on our own.

Visitar Hobbiton: taberna del Dragón VerdeVisitar Hobbiton: taberna del Dragón VerdeVisit Hobbiton: Green Dragon Tavern

Some curiosities about the visit to Hobbiton

Everything in Hobbiton is taken care of in detail: there are vegetables on the tables, smoke comes out of the chimneys and there are clothes lying around the houses. Seriously, it’s like being inside the movies.
It’s super curious to see how there are hobbit holes of different sizes and that’s what cinema is like. The reason is perspective. So they made Gandalf look a great deal bigger than Frodo or Bilbo.
According to Tolkien’s books, there were plum trees in The Shire, but in this farm in Matamata what they were growing were apple trees, so before they rolled, they took the apples away and put plum leaves and plastic plums on them so that they would be completely true to the books.
Visitar Hobbiton: somos hobbits por un díaVisitar Hobbiton: somos hobbits por un díaVisiting Hobbiton: We are Hobbits for a DayBe aware that Hobbit holes are empty and cannot be visited inside (the interiors were shot on a set in Wellington). In Hobbiton, only the exteriors were shot.
The only room you can visit inside is the Green Dragon Tavern. And it’s exactly like it looks in The Lord of the Rings.
The tree just above Frodo and Bilbo’s house is artificial and was created from scratch with steel, silicone and 200,000 sheets of plastic imported from Taiwan.
The roofs of the mill and the tavern are made of 30,000 reeds.
Visitar Hobbiton: una de las zonas más bonitas de la visitaVisitar Hobbiton: una de las zonas más bonitas de la visitaVisiting Hobbiton: one of the most beautiful areas of the visit

Tips for visiting Hobbiton

Buy your tickets in advance, because it is a very common activity among all travellers visiting New Zealand, so you may run out of room, especially if you travel in high season.
If you have the possibility, and unless you want to do the tour that includes lunch or an evening banquet, book in the first morning tour. That way, when you get there, there won’t be anyone there yet.
Save yourself some time before or after your visit to enter the gift shop. There’s some super cool stuff.
Don’t worry about the parking space because the car park is quite large and you can park without any problem even if you are in a caravan.
Visitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super caredVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisitar Hobbiton: todos los detalles están súper cuidadosVisiting Hobbiton: all details are super cared

Can you visit Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves on the same day?

Of course! In fact, that’s what we did. Just keep in mind that to go from one place to another you should book at least a couple of hours to make sure you are not late.

If you are not doing the trip by car or camper, you also have available these tours in which they take you to both sites in the same day:

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If this is about everything you need to know to visit Hobbiton you have known little by little, you should know that we have a group about trips to New Zealand on Facebook in which travelers from all over the world participate with their questions and answers related to their trips to this wonderful country. So if you have any questions that we haven’t answered in this post, feel free to stop by and ask your questions – we’ll be happy to help!

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