K: We went in search of The Shire and we were not dissappointed. The town of Matamata, also now known as Hobbiton, has lovely rolling countryside all around it just as you would imagine The Shire to be after watching Lord of The Rings (LOTR).
We went on the tour to the farm that was actually used as the location to build Hobbiton on. It was originally seen from above by location scouts in helicoptors because it had a pond and a large tree (party tree) beside it to be used for Bilbo's 111th birthday celebration but, it was found to be perfect to build the Hobbit holes too.
So the farm owners were very lucky as the whole area is lovely but they happened to have the correct features that now allows the family a very profitable LOTR tour. This location is the only location to still have some of the sets in place because they managed to halt their destruction as per the original contract!
I was very pleased as I got to sit in the actual Hobbit hole of Bagg End! Apparently 5 couples have got engaged on this location now and at least one lot are going to have a Hobbit themed wedding! Not a chance.
B: The detail Peter Jackson went to for his sets was incredible. One instance is the oak tree which sits above Bagg End. Where the hobbit hole was built there was no tree but one is described in the book. Peter Jackson found a tree in a nearby town, purchased it from its own, cut it up in to pieces, transported it to the film set and had it re-assembled like a giant 3D jigsaw held together by wire and bolts. By this time, the leaves had died and fallen off. New plastic oak leaves where sourced from Taiwan, flown over and individually sewn on. The tree was in the film for 7 seconds.