My exploration of Middle Earth continues. This is the last organized tour I will be doing in New Zealand. While there are many available I think I have done the best ones. This tour of the Hobbiton set at Matamata is highly regarded and inexpensive. It is the only set with remaining physical evidence of the movies - which are the 17 hobbit holes that remain.
I was picked up from Rotorua and taken to the set in a mini bus. I was the only participant from Rotorua so I had a good chat with the driver about everything NZ. He was not a major fan of Lord of the Rings, he was a bus driver who was looking for work and then became a fan after he started driving the bus.
He dropped me off at "The Shire's Rest" a small catering facility on the farm that is a staging point for the tour. I was then picked up and went on the tour with 6 people from India. The weather was windy and rainy so the tour wasn't drawn out. We saw the entire set which was cool. Everything from the Party tree used for Bilbo Baggin's birthday to Bag End. There are 17 hobbit holes remaining from the original 30 or so. We were shown where other parts of the town once were. Apparently, New Line Cinema is negotiating to film "The Hobbit" and if so then this set will be re created. If so then the I would love to see the place in its full glory. It was short but good. If you want more LOTR info then send me an email and I will give you in depth info.