When I planned my trip to New Zealand I didn’t include any Lord of the Rings (LOTR) locations even though it is probably one of the most popular things to do in the country for tourists. In reality it was a different story – I ended up visiting the Weta Workshop in Wellington and also Hobbiton, the filming location of the hobbit village in LOTR. Hobbiton Movie Set is on the way to Auckland and it is too tempting to not stop for the day.

Tickets need to be booked in advance because they only let smaller groups in at a time. Luckily I am proactive about it. I give myself ample time for commuting since I am driving from Rotorua and I can never trust maps.me to how long it should take.

As usual I arrive early and hang out at the visitors area until it is time for me to catch the coach to the movie set.

We have a tour guide that takes us around. Unfortunately you are not allowed to wander on your own. I guess it makes sense. It is a movie set, not a playground.

The attention to detail is amazing. You really do feel like you are in a hobbit village.

Towards the end of the tour we stop at the Green Dragon pub to try a beer brewed for Hobbiton. It is said the cast and extras were rewarded with beers sometimes after filming.

After our visit we catch the coach back to the visitors center. It is a great visit. The only thing I would have liked to to spend more time relaxing at the pub while overlooking the Hobbit village.

Even though it is my last night with the campervan, I choose to stay the night at a motel. This gives me a chance to organize and re-pack my backpack. I also need to figure out what I am going to do with the extra items I bought for comfort that are impractical for backpacking and impossible to carry.

I finish my evening by walking to dinner down the street at a local pub to get some more green-lipped mussels.

Tomorrow I am off to Auckland and to return the campervan. My visit to New Zealand is almost done.