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Is Hobbiton Worth it? – Hobbiton Review

Is Hobbiton Worth it? – Hobbiton Review

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This is a personal review of the tour at the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand. It includes both positives and negatives about the tour, an outline of the tour, and some suggestions for those thinking of going. I also answer the question “is Hobbiton worth it?”.

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 some, this is one of the best things they do in New Zealand and to super fans, the whole experience is so overwhelming they sometimes 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”!

Of course, the answer to this question changes with personal preference, but I’ll give you an unbiased guide to the pros and cons of the tour so you can decide for yourself!

4 Different Hobbiton Tours

Checking the mail at Frodos house at Hobbiton
Checking the mail at Frodo’s house at Hobbiton

As you may have already known there is more than one tour of Hobbiton, in fact, there are four main tours that are available all year round. Before we can properly review Hobbiton, it’s important that you understand that there are different types of tours you can do, and not all tours are created equal.

1. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

The Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton
The Green Dragon pub at Hobbiton

This is the classic Hobbiton tour and the tour that most people do. To be honest, if you’re asking ‘if Hobbiton is worth it’ then this is likely the tour you’re looking at doing.

This tour lasts for around 2 hours and involves a visit to the shire with a guide. On the tour, you’ll walk the shire taking photos at some of the 44 Hobbit Homes learning about the movies and movie set. This tour also includes a beer at the Green Dragon Pub.

This tour costs $89 NZD per person and tours leave every 10 to 20 minutes. You can book your tickets for this tour here, but remember this doesn’t include transport so you’ll have to get yourself to Hobbiton. You can book a tour with transport from Auckland here, from Rotorua here, or from Tauranga here.

2. Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Lunch

A lade hasa  drink in the Green Dragon pub
Enjoying our drink at the Green Dragon

The next tour is a really good option for those who are coming from Auckland and want a little more an in-depth experience at Hobbiton. This small-group tour includes all of the above as well as a Hobbits lunch at the Shire’s Rest Cafe.

This added experience costs $375 NZD and lasts for around 8 hours. To be honest, the extra $100+ you’ll pay for the lunch (the reviews on the food are really good) and smaller group (up to 30 people) is only worth it if you care about a more personal experience where you can ask questions and get more detailed information about the set. You can book your ticket for lunch with transport here.

Related Read: Your complete guide to visiting the Catherdral Cove in New Zealand

3. Early-bird Access Tour

A Hobbit Hole in Hobbiton
Another Hobbit Hole!

The next tour is the exact same as the first tour but happens first thing in the morning before any other tours leave. This creates a more personal experience and allows you to see Hobbiton without thousands of tourists.

On this tour, you are guaranteed to be the first or second tour of the day, and the best part? It includes transport from Auckland so that you don’t have to drive yourself!

You can book the early-bird Hobbiton tour from Auckland here.

4. Banquette Dinner

A Hobbit Hole at Hobbiton, New Zealand

The last tour is the ultimate Hobbiton experience and involves a tour of the movie set at sunset when very few are around before a stop at the Green Dragon for your free beer and a banquette dinner fit for a Hobbit king.

For a super fan this tour is the best option and one I would recommend if a visit to Hobbiton means that much to you. The banquette dinner lasts for 4 hours and costs $200 NZD for adults. You can book this tour directly on their website.

Aside from the main tours above, there are others that happen yearly like the International Hobbit Day party. This tour happens on the 22nd of September and costs $295 NZD.

About the Classic Hobbiton Day Tour

Hobbiton review
Some of the detail is amazing on the hobbit homes!

Since the 2-hour Hobbiton Movie Set tour is included in every tour package, I’ll let you know a little bit more about what you can expect on this 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 starts at the Shires Rest (Hobbiton office) and involves a short bus ride from the office to the movie set. On the bus, you’ll watch a short video about finding the location and hear from Peter Jackson himself.

Then you’ll spend just over an hour on set with a guide wandering the film set and taking lots of photos along the way. Your guide will point out famous scenes, tell you more about the construction, and of course play photographer.

After the tour, you’ll be given 15 minutes to enjoy a free drink (beer, cider, or non-alcoholic option) at the Green Dragon bar, before returning to the office again.

The tour costs $85 NZD. In the summertime, in the morning and around midday, tours book up well in advance. If you plan on visiting around this time book your tour asap. With that said, the tours in the late afternoon tend to remain free until a week or two before.

The group size on these tours is almost always around 40 to 50 people. That’s how many can fit on the bus and they are almost always fully booked.

During the tour, there is not much shade and you will spend a lot of time in the sun. For that reason be sure to bring water and a hat.

Related Read: Hop over and explore all of the best South Island destinations in New Zealand

Hobbiton Movie Set Review

Hobbiton review
A picture of the lake and a house from on the stone bridge.

What I liked about the tour

Regardless of your opinion of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies, the Hobbiton movie set is a very impressive place to visit. To say the least, it’s huge, and the attention to detail that went into the construction is spectacular. The entire movie set makes for some pretty cool photos.

Wandering the small Hobbit streets really puts you in the movies and as you walk around it’s easy to spot some key filming locations.

Talking about the size, I’m not sure most realize 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) afterward and they actually get these beers brewed specifically for the movie set. I found this really neat and another testament to the detail.

What I didn’t like

The green dragon bar in my hobbiton review
The Green Dragon!

The tour itself (not the movie set) disappointed me. I found the tour was more of a guided Instagram photo session. We were all lined up and took photos at different locations and this took up most of the time.

This meant waiting for everyone in the entire group (45 of us) to take photos. Therefore, the tour was 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.

Related Reads: Get planning your New Zealand Road trip itinerary that best fits your interests!

Should I go to Hobbiton?

A landscape shot of the area around Hobbiton, New Zealand
Hobbiton is huge!

If you’re a fan…

If you’ve 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’s a dream come true and for the price of $84 NZD ($53 USD), I’m not sure it’s worth missing (especially if you’ve come from the other side of the world!)

However, if you really are a super fan then I think joining the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Lunch is a great option. Or if you can, the banquette dinner. These tours will allow you to enjoy the place a lot more!

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, the tour still offers some value to visitors.

The best way to sum it up is if you have the $89 and it’s not a problem spending it or you get FOMO (fear of missing out), then go. However, if you are on a tight budget and aren’t that interested then maybe give it a miss.

Hot Tip: Book your Hobbiton tour online in advance to ensure you get the time slot you want!

Related Read: The Rotorua Maori Experience is one of the most cultural things you can do in New Zealand.

Is Hobbiton worth it?

Hobbit homes on the hobbiton movie set in my hobbiton review
Anyone home?

With all that said, I really want to answer the question “is Hobbiton worth it”. In my opinion, for the price of $89, it is overpriced but still worth a visit. Things in NZ are expensive and for this very unique experience, I wouldn’t change the fact that I paid for it. Just don’t expect an amazing tour, instead, focus on how beautiful and impressive Hobbiton is.

If the tour was priced at say $50 NZD then I would say it was a great value tour. In my opinion, $89 is a little bit expensive for what you get!

Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand

Bailey takes a selfie with a JUCY campervan
Ready to hit the road!
Bailey stands infront of a JUCY campervan in New Zealand
JUCY is another favorite!

The first step to planning your New Zealand road trip is choosing your set of wheels! Most people rent a campervan or motorhome to get around, but you can also just rent a normal car and stay in hotels (as opposed to camping.)

You can search for rental cars online here in advance to compare car models and prices.

You can also do this with motorhomes and campervans on a website called Motorhome Republic. It shows all of the available campervans and motorhomes for your specific New Zealand road trip dates. You can compare prices and company reviews here too!

JUCY is our personal favorite campervan rental company in NZ. We love JUCY because they have such a range of both cars and campervans available, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something to suit your budget and travel style.

We’ve actually secured an exclusive discount code for our readers with JUCY. Just click here to browse their availability and use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off! What a good deal!

You can check prices, availability and book with JUCY online here.

Star RV is another company we personally recommend but specifically for motorhomes! They offer larger motorhomes (as opposed to budget campervans) at really reasonable rates.

Star RV has actually given us a discount code for our readers too! Use the code DTRAVEL24 at checkout to get 5% off your motorhome rental! Note, this code is only valid for bookings made before June 21, 2024 with travel dates before Dec 21, 2024. Click here to browse availability, prices, and book with our discount code!

Thanks for reading!

Is hobbiton worth it? This is a hobbiton review
Fans would love this photo op!

I hope this Hobbiton review has helped you make the decision on whether Hobbiton is worth it or not. It is written entirely in my opinion with the consideration 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!

If you liked this blog or found it helpful then be sure to jump over to our official New Zealand page here! There you can find over 100 guides to must-visit places, hidden gems, and more! Alternatively, check out these related articles:

15 best beaches on New Zealand’s North Island

A must-read guide to visiting Hot Water Beach

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15 BEST Day Trips from Wellington, NZ

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Andrew Scott

Saturday 9th of March 2024

I'd like to go but it strikes me as a place just for tourists (obvs!) and it could be hosted anywhere. The hobbit holes seem to have recessed LED lighting which I don't recall from the movie. It just seems very "Disneyish". I'm finding it difficult to express exactly what my thoughts are.

Destinationless Travel

Sunday 10th of March 2024

Hey Andrew,

This is the real set used in the movies. It is technically from the Hobbit movies because after the LOTR the deal was the restore the area to its natural way. However, after the popularity of the LOTR when it came to filming the Hobbit, the owner of the land made a deal to leave the movie set. This includes a willow tree with thousands of hand painted leaves.

Thanks Daniel


Tuesday 24th of January 2023

good pros/cons review, much appreciated!


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

Thanks for the review! Was honestly looking for a holistic review that's not biased (sponsored or advertised). This was very helpful, thanks heaps!


Friday 8th of November 2019

Good day! I could have sworn I've been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it's new to me. Anyways, I'm definitely happy I found it and I'll be bookmarking and checking back often!

Thursday 22nd of August 2019

Hey there! I've been reading your site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great job!