04 April 2016
Monday we drove back to Matamata for the Hobbiton tour. What an amazing place; we were so glad we didn’t miss this! The country side is incredibly beautiful; we can see why Peter Jackson chose this area for the Shire. His attention to detail is mind boggling! It feels like you are walking through a village where people live and work. There are gardens and laundry on the line, fish drying; all making it feel real.
Peter Jackson wanted a tree on the hill above Bag End. For the Lord of the Rings movies he found a huge tree, had it cut into sections and reconstructed on the hill. When it came time to make the Hobbit the original tree was dead and he needed it to be younger (smaller). What to do? You build a tree of course! The tree looks real, you wouldn’t know that it didn’t grow there; the leaves blow in the wind like all of the real trees around it. Each leaf was hand stitched and painted twice, we were told, because the color wasn’t quite right the first time.
The tour ends at the Green Dragon for a glass of beer, or ginger beer if you are underage or driving.
On our way back to Rotorua we stopped at the Mamaku Blueberrry Experience for a small bite. The food and coffee were excellent. The unsweetened pure blueberry juice was so good we both bought a jar. YUM!