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International Hobbit Day celebrates at first light

September 23, 2016 Destination Global No Comments Email Email
bbInternational Hobbit Day also happens to mark the birthdays of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins so, the famous Hobbiton Movie Set – in the beautiful Matamata Waikato countryside – awoke to the inaugural sunrise tour and breakfast birthday banquet in the hobbit village.

The birthday party started at 5.30am with guests looking forward to an exceptional other-worldly experience in the 12-acre site and carrying a lantern as they follow their guide along illuminated paths while listening to fascinating stories of how the Hobbiton Movie Set was created and the making of the movies.
Meanwhile, down at the bottom of the hill in the famed Green Dragon Inn, the fires were burning to welcome party goers for the breakfast banquet feast. It’s the first time the Inn has had such an early opening and, in true hobbit tradition, there were copious servings of delicious hobbit fare, with second helpings guaranteed – even thirds for the Peregrin Tooks of the party.
Aussie Hobbit fan David Bhana who travelled to New Zealand for the day said: “It’s my sisters birthday in November, so I thought be the good big brother and take her, but really I wanted to come!.
“It was pretty special being at Bag End when the sun came up, you could see right across the horizon, it was breathtaking!”
To conclude the special event, guests were taken along the wandering paths of The Shire, across the bridge, past the mill and under the Party Tree.
Hobbiton Movie Set fact file
·      Film set area: covers approximately 12 acres
·      Hobbit houses: 44 Hobbit Holes
·      Party tree: 70 – 80 metres tall
·      Construction: 70 set builders
·      Catering: During production, three meals were served daily to cast and crew, plus snacks on demand for 600+ people
·      Gardens: 2.3km of hedges; 30 – 200 plants around each Hobbit house
·      Ground staff: 7 – 8 gardeners during height of season, 5 in winter
·      Traditional ales, cider and non-alcoholic ginger beer, all brewed exclusively for Hobbiton, are served from barrels behind the bar at the Green Dragon Inn.
·      The set is a two-hour drive from Auckland and within easy access of other North Island tourist destinations including Rotorua, Waitomo, Tauranga and the city of Hamilton.

Waikato, North Island, New Zealand
Flanking the mighty Waikato River which flows through the heart of the North Island, the prosperous Waikato farming region has been a tourism destination with an international reputation for at least 125 years. First it was the underground lights of glowworm caverns in the famed Waitomo Caves, now it’s the home of hobbits as featured in The Lord of the Rings andThe Hobbit film trilogies.
But long before Europeans were on the trail through the Waikato, Māori were the people of this historically and culturally significant land.  Many Waikato Māori trace their ancestry back 800 years to the arrival of the Tainui waka (canoe). This area was well populated with Māori pa (fortified villages), and an important centre of early Māori commerce.

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