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How a sleepy country town became Hobbiton

November 21, 2012 at 4:30 am by linuxelf  - 

A decade ago, Matamata was a sleepy country town in the middle of the North Island, well-placed for travellers in need of a comfort stop and a takeaway snack. Today, it is better known as Hobbiton and is one of the country’s star tourist destinations, attracting 1.9 million visitors over the last 10 years. It is poised for a fresh invasion starting this Christmas which seems certain to top that number over the next decade.

It all began in 1998 when movie director Peter Jackson took to the sky in a small plane in search sites to film his planned trilogy of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

His target was a piece of countryside untouched by concrete buildings, power poles and roads that he could transform into Hobbiton, the primitive village home of Tolkien’s small, hairy, Hobbit people.

A family farm outside Matamata, set about halfway between the provincial capital, Hamilton, and the tourist city of Rotorua, and complete with Tolkien’s so-called “party tree” and a lake, proved perfect.

[Read more]

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, LotR Production, New Zealand, The Hobbit on November 21, 2012 by Source: 3 News
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One response to “How a sleepy country town became Hobbiton”

  1. Isaac says:

    Used to live there while I was working as a missionary to the Maori. Also got to climb Mount Ruapehu (filming location of the base of Mount Doom) and got third-degree frost-bite on my toes because a shitty salesman from Matamata sent me workboots for the climb instead of snow/hike boots. Good times haha

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