By Travelin’ Kait
Global traveler, citizen of the world and avid volunteer who has (so far) visited more than 60 countries on six continents. She is also co-founder of Kids Unite 4 Hope, inspired by her time volunteering at a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.
Beyond the rolling green hills of the North Island lies Hobbiton, the famous movie set for the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies in New Zealand. As one of my favorite experiences during our entire trip, Hobbiton is a place that transports you into another world of fantasy and dreams, where you can leave behind the real world for awhile.
Our long awaited adventure began as we arrived at the Shire’s Rest, a cafe, shop, and gateway to the movie set. There you can find all sorts of great trinkets, gifts, and fun memorabilia! To reach Hobbiton, we had to take a bus with the rest of our group to the film site out in the hills. Our guide was so fun and had so much knowledge about the movies and the amazing production of film-making.
After getting out of the bus, we walked through the entrance gate leaving the known world and entering a world of fantasy and magic. As we walked through the path, slowly the whole Shire appeared before our eyes with its many hobbit holes and gardens peaking out from above in the hills. I couldn’t believe I was finally there! Being a big Tolkien fan myself, I was so in awe that the moment had finally come.
As we walked through the adorable small garden, I felt like I had stepped right into the movies. Although they had stopped filming a few years ago, it still felt like they were filming that very day – every little detail was perfect and every plant and flower was beaming with life. The colors and beauty made my heart feel so warm and welcome, the true feeling one should get when in a hobbit village after all.
Along the little paths were the many hobbit holes with the cute round doors painted different colors and adorable gates, flowers, and daily appliances sitting outside. Many of the houses were built on a 60 scale, which means they were much smaller than a life size scale to make the actors look very large compared to the small hobbits.
I loved walking through the whole Shire and seeing all the different hobbit holes, each with their own unique style and colors. The only hobbit hole that was life-size is Sam’s house, known for its bright yellow door. Although I loved every home in the Shire, my favorite was Bilbo’s house, the most famous hobbit hole of them all. Unfortunately, we could not go inside since there was nothing behind the door, as the house in the movies is actually a set. I was still so excited to finally see that iconic hobbit hole that I had been waiting so long to see!
From on top of the hill in front of Bilbo’s house, we could see all of the Shire and the vibrant green hills out in the distance. The beauty and magic there was so overwhelming, I wish I could have lived there too!
After our walk through the Shire, we strolled along the lake to the Mill and over towards the Green Dragon, the adorable pub featured in the movies. We had the chance to sit and relax at one of the tables while drinking a ginger beer, a delicious drink (that was not really beer) which is made and served only in Hobbiton!
After spending some time at the pub and soaking in the last few minutes of this magical place, we were back on the bus and heading back towards the real world. I didn’t want to leave Hobbiton, but I knew that I would treasure that day forever. I will always consider our adventure there as one of my favorite memories of our travels as a family!
About the Author
Hi! I’m Kaitlin and I love to travel, write, and volunteer. I am 17 years old and have been traveling my entire life with my family. I was born in Amsterdam and also lived in Los Angeles, Dusseldorf, Paris, and Rome all by the time I was seven. For the next seven years, I lived in Venice, Italy – yet in 2013, we went back on the road for an open-ended journey to see the world. So far we have visited more than 60 countries on six continents with no end in sight! My greatest joy is meeting and helping others as we travel and sharing their stories through my writing – opening hearts and minds to the realities and amazing people of the world. Inspired to give back, I started my own charity to help kids around the world, Kids Unite 4 Hope. Learn more here.