Hobbiton Tour from Auckland, New Zealand
As I was planning my trip to Sydney, Australia, I realized New Zealand was only a plane ride away. I looked up fares for a potential stop over. (I know in my previous entry it says I was in Melbourne- not Sydney... I'm getting to that.) In my favor, I found a great deal along with stopping over in Melbourne, Australia to meet Nancy. I stopped over in Melbourne before heading over to New Zealand. (Above photo: Auckland Sky Tower) Now, New Zealand might have been a spontaneous decision, but it was one of the BEST decisions. I fell IN LOVE with the vibe. One of the 'must sees' in New Zealand is Hobbiton. The actual set of the Lord Of The Rings and trilogies of The Hobbit. I set up an excursion on Viator.com. The excursion included a bus ride from my hotel at the Apollo. I got on with a few people and off we went to Hobbiton.
(2nd photo: The Hobbiton Tour Bus)
Along the way to the set, you could not even imagine the spectacular views I was seeing. Amazing green hills everywhere that go as far as the eyes can see. Of course we saw thousands of sheep that flocked on the hills. (3rd photo: Sheep on Hills)
The tour bus itself was excellent, Our driver told us history, life style in New Zealand, and as we neared the set he told us the story of how Hobbiton was found. Hobbiton was not actually founded and put on the map until the making of movies was over. The owner of the sheep farm where Hobbiton was built
had decided to keep the actual set alive.
We arrived in Mata mata, Hobbiton, New Zealand and spent all morning taking a tour of the place.
We walked in and out a few hobbit holes, peered around where Bilbo Baggin's lived, stopped for photos in front of the Mill, the party tree and the double-arch bridge as we were getting entertained with tales about the making of the films.
(Fourth photo: Hobbiton Set in Mata mata, Hobbiton, New Zealand)
Before the start of the actual tour, our tour guide took us to Hobbiton Gift Shop. In there we had 10 NZD credit to spend. (Which was able to get me a pen.) I also bought a small magnetic water globe of the set to remember my first time adventuring alone. As you can see in my third photo of me standing in front of a hobbit hole, I am holding an umbrella. Once out of the gift shop, it had started to pour, and it poured tremendously the rest of the day there. It was not too much of a bummer. Not only did they provide us with the umbrella, but I did not think the rain had changed the sets beauty, not one bit. In the fourth photo of the set, it was raining super hard yet, you couldn't even tell. Except, for some gray rain clouds in the distance.
Towards the end of the tour, they guided us into The Green Dragon Inn for a drink of Ale, Cider, or Ginger Beer. I, of course tried the Ginger Beer.
The last thing we did on this tour was have a lunch buffet in The Party Marquee. Everything was delicious!
(5th photo: Lunch table)
(6th photo: The lunch buffet set up).
When lunch was over, we had a long drive back to Auckland.
After being dropped off, I still had plenty of day light to explore the city.
All in all, it was a pleasant experience, despite the rain. The tour met 100% of my expectations.
New Zealand itself was more than I have hoped for.
Every time someone asks me, "How did you like New Zealand?", I'm always at awe with the question... as they would have had to be in my eyes to totally get why I fell in love with the place. I am definitely coming back in the future for whatever adventure New Zealand has to offer.
Extra Facts: The hotel I stayed at was called Apollo Hotel. (I booked it on site: booking.com)
Highly recommend. The price was very decent for a extra request of the Auckland Sky Tower view in my bedroom window. My unit had a balcony which peered out to the bridge and pier. Bedroom and living room was divided with an accordion separator. I had a long hallway in my unit to the bathroom and the washing machines was in there as well. The hotel reception area was very small with one person running it. Don't let that fool you, the rooms were decent and large for what I was expecting my moneys worth to be.