#20 – Visit Hobbiton, New Zealand

‘I picked up The Hobbit. And I began to read.
I was swept off to a green, green Shire in a far, far land, and my soul has never returned.
I suppose it never will’
– Steve Bivans

Back when I was a  young boy, my Dad took it upon himself to introduce me to Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. A special limited edition release of The Hobbit was gifted to me, and very quickly became one of my most favoured possessions. Being at an age where reading such a comprehensive piece of work was a difficult task, I have memories of my Dad reading it to me, bit by bit, every night I would stay over at his. This went on for months, and was the beginning of a long-standing love-affair with the world Tolkien depicted.

Naturally, once Hobbiton was created in real-life for the filming of both LotR and The Hobbit, my desire to visit grew ever stronger.

Thankfully the Hobbiton tour was on the Kiwi Experience bus route which meant that, whilst roaming around New Zealand at the back-end of 2016, I didn’t need to do a detour to get there.

It shouldn’t be hard to believe, but Hobbiton is like a fairy tale, a wonderland. Roving hills, detailed props that beggar belief, doors scaled to different sizes. Blood, sweat, tears, careful planning and a whole lot of love went into crafting a place of innate beauty. Even if you are not a fan of LotR – or have never seen the films – there is something here for everyone.

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A Hobbit’s home in paradise

So, Hobbiton. Actually it was here that I first meet Explore with Emma, although I didn’t actually realise this until we met once again in Wellington (obviously she’s a lot more observant, and has a much better memory than me).

The tour is really insightful actually, with lots of behind-the-scenes knowledge shared by the tour guides, who are all obviously blessed. I mean, they’re working at Hobbiton, how wonderful is that?! Plus, you get to top it all off at the end with your choice of beverage down the Green Dragon. Personally, I’d op for the cider, but that could be a result of living in the West Country for quite a few years!

100% a must-have on the bucket list. 100% worth it. 100% lived up to my very high expectations.

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Myself and Teo considering relocating the Hobbiton permanently

To see my complete bucket list, click here

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