Project of the Week for August 13, 2018: Hobbiton Movie Set

August 13, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton™ Movie Set
Matamata, New Zealand
2,300 sf. Greenroofs (estimated)

Hobbiton Movie Set Project of the Week: August 13, 2018

Have you seen the Hobbit-like home in Pawling, New York that’s currently on the market?  Read my new “Hobbit Hollow for Sale in Upstate New York” to learn more about the earth sheltered passive house.  And, since the beloved furry-footed Hobbit dwellings are in the news once more, we’re featuring their “real” home: The Hobbiton™ Movie Set as our Project of the Week again.

Kia ora – Welcome to New Zealand!

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Hobbiton Movie Set

As a lifelong fan of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) books and subsequent epic fantasy adventure movies, I naturally was extremely excited when I was in Auckland, New Zealand in 2014.  I was invited to speak at a private function organized by Graham Cleary of Natural Habitats and was overjoyed at the prospect of finally visiting Hobbiton, the movie set located on the North Island where Sir Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings (New Line Cinema) and The Hobbit (Warner Brothers) trilogies were partially filmed.

Hobbiton Movie Set

New Zealand, Aotearoa in Maori, is a beautiful, magical country with varied landscapes – gorgeous rocky beaches with beautiful shells; lush, oversized vegetation reminiscent of a land of the lost look like throwbacks to prehistoric times; rolling green hills dotted with grazing sheep; magnificent mountains with soaring jagged peaks; stunning lakes; and so much more.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Aramis and I spent about a week here on the North Island with Natural Habitats’ Graham and Louise Cleary as hosts at their lovely coastal home on the Great Barrier Island followed by a couple of days in Auckland where I had the pleasure of speaking to about 100 professionals at The Northern Club, ending in our visit to mythical Hobbiton, the highlight of my trip (Aramis is not the huge fan that I am, however even he loved it!).

Hobbiton Movie Set

As luck would have it, at the time Graham’s company was creating a greenwall for Peter Jackson and his studio, Wingnut Films Productions Limited.  At first he tried to have us visit that project, but timing didn’t allow it…so Graham arranged for a private, behind-the-scenes tour of the Hobbiton™ Movie Set from one of Wingnut Films Productions crew – Brian Massey, the Academy Award-winning art director, no less, from the LOTR!  You can imagine my geeky excitement!

Hobbiton Movie Set

Brian Massey and me at the entrance to Hobbiton within the actual property.

For more on our adventures, see my “ Explores Middle-earth at Hobbiton, NZ” for tons more information and photos.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, Middle Earth.

Mini Description & Details

The vivid descriptions of the peaceful, merry, and diminutive Hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have been brought to life through the magic of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson.

Situated within the picturesque 1,250 acre Alexander sheep farm on New Zealand’s North Island, the 12-acre Hobbiton™ Movie Set represents Tolkien’s vision of the idyllic Middle-earth village of the Shire.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

In 1999 a temporary movie set was constructed by Wingnut Films Productions for the multi-award winning The Lord of The Rings trilogy with a total of 37 smials, or Hobbit holes, nestled within the bucolic countryside. The original set was largely deconstructed afterwards, but was permanently rebuilt in 2011 for The Hobbit trilogy.

Hobbiton Movie Set

The gourd artist’s smial – they’re pretty small inside.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

Vegetable Garden

Forty-four unique earth-sheltered Hobbit homes were constructed of stone, concrete and brick, covered with native grasses and clovers and surrounded by gardens and orchards farmed for fresh produce. There are approximately 2.3km (and growing) of hedges and 30 – 200 plants around each Hobbit house and 1.2km of hedges and mature Hobbit-scale trees were sourced from all over the local countryside.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

The potter’s abode.

Hobbiton Movie Set


There are over 50 staff on a permanent basis – up to 180 staff over the peak period – at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set, including 7 – 8 gardeners during height of season and 5 in the winter.

Accessible only by tour, the Hobbiton™ Movie Set is now a permanent passive attraction complete with rolling greenroofed Hobbit holes, gardens, double arched bridge, thatched stone Mill and The Green Dragon™ Inn with its own distinctive thatched rolling roofs offering traditional Hobbit fare and exclusively crafted Southfarthing™ refreshments.

Hobbiton Movie Set

The Green Dragon with the stone mill and bridge in the foreground; Photo Source: Hobbiton Tours.

Hobbiton Movie Set

The Green Dragon Inn from across the lake.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Year: 2011
Owner: Alexander Farm with Peter Jackson
Location: Matamata, New Zealand
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Custom
2,300 sq.ft. averaged & estimated
Slope: 9% averaged & estimated
Access: Accessible, Private

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

Edible flowers and herbs.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Site Design & Layout: Wingnut Films Productions Limited
Earth-Sheltered Design & Construction: Wingnut Films Productions Limited
Maintenance: Wingnut Films Productions Limited
General Manager: Russell Alexander, Hobbiton Movie Set
Hobbiton Movie Set Arborist & Art Director, The Lord of the Rings: Brian Massey

Hobbiton Movie Set

Bilbo’s Party Field.

Hobbiton Movie Set

All the Info:

View the Hobbiton™ Movie Set project profile to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Hobbiton Movie Set

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Hobbiton™ Movie Set Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube: Project of the Week 8/13/18 photo credits courtesy of Linda S. Velazquez; Tourism New Zealand by Sara Orme; and Hobbiton Tours.

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the Hobbiton™ Movie Set profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured on We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits Host

Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary

May 6, 2015 at 11:58 am

In celebration of honoring Earth Day 2015 and our planet’s ecology through healthy, regenerative design, we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our 30+ spectacular speakers from‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.


Our hope is that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you will be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And, along with the speakers’ input, I will identify 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants.


Today we are spotlighting the individual presentation “Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by the understated but extremely affable Graham Cleary, GRP, and “Chief Rake” – or principal – of the multi-award winning Natural Habitats, a major design/build and maintenance landscape company in New Zealand.


New Zealand is much lauded for its lush beauty and myriad of natural landscapes from soaring rugged mountaintops to rolling green hills to the glimmering depths of its lakes and seas – and we had the wonderful opportunity to visit Auckland and the area by invitation from Graham and his lovely wife, Lucy, last October after the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2014 in Sydney; I spoke at at a private function for Natural Habitats and it was just awesome!


We also had been familiar with Natural Habitat’s wonderful living walls, and have featured a few as our “Projects of the Week” – and while in Auckland we got to see firsthand a wide variety of their greenwalls, including green screens, installed across the city.


 Auckland, New Zealand. “Graham founded Natural Habitats in 1978 in Auckland as a fledgling design build company under the mentorship of the city’s then only landscape architect.

Graham has worked on and led many outstanding landscape projects in the South Pacific, including resorts, golf courses, commercial projects and exquisite private estates and homes. Under his leadership, Natural Habitats has grown to be the leading provider of integrated landscape management within Australasia. Graham demonstrates coherent leadership of multi-disciplinary teams in order to achieve the innovative, high quality outcomes for which Natural Habitats is renowned.

Graham is also at the forefront of thinking on the use of natural systems to mitigate urban development issues. He plays an essential role in Natural Habitats’ pioneering green roofs and wall technology within New Zealand. Graham has served as consultant and advisor to numerous landscape design and environmental groups. He is a founding member of Landscaping New Zealand, an accredited Green Roof Professional, an executive of Green Roofs Australasia, an associate of KEA, part of the Great Barrier Trust, and a member of Forest & Bird and of the Native Forest Restoration Trust. ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.


You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Graham Cleary shares on the subject:

1) Natural Habitats was the New Zealand pioneer in greenroof construction. Learn about their inception, influencers, vision and design philosophy resulting in the potential of landscaping at the highest level with greenroofs in the 1990’s – later turning them on their side with greenwalls; talk about return on investment for developers;

2) Starting in 1994, they constructed the first greenroof in New Zealand with the Quay West Roof Garden in Auckland, enabling Quay West to add an additional four levels of building to its development for spending a little over $100,000 – which equated to an additional $4 million in real estate value; talk about plants and growing media;

3) All native plants were used for the new public 23-square meter greenwall in Civic Square in Wellington with a 2-day installation which was greatly received; many other living wall projects are mentioned;

4) At the exclusive, award-winning development The Parc in Auckland, average inward-facing apartment sales prices were able to be raised by about 25% due to the large semi-intensive greenroof, a private sanctuary with lush landscaping, expansive lawn areas, and pool;

5) The importance of positioning greenroofs and walls in marketing; as an example, he talks about One Central Park in Sydney, setting the benchmark in Australasia. Its branding is huge – leaders want to be associated with something new and green, to set them apart and we can do this smartly and cost effectively with greenroofs and greenwalls.

Watch the 7:41 video presentation “Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary now playing at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  If you have not yet registered (only $49 or 25), please do:

Registration fee:

$49 – special discounted pricing;

$25 for students/faculty and government professionals

All Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts, & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand +
Networking Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015

Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.  Register here.



Registration Open through May 31st for the Virtual Summit 2015

We hope you will support our work!  Please remember that these video presentations will not be made public for at least one year.

Happy watching and participating,

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy!” by Dr. Ken Yeang.

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing” by Elizabeth Hart.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.