We initially went to Hamilton because of the Hobbiton movie set but loved it for Hamilton Gardens.
A life sized human to show scale of the tiny Hobbit home.
If you grew up on Enid Blyton, it’s a joy to experience the English garden and be lost in a mixture of blissful childhood memory that these gardens evoked. In my childhood, in that magical one hour reading about the faraway land or the wishing chair, everything was fine and the world was a beautiful place of English tea and biscuits. Even now, drinking Ceylon tea (as opposed to Chinese or Japanese tea) at 3pm is very comforting to me. I associate that with Enid Blyton and reading.
We stayed at 26 Pulham Crescent, Hamilton, Waikato 3210 and drove 51km about 1hour to Hobbiton.
The land is owned by a NZ sheep farmer and the children can see sheep, have lunch, visit the gift shop.
Story goes that after the first movie, the set was torn down and restored to original condition. But by the third movie, there was a blizzard (I think or snowstorm) and the crew couldn’t remove the set for 5 months? So the owner of the land said. Why not turn lemon into lemonade. And it became a tourist attraction.
The guide is standing in front of a fake tree. Created because the director wanted a tree of a certain height and dark green color. That’s the level of detailing in the movies. Movie buffs in our group were able to tell the actual scene it appeared.
You cannot get into the movie set on your own but move with the coach and assigned tour guide.
Pretty English landscaping
If you are not confident of your driving time, there’s no need to book your tickets in advance. The disadvantage is that if the tour is full, you have to wait one hour for the next tour. The actual tour lasts 2 hours and good for photo buffs, lots of pretty flowers.
A drink (root beer for me) at the Green Dragon Inn.
Rent a Hobbit movie before you go to refresh your memory.
Go to the washroom before the tour starts.
Bring umbrella, hat, sunshades, comfortable shoes, water.
Engage your imagination
Bring an umbrella, sunshades and hat, as its very sunny. Its very crowded with tourists (like me) but I’d no problems taking photos. Wander around a bit after the guide does his introduction, wait for the groups to clear. With 2 hours, there’s sufficient time to go back to your favourite spot for a family photo.
This tour is definitely not for you, if walking is a problem.