The Hobbiton movie set is a mandatory tourist attraction on the North Island of New Zealand, even for those who haven't seen the movies.
Don't tell anyone, but... I haven't seen all of the Lord of the Rings movies. I have only seen the first one, I haven't had the time because I'm flying all the time. (Seriously, if one of the major airlines puts it on their IFE, I'll watch it in-flight sometime.)
The drive is long, but beautiful. There are plenty of tours with various companies that start from Auckland. I recommend using TripAdvisor or a similar travel site to find a tour or combo tour. If you're with a tour company, your guide will likely tell you about the story of Peter Jackson showing up in a helicopter to find a plot of land and negotiate with the farmer who owned it.
The rolling hills and landscape are naturally beautiful. You don't need an Instagram filter or Photoshop - the colors of the land really pop.
Hobbit holes come in all shapes and sizes. Apparently much of the set had little or no screen-time in the movie, but it was still crafted by skilled artists. It's an interesting behind-the-scenes look. Though, I'm sure much of what is in Hobbiton is specially maintained for the tour.
It was surprisingly difficult to get photos with few people in the shot - it's a very busy attraction.
The tour ends with a stop at the Green Dragon Inn for some cider. I don't have any good photos from the Green Dragon... the cider wasn't that strong, I swear 😅
We Fly Frequently is a blog from a group of frequent global travelers. We post photos and information about our journeys around the world. All photos in this post were taken by the We Fly Frequently authors!