A few months ago we visited Gandalf Crescent in Paraparaumu, while on a tiki-tour around the region on my birthday (my 29th, if you like). My lovely wife Aiko just celebrated her birthday as well (by a staggering coincidence, she's also 29 again), and as luck would have it, we'd found another Tolkien reference on the local map, this time in Upper Hutt (Silverstream). What with us both being rings-geeks, we just can't stand knowing that there's a place out there that we haven't visited yet, so off we went.
Upper Hutt was used quite extensively for the filming of various locations - apart from the studios in the suburb of Taita, Isengard's gardens can be found in Harcourt Park, the Hutt River was used for at least three scenes (River Anduin, River Isen, and an unnamed scene where Brego rescues Aragorn), and of course Rivendell is located in the Upper Hutt Regional Park of Kaitoke. And, again apart from the Taita studios, we visit them all on the fullday tours (commercial plug!).
However, the location for today wasn't used for the movie - it's another local street with a great name: Hobbit Lane.
Unlike Gandalf Crescent, this one looks a bit more established, so it wouldn't at all surprise me if it existed before the movie was made.
As you can see from the map below, it's a small cull-de-sac (which is actually anglo-french for "Bag End", curiously) off a main road in the back of the suburb, nicely against the side of the hill, surrounded by trees and shrubs. Again, as with Gandalf Crescent, there don't appear to be any other LOTR related names in the neighbourhood either.
View Hobbit Lane on larger map
Once again, I am not sure about the details of how it got it's name, so if you have more detail, or have suggestions on where I could start looking, please let me know!
Got anything better? Drop me a line!
- Jack M.