Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Visit to Hobbiton

Back in January, we celebrated our Anniversary by visiting the Hobbiton set in Matamata, north of Taupo. I had wanted to show the photos here much earlier, but was unfortunately prevented from doing so by the Non-Disclosure Agreement they made everybody sign there (as you buy your ticket).

However, it seems that Common Sense has prevailed, and they're now allowing people to show their photos finally. It's not like we haven't already seen what it looks like in the Lord Of The Rings movies, a decade ago!

So, this will be a lengthy blog entry - there's almost 50 photos here. I'll add the occasional comment but in general I'll let the photos do the talking.

As always, the photos are mine, and I retain my copyrights. The sets themselves (and the rights to them) belong to the studio - but I took these pictures. If you want to use them, please check with me first, and also the Hobbiton people themselves. They still don't want them to be shown commercially (so, not in the general media).

As always, click on the pics for better quality. The detail is terrific!

The road to Hobbiton is (coincidentally!) named Buckland Road.
My wife Alex, in front of the bus named after her favourite Middle-earth citizen.

A chair, ready to be relaxed in. If it wasn't half-sized.

The ladder reached to my chest. So good to be "tall".

A yellow door.

The garden needs some work. Apparently there are lazy hobbits also.

A blue door.

A green door.

"Just check if anyone's in?"

Another yellow door.

Another green door.

The wood neatly stacked ready for winter.

I love the little overhang so the rain doesn't get in.

A much tidier garden. Obviously well-to-do hobbits.

Another yellow door.

Yellow is obviously a favourite colour in this part of town.

The fence has been made to look much older and moldier.

Gorgeous house, with chimney.

Presumably the house of the cart-maker. Note the rounded gate and the squared door. A bit of a rebel hobbit, this one. Square doors are all the rage in Bree, don't you know?

Another blue door.

The fence is kept shut with an old horse-shoe.

Fantastic gardens everywhere too. Rows of cabbages and other vegies.

The view across the lake. On the other side, still off-limits, is the bridge-house, the Green Dragon pub, and the mill.

Three hobbit-houses at the lakeside. Behind it, a familiar sight!

Going uphill now, with houses uilt in to the hillside, and chimneys everywhere from the houses beneath.

The view from the hill.

More gardens near the top. To the right of this hobbit's abode, a beehive.

More detail. By the way, the tree at the left is fake. Could you tell?

I don't need to describe this one. We all know who lives here!

We felt an overpowering urge to knock on this door. With a staff. Incidentally, I couldn't find any "secret signs" on it (but then it wouldn't be secret, would it?)

No really, it's fake. Trust me. It's life-sized.

Signs everywhere, in case you get lost. The writing is in the unmistakable script of Daniel Reeve.

After a visit to the Green Dragon, you might need the signs to get home, I'd imagine.

And that's where Mr Bilbo lives!

The road to East Farthing. Gandalf came in through here on his cart.

The magnificent Party Tree. It's real, don't worry (but it's a Pine Tree, not an Oak).

The Honey Factory. Two hobbit-child's toys on the left.

Two beautifully painted See-Saws, on the Party-Field.

The mold is real mold, artifically grown.

And the cabbage is real too. A whopper!

Warning - Hobbits Underfoot!

A special sight. The tour went past this but didn't go into it. Apparently this much more overgrown section was Guillermo del Toro's vision of the Shire. It looked a lot darker and more mysterious!

The wood-shed.

A wishing well, covered to make it safe for hobbit children.

And one more child's toy - a swing under a tree. I'd imagine it would be a nice place to enjoy a pipe as well.

Back in the Shire's Rest, everything was Hobbit-themed. The clock...

...the Fireplace, ...

...and even the Toilet-roll Holder had the right shape.

The Shire's Rest is the cafe, by the way.

I'd love comments! Are they on the right track? Are you green with envy? Better yet, are you planning a visit?

Leave me your thoughts!