Our family just got back from a 10 day holiday in Middle Earth. We started our journey in Auckland, New Zealand and drove to Matamata in our rented minivan (which is exciting for these boring parents). Matamata has the farm where The Shire was built and filmed for the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies. The set was originally torn down after LOTR but was rebuilt and kept up after the Hobbit.
We took our double stroller up and down the small dirt paths around the Shire during our tour. It was a beautiful sunny day and the magic of the hobbit-burrows was enchanting. We even got to see Bag End, which was Bilbo and Frodo’s house. Fun fact: the big tree at the top of Bag End was a real tree in LOTR but is now a fake tree since the set was rebuilt. The hobbit-burrows don’t have insides, the scenes in the movies were all shot on set and not actually inside the homes.
At the end of the tour we drank some cider in the Green Dragon, a pretty touristy spot. The whole Shire is beautiful and even if you’re not into LOTR, it is a fun tour. It’s set on a working sheep farm in a beautiful part of the North Island and it’s very scenic. Stay tuned for more on our New Zealand adventure!