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Rained out of Hobbiton
The next morning in Matamata we woke to glorious rain. Or, it would have been glorious had we not been planning to pay a visit to the Shire that very afternoon. After a bit of discussion we decided to venture into town and see if we could change our Hobbiton tour reservation. We found the i-Site tourist office and shook the rain off our collars as we entered through the circular wooden door.
We perused the keychains and collectable spoons hanging from the racks of souvenirs. Ryan quickly and easily managed to change our Hobbiton tour tickets. We changed them to the following morning with the assistance of a rather obliging counter aid. We thanked her handily and hoped that the weather in the morning would be a bit more dry.
Across the street was a Robert Harris coffee shop. So, we darted through the downpour and spent a cozy afternoon sipping cappuccino, sorting through photographs, and using the free Wi-Fi offered to customers.
A Glorious ‘After-the-Storm’ Sunset
That evening, right before the sun started to sink below the tree tops, the clouds broke. Ryan and I jumped in our car, cameras in hand and set out to see if we might find a photograph-worthy sunset.
We were not disappointed.
The Road to Hobbiton
We were up early the next morning. We had changed our Hobbiton tour time to be the second one of the morning. Su and I wanted to be sure to be there before the crowds and afternoon light.
On the drive over, we just had to stop and take pictures. Post storm Matamata in the morning is gorgeous.
The fields just glow in the morning light.
The tour of Hobbiton was a blast. We had a lot of fun. We took a heap of pictures. The day started out bleak and misty with on and off rain.
There are a multitude of Hobbit hole exteriors.
We had fun exploring the different set pieces.
Then we came upon the party house… Bag End.
We continued along the road to Sam’s house and a few others.
There are some great views on the way to the party field.
After the party field, we were off to the Green Dragon.
The filmmakers rebuilt the bridge over to the Green Dragon. They built it with steel and concrete this time.
And then we came across this iconic view.
The details that the set builders and artists put into the area was amazing. And they have a full time staff to maintain everything. It’s quite impressive.
Inside the Green Dragon, we were treated to a complementary mug of proprietary brew. A choice between Frogmorton Ginger Beer or Sackville Apple Cider. Why not one of each? It was a fun treat while we walked around the area.
Just having a brew in an old tavern.
Hobbiton will also host your party.
As our time in Hobbiton came to a close, we got one final view out over the water of the amazing landscape.
As we filed back on to the bus with our tour group, the rain clouds that had been hanging out on the edges of the hills began to roll back in. We settled back into our seats with satisfied sighs. It was time and money well spent.
Closing out Hobbiton meant that we only had a few more places to see on the North Island of New Zealand before heading home.