Is Hobbiton Worth it? – Hobbiton Review
This is a personal review of the tour at the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand. It includes both positives and negatives to the tour, an outline of the tour, and some suggestions to those thinking of going. I also answer the question “is Hobbiton worth it?”.
Is Hobbiton Worth it? – Hobbiton review
Hobbiton is arguably one of the most popular attractions in New Zealand. Every day thousands of visitors pass through its gates and join a guided tour around the movie set. To many, this is a dream come true and to super fans, the whole experience is so overwhelming they cry – literally!
Too many, though, it’s more of a New Zealand checklist item than something they have dreamed about. This means that you may not be completely sold on visiting so in this post I give you my personal Hobbiton review and try to answer the question “is Hobbiton worth it”!
About the tour
The Hobbiton movie set tour is a 2-hour tour around the actual set of Hobbiton used in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. The tour involves a short bus ride from the office to the movie set, then around an hour on set with a guide, 15 minutes to enjoy a drink at the bar, before returning to the office again.
The tour cost $85 NZD. In the summertime, in the morning and around midday book up in advance but the tours in the afternoon tend to remain free until a day or two before.
What I liked
Hobbiton, regardless of your opinion of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies is a very impressive movie set. To say the least, it’s huge, and the attention to detail that went into the construction is very impressive. This makes for some pretty cool photos.
Wandering the small Hobbit streets really puts you in the movies and as you walk around its easy to spot some key filming locations.
Talking about the size, I’m not sure most realise how big it actually is. There are actually 44 Hobbit holes, and an entire bar, gardens, water mill and lake. The size was the most impressive thing to me.
The tour also includes a drink in the Green Dragon (Hobbiton bar) afterwards and they actually get these beers brewed specifically for the movie set. This I also found really neat and another testament to detail.
What I didn’t like
The tour itself (not the movie set) disappointed me. I found the tour was more of a guided photo session. We were all lined up and took photos at different locations. This meant waiting for everyone in the entire group (45 of us) to take photos. Therefore, the tour slow moving and standing in the sun for two hours was not overly fun.
The other disappointing thing was the amount of information given on the tour. There were a few facts given but not many.
I did a Lord of the Rings tour in Queenstown and thoroughly enjoyed learning all about the films. This was not the case in Hobbiton. So for those who have little knowledge of them, don’t expect to leave with too much more. It is, in all honesty, a poorly planned tour and could be improved massively.
Should I go to Hobbiton?
If you’re a fan…
If you have seen the films or read the books and consider yourself a fan then it’s a no-brainer and visiting is well worth your time. To many, it is a dream come true and for the price of $85, I’m not sure it’s worth missing (especially if you’ve come from the other side of the world!)
If you’re not…
If you haven’t seen the movies or didn’t overly enjoy them or the story, then Hobbiton might not be the shining star you think. I am a fan of the movies but was still disappointed (compared to my expectations). With that said it still offers some value to visitors.
The best way to sum it up is if you have the $85 and its not a problem spending it, then go. However, if you are on a tight budget and aren’t that interested then maybe give it a miss.
Is Hobbiton worth it?
With all that said, I really want to answer the question “is Hobbiton worth it”. In my opinion, for the price of $85, it’s not. Even in New Zealand, $85 can get you a 4-hour nature cruise in Milford Sound including lunch or an hour ride on a jet boat. So in comparison, I believe it is overpriced and the tour doesn’t live up to the expectations.
For $85 I would at least expect a tour guide with more knowledge and interest. I would say a fair price would be around the $50 mark.
I hope this Hobbiton review has helped you make the decision on whether Hobbiton is worth it or not. It is written entirely on my opinion with the considerations of friends who have visited including someone who hadn’t seen the films, someone who had but didn’t like them, a super fan, and me (an average fan.) I hope this Hobbiton review helps you decide if Hobbiton is worth it or not for you!
January 5, 2019