In 1998, Sir Peter Jackson’s set out to search for a suitable location to become the Movie Set for Hobbiton. When location scouts spotted the Alexander farm from the air, noticing the rolling hills and stunning green pastures, they immediately noted the similarities to The Shire that JRR Tolkien describes in her books.
In 1999 the transformation of the Alexanders sheep farm in the heart of Waikato began. With the help of the New Zealand Army, 39 temporary Hobbit Holes were built and Hobbiton was born. Filming began in December 1999 and soon after, when all filming was complete, an attempt at demolition began leaving 17 bare plywood facades. These shells later became the catalyst that launched Hobbiton in to the public eye.
Guided tours began in 2002 and have been running ever since, with a break in 2009 to film The Hobbit trilogy. Now Matamata biggest attraction, Hobbiton welcomes thousands of guests every year.
Hobbiton Movie Set runs a shuttle from the i-site out to Hobbiton at 11am daily in time for the 11am tour. Bookings are essential so contact the i-site to secure your seat.
Planning for Hobbiton
We have created a number of premade Itineraries for you to explore for your convenience. These Itineraries explore the local area at a variety of budgets to cater for all. Explore the Hobbiton Itinerary to find out more.
Matamata has a range of local accommodation providers including B & B's, motels and a campground.
Places to Eat
Visit the wealth of cafes, bars and restaurants that Matamata has to offer with takeout and dine in options available.
Keen to explore Matamata but too busy to do the planning? See our pre-planned Itineraries to find one that suits you.