As the world readies to watch the third and final installment of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies', we're giving you front-row seats for a trip into the scenic Hobbiton, which was recreated in New Zealand
The Hobbiton tour factfile
In September 1998, Sir Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema stumbled upon the Alexander's 1,250-acre sheep and beef farm during an aerial search for suitable film sites. Construction began in March 1999. When the movie set was rebuilt for 'The Hobbit' Trilogy in 2009, these structures were built out of permanent materials including an artificial tree which was made out of steel and silicon. The process took two years. Filming for 'The Lord of The Rings' Trilogy began in December 1999 and continued for three months while shooting for 'The Hobbit' Trilogy began in October 2011 and took only 12 days.
An overview of the Shire, where 'The Hobbit' trilogy has been shot. Below is the live set, which was also used for the filming of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy earlier. Picture courtesy/IAN J BRODIE, tourism New Zealand
The thatch for the roof inside the Green Dragon and the Mill were cut from the rushes around the Alexander farm. The food and beer served inside are identical to the food and drink in JRR Tolkien's classics. Text & Pics/Tourism New Zeland, Fiona Fernandez
The two-hour, guided tours cover the 12-acre 'Shire', which is the picturesque home of hobbits in 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' trilogies. It is now the only permanent movie set in the world.
The famous oak tree in the background that overlooks the Bag End, was cut down and transported in from Matamata. Artificial leaves were brought in from Taiwan and individually wired onto the tree.
The Watermill and the double arch bridge were built out of ply, scaffolding and polystrene
44 Hobbit holes were created with untreated timber, ply and polystrene
Don't be surprised to spot fans of 'The Hobbit' dressed in similar attire as these don the garb of elf-like characters to live the mood on The Hobbiton tour. The guided tour covers areas like The Bag End, The Frog Pond, Ferny's Fen, the Watermill, and ends at the Green Dragon.
At: 501, Buckland Road, Hinuera, Matamata 3472, New Zealand.
Log on to: hobbitontours.com (to sign up for the Hobbiton trail) and www.tourismnewzealand.com