mrdither: I also recently had the pleasure of partaking in a Hobbiton Tour. My tour was taken the day after the big news – that the Hobbit would remain in NZ – and one could sense the excitement throughout the tour. I noticed TORN had already posted a spy report. However, the experience of being in Hobbiton was so invigorating that I felt inspired to post my thoughts.

My fellow readers even at partial completion Hobbiton is simply breathtaking. The party tree is in excellent health; Bag End sits majestically high above Hobbiton, about 75% complete because the front door and knob were missing; irrigation lines and sprinklers are in place; and flowers, gardens and tress are sprinkled throughout the grounds. It is spring in New Zealand, and by the time summer arrives all will be in bloom and the grass will fill in nicely. Despite all the delays, you could tell that the upkeep and care for preserving the integrity of Hobbiton had not been neglected.

During my tour, most of the workers were busy fabricating and installing chimneys. The chimneys appear, like the Hobbit holes, to not be fully functional per se. Rather, they are installed into the ground, with the smoke and lighting effects to be added in post-production. Some of the homes have a window in the front door, while others did not. Perhaps the millwork team was busy fabricating new doors with windows. The fronts of some houses have simple, thick sylvan lattice work that looks both decorative and load bearing. All of this variety adds to the depth of the environment; no two homes are alike because no owners are alike. Our guide pointed out that lichen had been hand painted onto certain wooden gates, and to mind where we stepped because certain patches of grass and vegetation were actually glued into place. These may all seem like trivial minutia to the casual tourist, but this goes to show you the amount of detail PJ is dedicated to achieving. Yes my photo taking efforts were ubiquitous, as were the requests for signatures on white pieces of paper titled Confidentiality Agreement; therefore, all my precious set photos will take their place with my mathoms. However, rest assured that Hobbiton looks spectacular despite it not being 100% complete at the time of my visit. I can’t wait to see the final product. Two years from now we will all be taking that long expected journey back again.

Some additional ramblings from me: I also took a LOTR tour in Wellington, no activity on the Rivendell Set in Kaitoke Regional Park, but will be interesting to see if they return to same location. Made is to Queenstown in the South Island and took a LOTR Tour. We were informed that agents were in the area scouting Hobbit locations. Could the Remarkables, AKA the extendables, be the backdrop for Bilbo’s travels?