Discover the Magical World of The Hobbiton Movie Set

Experience the real Middle-earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set, where, in the heart of the Waikato region, you can step into the lush pastures of the Shire, as seen in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.

Fall in love with the Alexander family sheep farm, just as acclaimed director Sir Peter Jackson did, as you journey on a short bus ride through the indisputable beauty of the land, with the mighty Kaimai Ranges towering in the distance. Witness the intricate detailing, point out the most famous locations, and learn about the conception of this magical world.

The Hobbiton Movie Set

Story Behind the Hobbiton Movie Set

Originally largely marshland, it was transformed in the 19th century by a large-scale drainage scheme and is now fertile agricultural land and a major racehorse breeding area.

The Alexander family moved to the 500-hectare (1,200-acre) property of rolling grassland where the set is located in 1978. Since then, it has been a livestock ranch with 13,000 sheep and 300 Angus beef cattle. The main sources of income from farming are mutton, wool, and beef.

In 1998, Sir Peter Jackson’s team of location scouts were searching for the iconic rolling hills and lush green pastures of Hobbiton. An aerial search led them to the Alexander farm, a stunning 1,250-acre sheep farm in the heart of the Waikato. They noted the area’s striking similarity to The Shire, as described by JRR Tolkien, and quickly realized that the Hobbits had found a home. Filming commenced in December 1999, and it took around three months to get a wrap on The Shire.

In 2009, Sir Peter Jackson returned to film The Hobbit trilogy, and he left behind the beautiful movie set you’ll see today. In 2012 The Green Dragon Inn was opened as the finale to the journey. Guests now finish their Hobbiton Movie Set experience with a refreshing beverage from the Hobbit South-farthing Range. There’s an abundance of movie magic nestled inside the fully operational farm.

The Hobbiton Movie Set

Filming The Lord of the Rings

When Peter Jackson began to look for suitable locations for The Lord of the Rings film series, he first saw Alexander Farm during an aerial search in 1998 and concluded that the area was “like a slice of ancient England”.

Work began to build the facades for 37 hobbit holes and associated gardens and hedges, a mill and double arch bridge, erecting a 26-tonne (29-ton) oak above Bag End that had been growing near Matamata and which was cut down and recreated on-site complete with artificial leaves. Catering was made available for up to 400 cast, crew, and visitors per day.

The Lord of the Rings; The Hobbiton Movie Set

Filming The Hobbit

The original set was not built to last; the hobbit hole facades having been constructed from untreated timber, ply, and polystyrene and partially torn down after filming. In 2010, the set was rebuilt more permanently for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, filming for which began in 2011. Ian McKellen reprised his role as Gandalf the Grey and was joined on the Hobbiton location by Martin Freeman, who remarked that the site “just looked like a place where people lived and where people worked”.

The Hobbit; The Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour Options

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Journey on a short bus ride through the unequivocal beauty of the land, with the mighty Kaimai Ranges towering in the distance. Your guide will then escort you on a shared walking tour around the movie set, showing famous locations and explaining how the movie magic was made. This tour package can also be upgraded to a Tour + Lunch Combo. Enjoy a delicious buffet lunch served inside the festive Party Marquee.

The Evening Banquet Tour

See this magical Movie Set as you have never seen it before with a guided tour through The Shire at dusk. The tour concludes at The Green Dragon Inn with a complimentary beverage from the exclusive Hobbit South-farthing range. The guests will then be moved through into The Green Dragon dining room and treated to a banquet feast fit for a Hobbit.

The Evening Banquet at The Hobbiton Movie Set

Second Breakfast Tour

Make the first footsteps in the morning dew on the Movie Set as part of the first tour of the day. Your tour guide will escort you through the 12-acre movie set, recounting fascinating details from filming the trilogies. Follow your guide back over the double arch stone bridge to The Milhouse, just across the water from The Green Dragon Inn, where you will be treated to a breakfast spread fit for a Hobbit. The breakfast table will be heaped with seasonal fresh fruit, breads, pastries, preserves and cold meats. A hot breakfast selection featuring an assortment of a Hobbit’s favourite breakfast staples including fluffy scrambled eggs, streaky bacon, potatoes, grilled sausages and rosemary mushrooms will be available. Coffee and tea will be available throughout, as you enjoy the rustic, intimate interiors of the Old Mill. After you’ve had your fill, it’s time to make your way back through the wandering paths of The Shire and return to The Shire’s Rest, after all, this is only the second of a Hobbit’s seven daily meals!

Second Breakfast Tour; The Hobbiton Movie Set

Private Tour

Private group tours of the Hobbiton Movie Set can be organised for individuals or groups. Your tour starts with a drive through the picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm with spectacular views across to the Kaimai Ranges. Your personal guide will escort you through the twelve-acre site recounting fascinating details of how the Hobbiton Movie set was created.

Hobbiton Halfling Marathon

The Middle-earth Halfling Marathon takes Halflings on a journey through sites and scenes from the epic trilogies including some locations previously only ventured to by wizards and never-before accessed by the public. Participants will roam through the picturesque village of Hobbiton, through Gandalf’s Cutting, past the Sackville Orchard and up to Bag End before weaving down to Bagshot Row and past the sparkling lakefront. Take a stop for a brief refreshment at The Green Dragon Inn before the final leg of the voyage to the finish line across from The Shire’s Rest.

Hobbiton Halfling Marathon Day at The Hobbiton Movie Set

Seasonal Explorations

  1. The Hobbiton Christmas 2023
  2. The Mid-Winter Feast 2023
  3. International Hobbit Day 2023
  4. Hobbiton Beer Festival 2023
International Hobbit Day; The Hobbiton Movie Set

The Hobbiton Movie Set also offers a range of private function options to suit your needs ranging from birthday parties, weddings and intimate banquets, to large-scale incentive events and memorable conference dinner events. Add some Middle-earth movie magic to your next event!

The Hobbiton Movie Set