Visit the Shire in the heart of New Zealand
Follow in the footsteps of Frodo and Gandalf as you visit the sets of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie series. Who knows what magic you'll find? Read on for the lowdown on what to expect when you enter the world of the hobbits.
Preparing for your visit to Middle Earth
A key thing to remember is that the Hobbiton tour is an outdoor set. Sure, it's tempting to embrace hobbit life by going barefoot, but it’s best to sturdy walking shoes so you can stroll the meandering paths comfortably.
If you’re visiting the Shire on a sunny day, you’ll need sunscreen, a hat and water to keep you comfortable. Hobbiton looks equally movie-worthy in all conditions, so don't let rain put you off if the weather plays up. The site provides wide umbrellas to help keep you dry, and it's a good idea to bring a waterproof layer and closed-toe shoes in case the paths get muddy.
Now that the practical stuff is covered, on to the fun bit. Hobbiton is uber Instagrammable, so a camera or camera phone is a must. Capture your starring role posing on the stony bridge, in front of Bilbo’s round front door or with your drink at The Green Dragon Inn. The sets are so realistic that you might actually convince your followers that you’ve travelled to Middle Earth.
Getting to New Zealand's Shire is much easier than going to Mordor
Reaching Hobbiton doesn’t have to be an epic journey worthy of a whole trilogy. When you Klook your ticket, you'll choose a meet-up location – either the Matamata i-Site information centre or The Shire's Rest. Klook will send your ticket straight to your phone for hassle-free organisation. From there, you'll hop on a bus at your chosen time and enjoy the winding drive through picturesque farmland.
On the drive there, you’ll see why Rotorua makes the perfect Shire. The city is set on a lake on New Zealand’s North Island, at the heart of the Waikato region. It’s peppered with geothermal activity and rich in Māori culture, and the jaw-dropping landscapes range from rolling hills to dense redwood forests.
It’s not just nature that impresses in this area. Just a 45-minute drive from the Hobbiton Movie Set is the city of Hamilton's buzzy café scene – the perfect place to sip a foamy cappuccino and sample traditional Kiwi food. There’s also a growing craft beer scene in the area, so you can take your pick of local brews to savour after a busy day of exploring. If you’re inspired to plan an itinerary in and around Rotorua, check out Klook’s summary of the best things to see and do.
Hobbiton highlights – where fantasy becomes real
And now for the good stuff. Entering the Hobbiton Movie Set tour feels exactly like you’ve just walked into Middle Earth, with iconic locations from the films scattered across 12 acres of lush greenery. Hobbiton village is where you'll find brightly coloured Hobbit Hole doors peeking out of cute hillsides. In the cosy interior of The Green Dragon Inn, you’ll almost expect to bump into Merry and Pippin singing and arguing over a frothy pint.
Book a guided tour through Klook to delve even deeper into the magic. An English or Chinese-speaking Lord of the Rings expert will spill the secrets on how movie magic was made here. You’ll learn how New Zealand became the home of hobbits when director Peter Jackson saw the potential on a sheep farm. Having a movie buff as a guide means you can get answers to any burning questions you have about the films – so you might leave as an expert yourself!
The perfect way to end your tour is with a refreshing drink in The Green Dragon Inn. If you want even more, pop into The Shire's Rest Café and gift store to peruse the lineup of snacks, drinks and souvenirs.
Rotorua: Hobbiton and beyond
If you want to combine the magic of the movies with some awe-inspiring nature, Klook a Hobbiton and Rotorua Day Tour. After getting picked up in Auckland and exploring the Hobbiton Movie Set, you’ll venture to Te Puia – a centre for Māori culture and geothermal wonders. On the way, keep your camera poised to capture towering trees and ferns ruffling in the breeze as you cross the green oasis of the Fitzgerald Glade. Stand back and watch as volcanic springs like Pōhutu, the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, hurl spurts of scorching water high into the air. You'll also get to witness a unique centuries-old cooking process called Ingo, where woven baskets are used to lower fresh ingredients into the roiling water. Te Puia is also home to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, so you’ll see traditional skills like carving and weaving being handed down from masters to students. These crafts are put to use in the Māori architecture at the centre, where intricately carved structures tell stories of how people lived hundreds of years ago. For more New Zealand must-dos, have a look at Klook’s list of highlights.
Visit the New Zealand home of the hobbits
To get close to The Lord of the Rings movie magic, check out Klook’s dedicated Hobbiton Movie Set Tour page and put yourself in the action.