Frodo and Sam return to the Shire

Trip Start Sep 12, 2005
Trip End Aug 15, 2006

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

After our cave adventure we had an extra day to spend somewhere before heading back to Auckland due to the cancelled Tongariro crossing walk and another failed skydive due to bad weather.

So the time had come for Frodo and Sam to head for home.

When Peter Jackson and New Line Cinemas were scoping out the countryside looking for a location for the Shire they flew over a farm just outside the town of Matamata and knew they had found it. New Line Cinemas had signed a contract with theNew Zealand government that they must restore film sets to their original state after filming, meaning that there are no longer any of the sets remaining anywhere in New Zealand. Except for one... Hobbiton. Due to heavy rains, it was deemed unsafe for the diggers to destroy the hobbit holes which had been burrowed into the side of the hills, so they agreed to return after Winter and complete the job. However, after 2 years of complicated legal issues the hobbit holes were allowed to stay but not to be restored to how they looked in the films. Nevertheless, Hobbiton has attracted over 100,000 visitors in the 2.5 years it has been open, making the Alexander family, who own it lots of money!

The tour itself was a good laugh and we found out loads about Jackson's attention to detail when making the films. The tour was worthwhile although a little expensive at $50 each but when are you going to get the chance to live like a Hobbit for the day!

It's back to Auckland tomorrow and it feels like we have just left which in itself is a good sign of how much of a good time we have had in New Zealand.
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