It’s time to pencil in a trip to New Zealand because Hobbiton — AKA one of the most magical places ever — has been given a ‘yuge upgrade that’ll take you out of this world.
It’s been a big week for fantasy-loving folks. It started with an official glimpse into Season Two of House of the Dragon, and now it’s been revealed that fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can now visit a real-life hobbit hole!
You see, visitors who embarked on a tour of New Zealand’s Waikato Hobbiton Movie Set could only see the Hobbit Holes from their adorable circle doors. But now, with the upgrade, tourists can go beyond the mysterious doors and immerse themselves into a fantasy world that was built from J.R.R Tolkien‘s mind.
Hobbiton chief executive Russell Alexander said the upgrade has been in the works since 2014.
“We had so many visitors saying they would love to see inside a Hobbit hole, so we thought let’s do it,” Alexander said, as per the New Zealand Herald.
“Not in my wildest dreams I would have thought Hobbiton would turn into this. It was the missing ingredient, it makes the experience complete.
“I’m absolutely rapt. It was a massive undertaking that turned out way above expectation.”
Wizards, elves, hobbits and everyone in between can now visit two Hobbit homes. ‘Ye home of the Proudfoot family — folks reportedly related to the Baggins — and the Twofoot family, who are my distant cousins.
For folks worried they won’t fit into the hole (hehe) news.com.au reported that 83 per cent of it is “human scale”.
Kathryn Lim, a set decorator, said many of the props within these hidey holes were made from scratch. What was also really impressive was that some pieces of furniture were from op-shops! Even the hobbits of Middle Earth have good thrift finds.
Spare some thrift shop luck, anyone?
As for folks who have sticky fingers and wanna take a piece of precious Hobbiton memorabilia home, you’ve been gooped! Hobbiton Movie Set general manager Shayne Forrest said, as per the New Zealand Herald, “Everything smaller than a handbag is glued and screwed on.”
If you’re not too familiar with the LOTR or Hobbit books/films, do not worry. Forrest said there are lots of details hidden amongst the interior of the Hobbit Holes that are perfect for everyone’s “levels of fandom”.
“We have hidden little Easter eggs for different levels of fandom, so that all visitors can enjoy the experience,” Forrest said.
Does this include a cheeky Legolas cameo singing “Taking the Hobbits to Isengard” remix? Hahaha, kidding… maybe.
For super fans who are really into the details of all things Hobbiton and are worried that key things would be missed out, do not fret! According to news.com.au, Forrest described the project as a “Middle Earth reunion” as it featured a bunch of folks who worked on the films, including director, writer, producer, and dream maker Sir Peter Jackson.
Folks can now visit the Hobbit Holes, which have been open since December 1 2023.
I will now leave you with one of the best tracks from Middle Earth. Enjoy!