A Wondrous Visit to Hobbiton
Recently our family went on a day trip to Hobbiton in Matamata. Just over one hour by car from Waihi, the trip takes you through Paeroa, Te Aroha, and Waharoa. Having a number of children in the car we stopped in at Kevin’s Bakery in Te Aroha and then headed across the road to the Domain for a picnic lunch.
Having filled the tank (tic) we drove on to the vibrant township of Matamata which is a great place to stretch and explore the boutique shops, cafes and restaurants.
There are many places to grab photos of interesting themed buildings including the local I-Site and Dew Drop Inn. The drive to The Shires Rest Café takes about 16 minutes and shows some of the beauty of the local countryside. Once we had secured our pre-booked tickets we wandered around the souvenir shop and grabbed a drink for myself and ice-cream for the kids. One can also order a variety of meals from the Café upstairs.
We jumped on our bus with Amanda our tour guide and began the short journey through the sheep farm to the actual filmset of Hobbiton. Amanda regaled us with interesting details about the creation of Hobbiton and also a few less known facts that gave insight into the detail and ingenuity that goes into making the movies that are so well known around the world.
The walkthrough was most enjoyable as we discovered many Hobbit holes and the individuality of each building and who its occupants may have been. My favourite was the beekeepers house and the children especially loved the party tree and the play area below it.
Treading through the forest one imagines walking with a hobbit and then into the clearing you can see The green Dragon Inn. The building is magical and makes you believe; a quick visit to the bar for complimentary ale and we sat next to a crackling fire further building on the imagery that the dwarves may come through and join you at any minute.
The detail that has gone into this whole experience is so interesting that you will want to go home and watch the movies again to relive your experience of walking through the vale.