It’s good to spend more time in the Rotorua/Hamilton area. There are simply too many places around which you just don’t want to rush too much when you’re there. In the end we should enjoy the time we spend in New Zealand (and other places) and not run from one place to another. We have found another host in Hamilton for the second night so we could enjoy both – Wai-O-Tapu and Hobbiton as we both wanted to see them.
I never considered myself as a big Tolkien fan, I didn’t count the orcs that were fighting in any movie, I don’t know the books by heart but I do like good fantasy and Tolkien definetely knew how to write it. And I really like the movies although I never actually read the books, but I WILL do it.
So when I’ve decided to go to New Zealand I knew, I just knew that Hobbiton is a must. I knew it wasn’t cheap. How could it be after such such spectacular successes? I’ve heard different opinions about it but I still knew I was going there, despite everything. It’s Hobbiton for God’s sake!
The ticket cost me 79$ and I could already see that in the next I won’t put anything fancy in my mouth (FOOD of course). It’s not that I’m totally broke but I have to save in order to survive, there’s no discussion about it. After I checked my bank account I found out that I didn’t really look how much I was spending in India (and it was almost 1/3 my money in total). But when you’re travelling on budget you can’t save on everything, otherwise it doesn’t make bigger sense. You need to spend the money on things you want most, even if because of that you’ll have bread and water for 6 days, the 7th day should be special. We were talking about it on one of the days with Christian. I was kinda doing it subconsciously before, but it’s aways best when you are aware of things you are doing (and the reasons behind them).
Back to the Hobbits. Because we didn’t book the tickets we had to wait an hour for the next tour. It wasn’t bad because we had time to relax before it and look around. I would actually expect a little bit more from the souvenir shop, it was extraordinary (in my dictionary it’s actually something very, very, very, very ordinary, so nothing special in other words, opposite to the official meaning).
Then the tour began! We had to jump on the bus which took us from the Rest Nest Cafe to the Hobbiton. It was way smaller than I’ve expected, but not that small. The guide was trying to be funny and happy and I think she kinda was, but not too much. Maybe just the impression she wanted to make. Anyway, she told us many interesting facts about the like the trees which are not plum trees but the fruits have been assembled to them, frogs that were too loud and disturbed shooting and had to be transferred to other place, or a very special beer that has been brewed specially for the cast in the party scenes. Did you know it was just 1% strong… light? Well it would be logical though, nobody wants drunk cast on the movie set. There are also 3 sizes of Hobbit holes. 60%, 90% and 100% and there’s nothing inside them! More – only few of them can be actually opened! The actual interior shooting took place in the studio. Why didn’t I think of it? Damn. Another a bit disappointing thing about the place is that the tours are operated every 15 minutes, which basically pushes you through Hobbiton and you don’t really have time to enjoy it and it is getting a bit crowded in there. Such a shame. Yet it’s still a nice place to see.