Published: August 2nd 2012August 2nd 2012
The Hobbiton movie tour began with a pick-up at 8.25 at the Mad Travel Shop. We picked also other customers up from the tourism centre and some hostels in Rotorua. The shuttle bus got space for 11 passengers. During the one hour drive to the set of hobbiton, which is near Matamata, we could listen to music or sleep or whatever we wanted to do. You could also drive to the base by yourself with your car, because the site was signposted very well and therefore easy to find. Arriving at the base everybody got a ticket and the visitors got some time to look through the shop or to take some photos of the unique landscape outside. The shop offered a range of collector’s souvenirs of Lord of the ring, like for instance jewellery, books, sculptures, etc. Moreover it was also possible to buy wool or clothes made out of this material. Abover the shop, there was also a small café, where the visitors could rest after the tour.
Another bigger bus drove us finally to the movie set, which was 10 minutes away from the base. Before getting into the bus, our tickets were checked for validity. During
the drive, our driver was giving us some general information about the set with numbers and figures. For example she told us that the caterer had to cook for 400 people per day and had to prepare 2 meals during the production of the film for cast and crew. Furthermore the driver was explaining us the history of the set and something about the founders and the film’s director Peter Jackson. If you were sitting on the right side on the bus, you could already catch a glimpse of the picturesque and unique landscape of Hobbiton. The driver also stopped 2 times, so that the passengers could take a couple of photos.
When we finally arrived our guide called Danny was introducing himself to us and asked some of the visitors for their origin. Then we heard from Danny some safety instructions. For example we should be walking carefully, because the last days it was raining and therefore the floor was muddy and slippery. Furthermore we should stay with the group all the time and we were encouraged not to enter hobbit houses. Our guide was very funny and entertaining due to nice jokes and due to his way
of guiding the tour. He also tried hard to support the visitors by taking photos of them.
During the tour one could see the whole hobbit village with hobbit houses in different sizes. The different sizes were used to let the hobbits look tiny or to let the normal humans look gigantic. To make the optical illusion of the different sizes between hobbits and humans perfect, the normal sized houses were reconstructed as a perfect smaller model with the same ratio of measurements. Our guide explained facts and gave us information about how the houses were build and which preciseness was used during the construction phase. All the houses were constructed according to the novels of J. R. R. Tolkien and are a faithful reconstruction of his descriptions. Due to the houses described as buildings out of the Middle Age, only medieval materials such as wooden nails were used to maximize the authenticity and persuasiveness of the movie set. Furthermore our guide provided information about every hobbit house and how the scenery was staged. We were also allowed to take photos in one hobbit house and the guide made much effort to take pictures of all of the visitors.
After the tour ended, we got back to the base with the bus. There the visitors could feed the 4 baby lambs with milk or observe that. We got also some minutes to buy something from the shop before the shuttle bus took us back to the Tourism Centre of Rotorua.
For any further information you should have a look on the hobbiton movie set's homepage: http://www.hobbitontours.com/