We left Tasmania and landed in New Zealand, more precisely in Auckland. We spent a day walking around Auckland before heading on. Sadly, we were not able to go to the Observatory that night to watch the stars as it was cloudy. I was quite disappointed as I was looking forward to stargazing. However, exciting news: our next stop was Hobbiton! You know the set where the scenes of the Shire from the Lord of the Ring and the Hobbit trilogies were filmed?
It was truly something else to walk around this fictional hobbit village for a day.
First, it was unbelievable to see the landmarks seen on screen, most notably Bilbo’s hole and its oak tree as well as the party tree (to which we owe the selection of the site during scouting).
Then, you could only marvel at the amount of details that came into play. The oak tree (which was not an oak tree to start with) to which about 200 000 fake oak leaves were individually attached (the leaves ended up fading before filming, so they had to each be individually painted by hand), the hobbit hole doors – no two were the same – and each little accessory meticulously placed.
Finally, there was the sheer beauty of it all. The gardens were all maintained as if people were actually living there. I, for one, could totally have imagined myself living peacefully in this idyllic setting.
And there’s the Green Dragon Inn, where you can actually come in to have a bite and a drink.
Here is a sneak peak of the inside of the Inn.
This is a visit I definitely recommend to every LOTR and Hobbit fans out there.
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