Credit goes to where credit is due. If it weren't for Leslie coming to pick me up in Matamata on my last day and bringing me back to Auckland for my flight home. I would have had to choose between Napier and Hobbiton.
Thanks to her, I got to do both.
I got in late and Clive from the Maple Lodge was kind enough to come pick me up. I had a relatively comfortable night sleep and just before I went to bed thought I would check my camera.
Thank God I did....the battery was dead. Even on a full day of photography, I only go through maybe 30%, so I must have left it on all day without realizing it.
Woke up at 7am, nearly giddy with excitement for my upcoming 9:30 tour of hobbiton to leave from this i-site.
But not before my last yummy hot chocolate.
And eggs and bacon.
Sign coming into town.
The funky old bus that takes us to the Shire's Rest.
Our friendly driver David that told me all about the logistical nightmare of moving 750 people and everything they might possibly need during the Hobbit filming.
Our first view of the grazing land that Peter Jackson found.
A second dirt and gravel road built by the New Zealand military.
The loo is this way.....
Our guide Wyatt, he lives in town. Born and raised in Matamata.
This photo is for Arka.
My first view of Hobbiton.
The shades of green are just unbelievable.
Bag End at the top of the hill and the famous oak tree.
Cute bench, all to Hobbit scale.
The community garden with real veggies growing.
The first hobbit hole of many. There were only 17 on the original set used in LOTR but now are over 40.
The clouds create the perfect ambiance.
The picket fences have fake mold, made from yougurt.
You can see how small everything is.
Cute trails everywhere that beckon.
This is the famous path that Gandalf arrives by and Bilbo runs out on his adventure.
Real working mail boxes.
Cute, cute, cute!
There were a lot of props that the kids could play with.
The clearing of the big party.
Cute little lake in the middle of town.
According to our guide, a Harry Potter fanatic came out here, completely garbed in costume and brought his broom all the way from England and left it behind for others to play with.
I could not remember which color was Sam's house so I photographed all of them and decided to figure it out later.
The view from Bag End of the man-made lake below.
A close up.
All of the flowers and plants are real. There was a small army of people trimming, pruning and raking.
Finally made it up to Bag End.
Wyatt explaining the extensive effort and cost around procuring the famous oak tree above the Baggins home.
Bilbo's front door. I opened and closed the mail box just like in the movie. Shhhhh
The bench that he and Gandalf smoked and blew a ring and a ship.
The ticket said, "suitable footwear". Ooops.
Well, in my defense, I did trek through Angkor Wat in heels.
The famous party tree.
According to the guide. The 3rd most photographed thing in the world.
That is the Green Dragon across the lake.
Yep the bridge is fully functional now and so is the wheel house.
Inside the Green Dragon.
Pale ale on the house.
In an earthenware chilled mug.
I went and sat outside with the view of the lake and Bag End.
Fun flyers and advertisements.
This was my favorite room. Sitting in here made me feel like I was in the world that Peter Jackson was able to create.
Sam's scarecrow. This is the scene where he says, this is the furthest I've even been.
One last parting look on Hobbiton as we head back to our bus.
Took the bus back to Matamata with some melancholy and sad nostalgia. It felt like such an ideallic and serene world. Of course, fairy tale but none the less....I sincerely felt like I could live there the rest of my life.
Leslie and I drove back to Auckland and had an excellent meal. One last lamb dish please!
This wraps up my 2nd New Zealand trip.
While I went back for Milford Sound, I was more impressed with Napier and Hobbiton. I had a good visit with my friends and made some new ones too!
Farewell Hokey Pokey ice cream.