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Who doesn’t know them? The Lord of the Rings trilogy or the Hobbit movies. If you haven’t seen them, then at least you probably heard about them or maybe read the books. The Hobbiton location near Matamata in New Zealand is a highlight for many movie fans.

A trip to the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata

We also watched the movies and that’s reason enough to visit the locations of “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” if you are in the vicinity. Welcome to the home of the Hobbits.

How to get to Matamata

Matamata is a small town on the North Island of New Zealand and therefore has no airport. The best way to travel by airplane is to fly to Auckland. Tickets, including within New Zealand, can be found on Skyscanner. There you can easily compare prices and times.

From Auckland you can reach Matamata, which is about 3 hours away, by rented car or bus. The best known are the InterCity, Skip Bus and various backpacker buses. You can find more information here.

Accommodation in Matamata – our hotel tip

Not far from the center of Matamata is the Maple Lodge Motel. The friendly managers greet you upon arrival and accommodate you in large rooms. Everything is very clean and guests also have a lounge as well as a kitchen at their disposal. The owners are always happy to help with any questions and the motel is a great starting point to visit Hobbiton.

You can find more hotels, motels and hostels for backpackers in this overview.

Matamata: Tours and tickets

How to get from Matamata to Hobbiton

Unfortunately, my stay in New Zealand was not exactly shaped by good weather and it rained heavily this very morning of the visit. The day before I had booked the NZ$ 110 trip that was supposed to start at 1.00 P.M. at the bus station in Rotorua.

Finally on the bus towards Matamata, near which the Hobbiton village is located, it started to rain again. A great day for a trip. But it came as it should. The weather god was probably on my side and when we reached the location there was no trace of rain. It even looked as if some sun was breaking through the clouds.

Welcome to the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Matamata

Once at the starting point, The Shire’s Rest, another small bus took us to the right movie location, which is in the middle of the pastures of millions of sheep. Now the time had finally come and Hobbiton was ahead of us.

Hobbiton Movie Set Tours near Matamata, location of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand

Guided tour of Hobbiton

Our tour guide Steve led us past all the locations of Hobbiton and shared his insider knowledge with us. From anecdotes of how director Peter Jackson found the location by helicopter, to building the movie set with hundreds of employees, to demolition after the shooting was done.

Sign in the Hobbiton movie set in Matamata

However, many fans came to Hobbiton in the Shire to marvel at the remains of the movie set. In 2011 the filming location was completely rebuilt for the “The Hobbit” movies and this time the Hobbit dwellings should remain in order to be able to offer tours through the movie set. Because over 400,000 visitors came annually and thus offer jobs for over 200 people who deal with care and guided tours through Hobbiton.

The entrance to a Hobbit house in Hobbiton, Matamata

Past the famous Hobbit houses from Bilbo or Samwise Gamgee, you can admire the well-kept complex. Planted front gardens with attention to detail sometimes give the feeling that the hobbits could really still live here. It is also interesting that the huts were built larger and sometimes smaller in order to preserve the optical illusion that the hobbits are very small beings.

Bilbo's home, Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata, location of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand
The House of Bilbo Baggins
Hobbit house in Hobbiton near Matamata
The house of Frodo’s companion Samwise Gamgee

The tour roams through the Shire of Hobbiton for a while (1.5 to 2 hours). You can discover other Hobbit houses that make great photo opportunities. But also the festive tree, which plays a special role in the movies.

Small Hobbit house with a blue door in Hobbiton, Matamata

Another Hobbit house at the Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata

The Hobbits' festive tree, Hobbiton Movie Set Tours in Matamata, location of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, New Zealand
The festive tree of the Hobbits

The Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton

Finally, we went to the Green Dragon Pub for a cozy, freshly tapped beer. The pub was opened to visitors in December 2012 and, unlike the Hobbit Houses, it was properly sized. Sometimes the interior looks like it is made for the little hobbits, but everything is normal size.

View of the Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton, Matamata
View of the Green Dragon Pub

The end of the guided tour through Hobbiton is then spent in the Green Dragon Pub. You can have a drink, take photos for your memory or just enjoy the atmosphere. It was a perfectly successful afternoon with sunshine in the otherwise rainy New Zealand. An absolute must-see for every Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit fan!

Tobi at the Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton, Matamata

The Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton, Matamata

Where can you book the tour to Hobbiton

I booked the Hobbiton tour in my hostel, but sometimes the tours could be sold out spontaneously. An alternative would be to book a tour online in advance. The prices are basically the same, but may vary slightly depending on the place of departure. Tours are even possible directly from Auckland.

Sign from the Green Dragon Pub in Hobbiton, Matamata

Have you ever visited the Hobbiton location for Lord of the Rings? Is it on your list of destinations for New Zealand? Give us feedback in the comments.