'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Visiting Hobbiton

It was early spring at the Alexander's lovely property near Hinuera.  I felt quite nostalgic for my own Okoroire farm years, quite near here.  
There were the first early lambs happily sitting all over the area that was used for the Shire and Hobbiton in the 'Lord of the Rings' series of films.  Some landscaping and planting was taking place in preparation for the new movie 'The Hobbit', that New Line Cinema is planning to make here.*

Here's the 'Party Tree' that was the scene of Bilbo's 111th birthday party and Merry and Pippin's firework prank.

It was a requirement of the contract the Alexanders signed that nothing should be left, but a series of storms and happenstance meant that the last few hobbit holes were not 'removed' and after a request from the Alexanders, New Line agreed to let them remain in very simple form, but without their brickwork, doors etc.  And it's lucky in a way that they did, because now that they need to use this farm again, it is a much simpler job to reinstall them.

I wasn't expecting much, but the tour was very  interesting and informative, even to our family who know almost all there is to know about the making of the films, due to James's almost obsessive interest.  I especially enjoyed the information about the farm itself, and the secrecy and ergonomics of the filming process - catering etc., for such a huge number of people who had to be on site during the day.  

Afterwards it was a pleasant surprise to also have a shearing demonstration and be allowed to bottle-feed some orphan lambs.
Speaking as a local, I thought it well worth the visit and the price.  As a tourist, a very good introduction to New Zealand sheep farming, and an excellent insight into the process of big film-making, and the whole Lord of the Rings phenomenon.  

Go here to the wiki site for more information about the film.  Or watch the excellent material that comes with the extended versions.  Fascinating.  The music soundtrack is lovely too.

*New Line is under contract to produce the Hobbit with MGM, which is due to be sold soon.  It's not considered this will prevent the film going ahead.    However I'm not sure what the effect will be of the outcome of the Tolkien Family Trust vs. New Line court case. 


  1. Very interesting! I think it is a very beautiful area and long to see it one day, I will have to include Hobbiton as well. I loved the movies and didn't realize they were making another.

  2. Ah, The Lord of the Rings - the film trilogy was the first film made from a book that I have read that didn't disappoint me.

    And I don't think I would really like a hobbit house - I want a house high up in a hollow tree like Owls in the Pooh Bear story.

  3. Katherine!

    we never lost hope that you'd be
    blogging again, so we popped by
    every so often to check in on you.


    you're back!

    and it's a wonderful post.
    lambs, grass, trees, big country,
    all of the things that are missing
    from our own concrete environs.

    great pics, interesting narrative,
    just like we remember you.

    welcome back, luv. :-)

    now, the Shire. the Party Tree. . .

    we're NOT going to pull out
    Tolkien, 'cause we have too
    much other stuff to read.
    and we barely have time to blog,
    (sound familiar?)

    however, you HAVE inspired us
    enough to bring down Jackson's
    LoTR DVD trilogy and play it
    in the background as we do our
    house chores today. just in time
    for the holidays. :-)

    OMG, these pics of Hobbiton
    make for a fun desktop,
    we hope you don't mind if
    we display one for a while.

    the shearing, the children,
    the Hobbit homes, it all makes
    for a smile-inducing post.

    thank you so much
    for the tour, Kath,
    gotta go for now,
    but c'ya next time.


    oh, gonna checkout the wiki.


  4. I here via Bareyedsun and so glad I was given gps instructions on how to find you! Oh how I would love to be there to see this beautiful place...but, thanks to you, I can view it "second hand" through your camera...thanks for the tour!

  5. Ditto, Auden. And about the home location, too.

    Thank you for your lovely comment Sunny! I'm honoured you desktop me. I wonder what is your favourite track...
    See you next time!

    Sandi, welcome to TLVD! And I'm very pleased to have you live vicariously through my lens.

    22222 (Had to count 'em) Welcome too! Thank you!