If the Shire is at the heart of Middle-earth, then the Hamilton & Waikato region is at the heart of the Shire. When scouting around for settings for his epic movie adaptation of JRR Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit', Kiwi director Peter Jackson found just what he was looking for in the green rolling paddocks, rugged limestone outcrops and underground caverns of the Hamilton & Waikato region.
The idyllic setting for the Shire, home of the hobbits, including Bag End and the Party Tree standing majestically over the lake, was right here nestled on a sheep farm near the Waikato town of Matamata, just waiting for the magical director's touch, Visitors to Hobbiton Movie Set today can imagine hobbits going about their everyday business, as the set was rebuilt in 2011 for the filming of the story that started it all, 'The Hobbit', and remains as a permanent set today.
Gain a first-hand inSight into filming and the way things looked when shooting was in full swing. Get up close with over 17 hob bit holes and other iconic sites from the films including the Green Dragon Inn. Tolkien-esque landscapes can also be found in other parts of the region, such as Waitomo, where weird and wonderful rock formations give way to underground limestone caves. Other filming locations in the Hamilton & Waikato region include Weathertop Hollow from 'The Lord of The Rings' trilogy, filmed near Port Waikato and the Trollshaw forest filmed on rugged farm land near Piopio in Waitomo.
To find out more about Middle-earth movie Magic visit: www.hamiltonwaikato.com/experiences/middle-earth-moviemagic