Hobbiton™ Movie Set
Matamata, New Zealand
2,300 sf. Greenroofs (estimated)
Greenroofs.com 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
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.
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.
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!).
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!
For more on our adventures, see my “Greenroofs.com Explores Middle-earth at Hobbiton, NZ” for tons more information and photos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Owner: Alexander Farm with Peter Jackson
Location: Matamata, New Zealand
Building Type: Commercial
Size: 2,300 sq.ft. averaged & estimated
Slope: 9% averaged & estimated
Access: Accessible, Private
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
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.
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:
Greenroofs.com 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.
Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!