In 1998, Peter Jackson flew over the beautiful country of New Zealand when he was scouting for film locations for The Lord of the Rings trilogy which required more than 150 locations and a wide variety of spectacular landscapes to bring the epic story of four brave little Hobbits to life.
Discovering the Shire
As Mr. Jackson flew over the North island, he was impressed by the rolling green hills and pastures surrounding a small farming town called Matamata. After landing and exploring Matamata on the ground, Jackson ran across the Alexander family’s sheep and beef farm just outside of town, which to his delight seemed like the perfect place to create The Shire and the village of Hobbiton.
In 1999, an multitude of workers and landscapers spent nine months building the movie-set. Thirty-seven hobbit holes were built into the hillside and a mill and double-arch bridge were erected on the edge of the lake. Hedges and trees were brought in, the most remarkable of which was a 26 ton oak tree from another farm; cut down in segments, transported and reassembled with artificial leaves on the spot above what became Bag End.
Now, with more than a decade since the first films creation, the Hobbiton Movie Set has become a must-see tourist activity for all The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fans traveling to New Zealand. Before filming began for The Hobbit, the film set underwen extensive developments that permanently constructed the Hobbit holes so that tourists can actually go inside and experience the movie set all year-round. Guides lead tours through the 10-acre film site, telling stories about the making of Hobbiton and the films and include favorite Hobbit haunts such as the reconstructed oak tree, and the Hobbit hole of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.
If you would like to be transported to Middle Earth and visit Hobbiton for yourself, we’d love to help you get there. Please call your preferred travel agent or call Tahiti Legends at 800-200-1213.
For an up close and personal look about the making of The Hobbit and a first-hand look at the reconstruction of Hobbiton, check out this video blog made by Peter Jackson himself: http://goo.gl/GLUrmj