Home » Travel » My Journey to Hobbiton – A New Zealand Must-Do

My Journey to Hobbiton – A New Zealand Must-Do

bilbo baggins home in Hobbiton, New zealand

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

And today, we are getting swept off to none other than Hobbiton in New Zealand! Whether you’re a big fan of “The Hobbit” & “Lord of the Rings,” or not, Hobbiton is still a must-do when you’re in New Zealand.

Hobbiton, Matamata, New Zealand

I do promise you don’t have to be the world’s biggest fan to get swept up in the magic of Hobbiton. It’s nestled in Matamata, New Zealand, right in the middle of a farmer’s field (seriously, you’ll have to dodge roaming sheep and cows as you drive up to Hobbiton). It’s a quiet little area that is everything I would expect The Shire to be and more.

Hobbiton, New Zealand

The Hobbit homes you see in Hobbiton are actually permanent structures built for filming “The Hobbit” trilogy. The Lord of the Rings Hobbit homes were demolished after filming, leaving just bare plywood facades. The remnants of those homes became such a popular tourist stop, though, that Sir Peter Jackson (director of these epic movies), decided to make the set a permanent little town when they started filming The Hobbit.

Bilbo Baggins Home

Bilbo Baggins Home

I do recommend taking a tour while you wander through Hobbiton, as many of the people who work here were part of the filming of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. And they have all kinds of fun little facts to share while you make your way through The Shire.

plum tree in Lord of the Rings

For example, the apple tree pictured above was transformed into a plum tree for the movie. Because in the book there is a line about children sitting under the plum trees. But Sir Peter Jackson felt plum trees would be too large for Hobbits. Before shooting, the apples were all stripped from the tree and replaced with fake plums. The attention to detail was amazing!

A Hobbit home in New Zealand

Hobbiton home in new zealand

You’ll notice too, that some Hobbit homes are larger than others. The small ones were used for filming without Hobbits in the scene. Whereas the larger Hobbit homes were used for filming with Hobbits next to them, to make the actors/actresses appear small.

Hobbiton home
We found a home! Haha.

Also, don’t be disappointed, but the insides of the Hobbit homes are nothing more than an empty closet, basically. All the interior shots for the movies were done in a studio in Wellington. But you are able to pose for a photo inside the one pictured above!

Hobbit hole, New Zealand

There are 44 permanently reconstructed Hobbit Holes for you to admire as you wander through Hobbiton town. I didn’t take a photo of each one, but I certainly tried! Haha.

Hobbiton in New Zealand

Your journey will end at The Green Dragon Inn, where you have your choice of Hobbiton brews! The actors/actresses were given a special beer that had only 1% alcohol in it, so they wouldn’t actually be drunk while they were acting. This beer was then sold on tours after filming was over. Needless to say, it sold out very quickly! And now Hobbiton has its own brewery! (With the normal amount of alcohol, though! Haha.)

The Green Dragon Inn
The Green Dragon Inn
Inside the Green Dragon Inn
Inside the Green Dragon Inn

The photo gallery below has captions with fun little tidbits about each photo. If you’re interested in reading them, just left click to see the caption and it will make it full-sized. 🙂

I really have a hard time deciding what my favorite part of our trip to New Zealand was, but this one part just might be it. And moment of truth, I honestly wouldn’t consider myself a diehard Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan. My husband is the diehard fan. (I had only watched the movies maybe 5 years ago, but I did see The Hobbit trilogy in theaters. And I really need to read the books!) I did really enjoy them, but not to the level of obsession I have with say, Star Wars. However, I still LOVED my time in Hobbiton. And if you’re in the North Island – or heck, in New Zealand at all – be sure to check out Hobbiton!

We were staying in Rotorua, New Zealand at this time and took a bus shuttle from there + a tour once we arrived at Hobbiton. Click here for more info on that, and click here for The Hobbiton website.

What do you think of Hobbiton? Did any of the info in this post surprise you? Let me know in the comments!

Hobbiton, New Zealand
If you liked it – Pin it!

Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Have Clothes, Will Travel gets a very small commission. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!


  1. Oh my god this looks amazing! It’s a dream destination of mine to go visit as a massive LotR fan! It looks incredible and I’m super jealous that you got to go, but also glad, it looks like you had a lot of fun! Amazing pictures!

    Olivia | Immobulife

  2. I’m a huge Tolkien fan so I loved this post! The hobbit houses are adorable and it’s really impressive that they made they all different.
    Elizabeth | Confidentlyelegant.com

  3. Oh my gosh! I am super jealous right now. This is so fantastic! I’m a huge fan of The Lord of the Rings and I love those little Hobbits. These homes are amazing and I definitely want to go visit someday. I had no idea Hobbiton existed. You look adorable in these Shire pics. The Green Dragon Inn is on my bucket list now. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful adventure. How was the beer?


    1. I remember you saying you’re a huge Lord of the Rings fan! I’m so glad you liked the post! I hope you get to visit one day! And the beer was good! I had a stout while I was there. I do think they change the brews up pretty frequently, though. (I didn’t see the stout on the brew list when I looked a couple days ago.)

    I’m dying seeing these photos and reading about your experiences. I consider myself a diehard fan of the Tolkien world. I actually even consider myself part hobbit XD
    I have wanted to go here for so soooo long. It’s on my bucket list. Wow! It looks just as amazing as I thought it would be from your photos. Thank you so much for sharing. Once again I am living through you, and loving it. You’re the best for sharing your photos. Thank you!
    Much love,

  5. Omg, I’ve been waiting for this post, Obi-Wan! My Lord of the Rings obsession is only slightly less strong than my love of Star Wars, so visiting Hobbiton would really be a dream! In addition to all of the neat information about the movie and the sets you can see, it’s really just a beautiful spot! I’d love a beer at the Green Dragon! Was it good??

    1. Haha!! I am so glad you liked the post, Emily! I hope you get to visit Hobbiton one day. 🙂 And yes! The beer was good! I think they change the brews up pretty frequently. I had a stout, but I didn’t see it as one of their current brews when I checked the website.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.