Hobbiton & Golden Frogs

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Have you ever watched a movie and thought, “Wow, I want to go there!”  Well, if you’ve ever watched The Hobbit, today is your lucky day.  Haven’t see the movie but still want to experience an absolutely surreal place, you’re in luck too.  Come explore Hobbiton with me. 

View up hillside of Hobbiton.

Hobbiton’s location was discover when the producers of Lord of the Rings where looking for a place that portrayed their image of the ShireTM with the Party Tree TM as describe in The Lord of the Rings books.  They found it on the Alexander’s 1,200-acre picturesque sheep farm in Matamata, New Zealand.  Yes, it’s still an operating farm too.  

Hobbiton is like stepping into an imaginary world that’s so realistic – you truly don’t know what is real and what is not, at times.  Things are just so detailed, intriguing, and alluring – it feels like you have been transported into the fantasy world of Middle-earthTM.

When you arrive at Hobbiton, you will see the beautiful rolling hillside with a pond at the bottom of a large hill, a huge tree at the very tip top, and little roads wandering around to these quaint little houses built into the hillside. There are approximately 44 HobbitTM homes, also known as a Hobbit HoleTM to see and explore in Hobbiton. 

Hobbit TM home with beautiful flowers.

From the outside these quaint little homes are so adorable with their little round windows and doors, amazing gardens and landscaping, and all kinds of flowers.  They’re absolutely beautiful – you’ll just want to get up close to them and take it all in.  Most of the Hobbit HolesTM are just facades, but there are a couple that you can go inside and explore.  Inside, they are small with unfinished dirt walls.  All the inside Hobbit home film scenes were done at a studio.

Such beautiful detail – one of my favorites.
No detail was forgotten all the way up to the scarecrow on top of the hill.

When you start walking down the main road of Hobbiton, you will come to a small area known as Bagshot RowTM where you can see shots of Bilbo’s potato garden area with a few Hobbit HolesTM.  The tools, decorations, everything is so detailed.  I found myself asking quite often, is this real or is that real.  In some areas, you will notice that the items are big, which is the for the optical illusion to make you look small, like a HobbitTM.

As you wander through Hobbiton, you will see the different areas used in the film, like wood chopping sites and the alleged plum trees that the HobbitTM Children played under.  They’re alleged, because they were actually pear trees that had the fruit taken off and fake plums attached for filming.  This was all done to give the illusion of the small HobbitTM children.

Frodo and Bilbo’s Bag EndTM

The most well know Hobbit Hole, Frodo and Bilbo’s Bag EndTM, is at the top of the hill under the huge oak tree.  You wouldn’t know, but this tree is actually fake.  Its constructed of fiberglass with silk leaves imported from Twain. 

The Party Tree TM on top of Bag End TM

Looking down the hill from Bag EndTM is an incredible view of the rolling countryside, pond, and Green Dragon’s InnTM down below.  Green Dragon’s InnTM was the meeting place for all the HobbitsTM to come.  So, feeling like a HobbitTM, here we go down to meet the rest of the people.

Rick & Nola on the way to Green Dragon Inn

On the way down the hill, you will pass more Hobbit HolesTM, the Mayflower pole festival area, farm area, go over a quaint stone bridge, and to my favorite place beside the Mill.  I love waterwheels.  It such a beautiful photo op location. 

Across the street is Green Dragon’s InnTM.  Inside, you will find a quaint bar and pub area where you can have lunch while sampling ginger beer and ales.  There is also a comfortable little kick back area by the fireplace to rest a bit, after your hard trek through the town. 

A couple things I found interesting as I explored Hobbiton was the fact that the original Shire set was built of polystyrene and plywood.  It was partial torn down, after filming Lord of the Rings. But, it was rebuild out of concrete and wood, when they returned to film The Hobbit.  Another weird fact was about the loud frogs that had to be moved during filming.  

A Green and Golden Bell Frog – compliments of Wikipedia

The Green and Golden Bell Frogs had been introduced to New Zealand in an effort to increase their population which was declining in Australia.  Only issue was some of these little frogs decided to take over the set pond as their new home, and made sure everyone knew they were there.  The frogs were so loud that the actors couldn’t hear each other.  So, they had to be collected and relocated to another pond on the farm.  I’m sure the frogs just wanted to be in the movies. 

Hope you enjoyed this blog.  Please remember to leave a comment below and let all your friends know about it too. 

See you again soon,

Nola

P.S. If you want to see more of my photos from Hobbiton, click here. I had way too many to put them all in this blog.

NRP Travel © 2019