We left our beach campsite and headed inland towards the township of Matamata. On the way we passed the McLaren Falls which we stopped at very briefly to take photos and continued our journey.
|Near the McLaren Falls|
|The McLaren Falls|
Hobbiton is on a farm just south of Matamata. We arrived at the Shire's Cafe at 12 noon so it was decided we needed a second breakfast before we went on a 2 hour tour of Hobbiton. The cafe does actually serve second breakfast and we did see many an American enjoying it...although we must admit we stuck to the lunch menu :)
|This is looking more like Hobbiton country now....|
On the tour they take you in coaches along the road the New Zealand army were paid to build so that they could get lorries and film crew down to the set. The set is 5-10 minute drive on the gravel track out of the way of civilisation, there are no houses, roads, telegraph poles, electricity wires in sight. The first view of Hobbiton we saw was the back of the mill and the bridge and the Green Dragon pub.
|First view of Hobbiton, the bridge and Green Dragon|
We walked right around Hobbiton with our tour guide and saw all the 37 original Hobbit holes and the new 5 Hobbit holes built for the filming of the Hobbit which has now finished. We saw Bag End and Sam's house, the party field and party tree, as well as the front of the mill, bridge and Green Dragon pub. Built in a spectacular position in beautiful green farmland and sheep pastures.
|Bag End at the top of the hill|
|A Hobbit Hole|
|Sam's house is the yellow Hobbit Hole on the right|
|Party tree and field|
|Views across the Shire from Bag End|
|We're giants not Hobbits!!|
|The new Hobbit holes, watch out for these in the new movie|
|The lake, bridge, mill and Green Dragon|
|Lakeside Hobbit Holes with Bag End at the top of the hill|
|The road which Gandalf first arrives into Hobbiton on...|
At the end of our tour we headed out to the township of Te Aroha where we will spend tonight, probably watching Lord of the Rings!! :)