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Movie set tours


While in general, New Zealand markets its incredible natural beauty, the small town of Matamata, 160km southeast of Auckland and 64km east of Hamilton, attracts visitors with ‘hobbit holes’.

Peter Jackson’s epic Lord of the Rings trilogy first put the town on the map as a filming location, with 300 locals getting jobs as extras. Next up, the Hobbit was filmed here and cleverly, the landowners negotiated to keep their hobbit holes. And the town got in on it too. The local i-SITE Visitor Centre is dressed up as a Hobbit house and there’s a creepy Gollum statue.

The real deal though is about 15 minutes by car southwest of Matamata, where tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set depart from The Shire's Rest, 501 Buckland Rd. Options include an evening banquet tour served inside The Green Dragon Inn.

Thank you Peter Jackson!

Attractions for Kids

Lord of the Rings & Hobbit

Waikato & Coromandel

Length of NZ Classic

4 weeks driving the length of NZ

North Island Loop

Circle the island in 2 weeks

Text © Craig McLachlan

Image by othree