The highlight of our trip was without a doubt our tour of Hobbiton. Yes, of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit fame – that Hobbiton! On our way out of Rotorua, we made a special trip to visit the set of the Shire. It is situated on a sheep farm, and they offer tours of the site.
The kids were pretty excited. Ok, maybe B and I were more excited, but still, everyone was looking forward to it. The tour started at a farmhouse converted into a visitor’s center, where we boarded a bus and were transported up a hill and around a corner. We stopped for a few sheep, a bus coming the other way, some more sheep, and then suddenly, there was the Shire, just ahead!
We saw everything – Hobbiton’s gardens, all the hobbit holes, Sam’s house, the cranky old man’s house, the party tree and field, the bridge and the water wheel, the Green Dragon pub, and of course, Bag End. It was fantastic.
The tour guide kept telling the kids that they would get to go inside one of the hobbit houses, and oh man J was so excited for that. Finally, we made it to the special hobbit house that was open for viewing. She was no nervous to open the door, so I helped. I pushed it open and peeked inside…. And it was just a tiny dark hole filled with dirt and umbrellas. So yeah, that was a bit of a let-down, but not enough to dampen our spirits.
We ended the tour at the Green Dragon pub – the real one! We drank cider and ginger beer and sat by the fire until it was time to go. I think I was a hobbit in a past life, because I could have stayed there forever.