Though The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies are over, that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating the franchise. And for die-hard fans, there’s always Hobbiton to visit. The former movie set is located in Matamata, a small agricultural town in the Waikato region of New Zealand.
Since filming, it was turned into a spectacular permanent attraction that’s complete with 44 unique Hobbit holes, a double arched bridge, and The Green Dragon Inn and Bar. Tours are available, and they begin at a picturesque 1,250-acre sheep farm and pass through the 12-acre site that’s home to Hobbiton. The knowledgeable guides share fascinating details of how the set was created. Afterwards, you can dine at the specially-recreated Green Dragon Bar on traditional Hobbit fare and craft beer.
Matamata is about two hours from the major city of Auckland. If you want to make a weekend of it, accomodations are available on nearby farms, giving you a taste of the rural community. Considering how gorgeous these photos look, you’ll definitely want to spend ample time taking in the pastoral beauty.
Photo credit: Trey Ratcliff