Dreaming in New Zealand: Hobbiton (& a bit of Waitomo Caves)

So, is there anyone who has not seen the Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit? If so, then he or she must catch up as otherwise this post will make no sense at all. It’s been a few good years since the movies were released, but the story was so good it’s an easy re-watch. It’s so good to the point that the movie set where the beginning (and the end) of the journey of the ring holder took place is still alive and full of visitors (like myself), just as if the movie has only just been released.

The journey starts with a short bus ride. You cannot actually see the Hobbiton from the distance as it’s located in the middle of a private land and surrounded by hills, so you are out of luck if you seek a free sightseeing.

The ride is short but enjoyable. The hills are so lush green and picturesque, especially on a glorious day! I am not surprised this area was chosen to become Frodo’s home. I mean, is the grass even real?

You probably imagine to have the place for yourself as the hobbits are gone, but don’t be fooled. Humans have moved in in masses.

There is an army of carers keeping the place pretty and gardens growing. Although some of the plants are artificial. They blend in well though so there is no way to tell if they are alive or not. Well done team!

The houses are really small. No perspective tricks whatsoever.

This tree for example is not real (so we have been told). Think it is supposed to be a plum tree. It ain’t gonna give us any fruit…

Sorry to disappoint but the tree up above Bag end is also fake. It is made of fiberglass and its leaves are made from silk sourced out from Taiwan! The leaves had to be glued manually one by one. That was probably one person’s job for a year!

This bush is real.

🙂

A big hoooman (myself) for reference. And this was one of the biggest houses. Guess there were short but also tall hobbits too!

And the famous Bag End. Unfortunately we could not peek in. I imagine this was only possible on a private (and expensive tour). For any other folk out there – No Admittance!

The view from up the hill.

A house for a shorter hobbit. Guess I could crawl in?

Bilbo’s party took place here.

Off to the Green Dragon inn for a pint! The place was added to the Hobbiton in 2012 and is a fully operational pub serving food and drinks to the visitors.

View of the houses from across the pond (Green Dragon tavern’s side).

Luckily the ceiling was high enough for humans to sit comfortably and enjoy a pint

Watch you head!

Last glimpse if the tiny village before we move on to the next equally exciting place – the Waitomo Caves! It’s about 1.5h drive away, so easily done within the same day!

The Waitomo caves! The world famous shimmering bugs in a dark cave. Unfortunately I was not able to take any good pictures inside, as the light is so gentle you cannot capture it by hand held camera (and definitely not from a moving boat).

So you have to trust me it looks like the below 🙂

As we have an hour before we go down the cave let’s have a wee wander around the area. The northern part of North Island has a subtropical climate and you can see it in the dense jungle-like forests.

But then you come out of the “jungle” and see Icelandic green fields. It’s bizarre but fascinating!

And some trees copy-pasted from Tuscany. Truly odd.

I was only able to take 3 shots in the whole of the cave trip. Pretty disappointing, but our cameras are not as advanced as our eyes… 😦

And the bugs and their lights! (don’t judge me!)

And we are getting out of the cave lead by a guide.

Off to Auckland next!

Thanks for visiting 🙂


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