Blogs from Matamata, Waikato, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Matamata April 6th 2016

The walk was alongside a very pretty Te Waihu valley which had the bluest river and pools we'd ever seen. Rock filtered spring water gave the water it's blueness and it sort of glowed when the sun shone on and reflected off the white sandy riverbed. Lots of dips were taken along the way and a great deal of laughter was had, especially when the grown ups got either in and out of the pools. Cas ventured (with many 'ooohs' and 'it's freezing') into one particularly deep blue pool and perched herself on a rock that sat just below the surface; I declared to the kids that it was the mermaid of Copenhagen come back to life. I'm not sure I'd ever heard Ed and Hat laugh so much as when I tried to pull Cas ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Matamata December 28th 2015

Geo: -37.8096, 175.773Today's visit to Hobbiton was a massive disappointment - sure, the gorgeous rolling hills and the impossibly-cute Hobbit holes were pretty amazing, turning most of the visitors into a bunch of giggling school kids that were acting as if it was their first time at Disneyland. But no matter how unforgettable our visit to Hobbiton was, no matter how awesome the tour was, we just couldn't forget about one major flaw in our time here today - where the hell were the Hobbits??!?!! The timing of our stop in Hobbiton was horrible planning, as it turned out that this was when all the Hobbits make their annual pilgrimage up to Rivendell, for Middle Earths biggest, best, and longest rave! Nobody knows how to celebrate New Years Eve like Lord Elrond, who puts on a ... read more
Rolling Hills of Hobbiton
Entering Hobbit Holes Tones Your Legs
Bag End - Bilbo's House

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Matamata October 20th 2006

Okay, so I'll try to make this brief because not everyone is a massive LOTR geek like me and probably wouldn't spend the 50 NZD to see a field, some plywood boards and a big tree. I myself thought it was a bit steep but since the place was on private land, it was the only way. The Hobbiton set outside of Matamata was chosen by Peter Jackson because of its green rolling countryside, the absence of man made clutter (i.e. roads, power lines or buildings) and the large pine tree or "party tree" as it was known. After filming was completed here the set was to be removed, as agreed in contract but bad weather prevented the job from being completed and the demolition team had to come back at a later date. In the ... read more
Looking Out Over The Party Field
A Local
Welcome To Hobbiton

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Matamata June 1st 2005

We had pretty much written off visiting "Hobbiton" on our round-middle-earth-trip because of the weather but the sun was shining today so we followed the tracks of Gandalf's wagon to Matamata and had a guided tour of the movie set. Although many of the structures were intentionally demolished after filming finished, more than a dozen Hobbit holes remain, including "Bag End" (which we went in!!!). The "Party Tree" and field, the lake, "Bagshot Row", and views are all quite clearly Hobbiton and our guide filled in any bits which were missing for us. It was quite a special and unique experience for us both.... read more
View from Bag End

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waikato » Matamata January 31st 2005

We set off early again, in search of a special place. We had scoured our tourist road atlas and asked at the information centre, but nobody seemed to know the way. We even looked for a small ugly creature with a rasping voice to take us there, but to no avail. We knew it wasn’t far away… We then consulted our copy of the Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. Sure enough, it was able to tell us. To find The Shire, we had to head for a place called Matamata. So, after an hour and a half of expert driving (Graeme) and excellent navigation (me) through flat farmland and small rolling hills, we came to Matamata. Arranging a visit to The Shire turned out to be very easy - tours run frequently throughout the day, ... read more
Looking down on Hobbiton
Looking towards Bag End
Graeme being a Hobbit

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