Here's the van that picked us up at our hotel, it was an approximate 1.25 hour drive from Rotorua (where we were staying) to the Anderson farm (which is just outside of Matamata).
According to our guide, this lane was in one of the very first opening scenes.
Frodo: "You're late."
Gandalf: "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins, nor is he early.
He arrives precisely when he means to."
Frodo then jumps into Gandalf's cart.
They cross this bridge, where banners are being hung in a field for Bilbo's 111th birthday party.
The home of Bilbo Baggins... my life is complete, haha!
You will recall this is the stoop where Gandalf stands when he raps on Bilbo's door with his walking staff. There are just over 40 hobbit homes in Hobbiton! I was very surprised how big it was - I'd expected perhaps a dozen at best.
As per the contract with New Line Cinema, a full-time staff of gardeners are employed to maintain a very specific 'look' 365 days of the year, right down to the height of each shrub, plant and flower. That way, whenever the studio needs to resume filming, there are no inconsistencies. To give the 'town' a true lived-in feel, the landscaping and plantings were in place 2-3 years prior to filming. In order to avoid detection, the gardeners are known for quickly hiding in the homes as tour groups pass by.
The homes are unfinished inside. All interior scenes were shot in a studio in Wellington, NZ. However, for photo ops, Bilbo's is panelled the first few feet in and the door is kept open.
The bench Gandalf and Bilbo sat on while blowing smoke rings.
All the wood used to build Hobbiton was new, but aged with a special vinegar solution.
Each and every prop in Hobbiton, be it leaded windows, hardware on the gates and doors, or a simple basket, was handmade by local artists in New Zealand.
The Party Tree
Me and the Party Tree - it's so much bigger in real life - it's gynormous!
That's all for today! I hope you enjoyed the tour. A few more adorable homes and Pickles the cat tomorrow.