New Zealand, or ‘the real Middle Earth’ (as the tourism board likes to call it), is synonymous with the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit movies and it’s easy to see why director Peter Jackson brought the production of the movies to New Zealand. The landscape is as breathtaking as it is diverse.
So many of the backdrops to these famous movies are accessible too. You can walk in the shadow of Mount Doom on the Tongariro Crossing (one of the world’s best one-day hikes) and you can ride a horse across the locations of some of the battle scenes in the South Island.
But perhaps the most famous location is Hobbiton: the real-life movie set location that is open to visitors.
When you’re exploring (and getting all the facts and insider info from your guide) Hobbiton really does have the ability to transport you to The Shire.
The washing lines have clothes drying on them, the wheel of the water mill turns, the doors of the Hobbit homes are slightly ajar as if their inhabitants have only briefly popped out, and the famous trees are still standing. Talk about awesome.
Perhaps the best part though, especially after a couple of hours of wandering around, is to drop by The Green Dragon Inn. Yes, THE Green Dragon Inn.
Here, you can grab a cold cider and a snack. But if cider isn’t your thing, there’s always Girdle Fine Ale, Oak Barton Ale or Southfarthing Ginger Ale.
We’ll cheers to that!
This is a truly unmissable stop on any adventure through New Zealand’s North Island, so make sure you go check it out.
‘Someone once described me as a non-destructive vandal; within the confines of a camera viewfinder I transform and embellish landmarks with bits of carefully crafted black paper and capture the moment in a photograph. This idea started as a way to photograph my home city of London in a new way. Then the hobby got out of hand. Now I travel the world transforming the skyline around me from well known scenes like New York's Statue of Liberty and Hong Kong's Harbour to lesser known landscapes such as the vistas of Kiruna and Beach Huts in Ontario.’ Follow Rich @paperboyo