Middle-Earth – New Zealand

Most people have seen or at least heard of, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  Most recently The Hobbit movies were filmed and all the movies were filmed in New Zealand.

It’s really no surprise when you think about it.  Middle Earth is an old world with the flare of magic, towering trees, and mountains.  Green hillsides and horse-drawn carts.

Although the movie was filmed all over both the North and South Island, here in the north was where the Hobbits live.

And you can visit the Shire.

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Walk down the very path where Frodo ran yelling “I’m Going On An Adventure!”

and enter into the Shire, home to 300 Hobbits who live in 44 Hobbit Holes.

The set was built for the Lord Of The Rings movies and torn down after production was finished.  So when the land owner was approached for the filming of The Hobbit movies, he suggested that the set should be built for a more permanent purpose, allowing people to visit after filming was compleat.  There is even one Hobbit Hole that you can enter!

Take a walk through the community garden and see what’s growing.

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Do you see that tree, the smaller one on the top of the hill?

It is a very special and unique tree.

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The tree you see up there on the left is not actually real.  It has over 200,000 fake leaves on it and every few years someone has to go and repaint each one.

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There are also some VERY real trees.  A few, in fact, are over 100 years old.  This one, below, started to loose a few limbs while people were on tour so it needed a trim.

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Down the hill and over a bridge you will find  The Green Dragon Inn.  You can put your feet up by the fire, have a drink or even dress the part for some pictures.

 

The area around The Shire is just as breathtaking.  The locations is actually w working sheep farm.  They have a special kind of sheep known for having twin lambs and they are just about ready to pop!

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Naturally, there is a gift shop and a cafe.

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It is from here that you actually start and end your tour.  From the ticketing office, you will hop on a bus to take you on your way.

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With breakfast at the cafe and the tour, we spent a solid 4 hours here.  The tour is one of the more expensive things we have done but it is well worth it.

 

There are a few different places to stay if you are in a campervan like us.  There are even people in the area who have put their driveway up for rent on the Campermate app.

We chose to stay at the Opal Hot Springs and Holiday Park. (they have three different pools and two are natural hot springs!)

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