Hobbiton welcomes 1 millionth visitor

For well over a decade tourists have been visiting a small pocket of green farmland in the depths of Middle-earth™.

Hobbiton. Photo: Sara Orme

Hobbiton™ Movie Set, near Matamata in New Zealand’s Waikato region, has welcomed its one millionth visitor.

Hobbiton Movie Set’s General Manager Russell Alexander was on-hand to welcome the one millionth visitor, who was on holiday from Southern California. The lucky visitor received an exact replica of the Trilogies’ emblematic “The One Ring,” made in Nelson, New Zealand, along with a bottle of the Green Dragon’s finest ale.

“‘It is a very exciting and humbling achievement to have hosted one million guests over the past thirteen years, it’s an incredible milestone. We are extremely proud of our enduring role in the real Middle-earth and we look forward to hosting many more visitors in the years to come,” says Alexander.

It has been a long journey since a location scout first came knocking on the Alexander farm door in 1998. Back then, the fertile green paddocks on a quiet back country road were home to the Alexander family, and their grazing livestock – 13,500 sheep and around 400 cattle.

Hobbiton was then created by director Sir Peter Jackson to depict the home of the Hobbits for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

In December 2002, Russell Alexander was conducting the first tours of the movie set, which was rebuilt out of permanent materials from 2009 to 2011 for The Hobbit Trilogy.

Since then, tourists from all over the world have been flocking to Hobbiton Movie Set to get their own insider’s view of the epic filming projects, making it the largest permanent film set you can visit in the world.

The two-hour tour shows visitors around 44 Hobbit Holes dug into the green Waikato hillside, Hobbit orchards, the Party Tree and party field, and finishes with a pint in The Green Dragon™ Inn.