Matamata, New Zealand
One’s stay in New Zealand can’t be without visiting something from that of the classic Lord Of The Rings. In our case, we decided to visit the original set of Hobbiton. For those of you who are currently yawning or scratching your head profusely over what words you’re reading then I suggest you either skip to the next blog or get your reading glasses on, a rather large coffee and delve intro Tolkien’s masterpieces; for those of you familiar and interested, let’s continue. As we reached the entrance, we boarded a bus that would eventually take us into the valley for our tour of the make believe village. To be honest, although my expectations as a fan were high, I was expecting a fake ‘plastic’ world. For it was only just under a year ago I was walking the fields that inspired Tolkien’s Hobbiton and now I was here, on a movie set. Yet as you learn more and more about this magical place you understand it’s true meaning, not just for what it became in the films, but what it is in real life, a working village…well, kind of. Exquisite details down to the life of trees and hobbit hole windows were that captured by Peter Jackson, but the hard work that continues to give this village life including the real plants, trees and vegetables that grow is that of the fascinated tourists that come to see it. Only saved by tourists themselves, the farm was convinced to keep the magic alive and now can be very fortunate themselves to have such a wonderful business. Although most Hobbiton holes will literally only fit one standing up Hobbit inside, their charm and individuality is that of a reflection of a creative eye. Typically English, the only functioning structure apart from a water wheel, is the pub. That being said, we didn’t see any hobbits, just enthusiastic gardeners wondering how they even got to become a weed puller in the village of Tolkien’s imagination.