Hobbiton, Matamata | Visit the Shire from The Lord of the Rings

by Steven
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Home » Pacific » New Zealand » Travel guide to Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata

Always wished to play a part in a movie? Then pay a visit to Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, New Zealand. Okay, there’s no way you’ll be a part of it, but being in one of the coolest movie locations on earth sounds good. This is the place where certain scenes from the movie trilogies The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were shot. Touring the tiny houses in the Hobbits’ The Shire and ending with a delicious beer from The Green Dragon Inn? Here you can do it all. Let’s go to Hobbiton!

*This article is also available in Dutch (Hobbiton Reisgids).

In this article about Hobbiton Movie Set


Useful websites Matamata, Hobbiton & New Zealand


This article about the Hobbiton Movie set contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a booking through one of the links on this website, I will receive a small compensation. This will not cost you anything extra!

Hobbiton is located in a beautiful hilly area near Matamata on the North Island

The Lord of the Rings? How the film trilogy came about


It was not easy for the New Zealand film director to find a producer for his film trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Other directors didn’t exactly call him crazy, but to film such an epic story was madness.

And yet Peter Jackson managed to find a company for his script. In 2001, 2002, and 2003 he released three films based on the book The Lord of the Rings by author J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). It proved to be a mega success.

The film series won many awards, including 17 Oscars. Also, each film brought in ten times its budget, and the film series The Hobbit (2012, 2013, and 2014) was also a blockbuster. And tourism in New Zealand got a boost because of the beautiful nature of the locations where the scenes were shot.

The ring from The Lord of the Rings

You know the story, right?


You go to New Zealand and then visiting some of the locations regarding The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit has pretty much become a must. But for those who really don’t know what the story is about (can hardly imagine), here is a very brief summary.

The story revolves around Frodo Baggins and his friend Samwise. Through his uncle Bilbo, he inherits a ring that has magical powers. To ensure that the ring does not fall into the wrong hands Frodo and Samwise, along with the Company set out to throw the ring into the volcano, causing it to destroy itself. To do this, they must travel a long way to Mount Doom. What they all experience is best seen for yourself.

Smeagol, one of the characters in Peter Jackson’s film series

Who was J.R.R Tolkien?


The film series, as mentioned earlier, is based on the book The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon language at Oxford University from 1925 to 1945 and a professor of English language and literature at Merton College from 1945 to 1959. It was during the latter period that he wrote the books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Sources revealed that in 1961 Tolkien was one of the candidates to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. But his work was described as mediocre storytelling and thin prose. The Hobbit, by the way, is only a very thin book, but his work The Silmarillion is still quite a chore to fathom. Read it therefore in advance in Dutch, if your English is not very good.

Start of the tour begins at the visitor center

Tour & impression Hobbiton Movie Set


Peter Jackson was in New Zealand looking for a suitable location for the Shire, the place where the Hobbits live. He found the ideal spot near the hills of Matamata. To this day, the owner of the land benefits financially from this special attraction from the two film trilogies. But in principle, all of New Zealand benefits from Hobbiton.

By bus to the film set

Book a tour?


To see Hobbiton Movie Set you need to book a tour. This takes about 2 hours and takes you past all the highlights of The Shire. Websites, where you can book tours, are GetYourGuide and Viator.com.

From the visitor center, you get on the bus to Hobbiton Movie Set. A group consists of about 40 people.

Tip: Try to book one of the first tours on the day. Then it is not yet crowded and you can take the best pictures, without too many people.

The cute houses of the Shire
Pictured in one of the little houses of the Hobbits.
Help! An orc!
On the way to the Green Dragon
Let’s have a beer?
The Green Dragon!
On the other side of the lake is the Green Dragon

Transportation – How to get there?


Hobbiton Movie Set is located about 150 kilometers south of the city of Auckland. By car, it will take you about 2 hours. It is best to spend the night in Matamata or in the small towns of Hamilton or Tauranga.

Since a tour of Hobbiton takes about 2 hours it is easy to combine with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, 100 kilometers southwest of Matamata.

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