I read the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings in a four-week span before the movies were released. Yeah, I read them that fast. Mind you, I didn’t have access to internet or a computer back then and a book was the way to go. It was for the best looking back at it now.
I visited the Shire last month so I wrote this Hobbiton tour review.
One of the owners at the Matamata Backpackers hostel recommended I do the early morning tour since there will be less people. Other travellers told me the same.
The Hobbiton tour costed $79. It departed from the Matamata I-Site at 8:30 a.m. and included transportation. I originally wanted to do the evening banquet tour but that was sold out weeks in advance.
I was super lucky because there was only four of us in our group. The price of a private tour for 4 people costed $750. So, yeah, a big break for me.
There were other groups with 40+ people. I felt lucky to be in a group of four plus the tour guide.
The tour is guided so you can’t walk around the hobbit holes on your own. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good thing or bad.
I was on my best behavior compared to Thorin Oakenshield, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin, Oin, Gloin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur. Yup, these are the 13 dwarves that visited Bilbo Baggins in Bag End. Gandalf would have made me an honorary wizard.
I felt like an overgrown, brown hobbit walking through J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy of a tiny built neighbourhood minus the hideous furry feet.
The flowers were saturated with color, the birds were flying, and the butterflies were dancing. The Shire had that fantasy-like aromatherapy.
Having a tour guide is definitely helpful. My guide from Tampa, United States, explained some of the back story of the Hobbiton Movie Set which otherwise you wouldn’t know. It was interesting so I won’t ruin it for you.
Of course, the photographer in me pumped out some shots of the Shire using aperture priority mode (my favourite camera setting).
The tour ended with a visit to the famous hobbit pub, the Green Dragon, and free beer.
I wish I could live in one of the hobbit holes. But Sauron had other plans.