Hobbiton, New Zealand, 2012

Hobbiton is the very place where The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were shot.

I took pictures of the home of Bilbo Baggings against the sun and brought together parts of three pictures, the obtained colors don’t look natural but this way it is even more like in a fairy-tale.

Peter Jackson liked one of the farms in New Zealand because there were no traces of civilization. So the Americans bought the central part of the farm and built there Hobbiton town that consisted of forty houses-holes, the most part of which being just dummies. When The Lord of the Rings was made the sets were dismantled leaving behind only gaping holes in place of doors upon a hillside. In course of The Hobbit’s making, the number of sets multiplied up many times and was left that way to entertain tourists

The American landowners hired farm workers to look after the garden, bees, sheep and other living creatures which naturally inhabit Hobbiton. There is a rather big cafe with a signboard “Hobbiton” at the road, and a bus goes right from the cafe several times a day . A small town is cozily located at the bottom land near a lake. No signs of modern civilization are seen around. 

I started printing something but isn’t it easier to describe pictures? All the more so because I’ve taken half a thousand of them on that day. Below in the post, there are pictures and comments to them. 

At the approaches to Hobbiton there are sheep and hills everywhere, which is a rather usual picture for New Zealand. 

Welcome to Hobbiton!

Tourists are given some combined feed for tame sheep. Sheep are soft like a carpet. One can pay some money and see how sheep are cut, or bottle feed little ones with milk. That’s a dull part.

The same picture is outside the cafe’s window: hills and sheep, sheep and hills.

It seems that a photo on the cafe’s wall makes a hint: it will be interesting, that is how the holes of real hobbits look.

This is, in fact, a view of the cafe “The Shire’s Rest”.

A noisy woman-guide organizes tourists. The bus will be soon and everybody will go deep into the farm — to Shire.

A New Zealand farm: fields, sheep and cows.

Bus, go forward, the stop is in Hobbiton. (It is a rephrased part of a Soviet patriotic song, “Our train, rush forward! Our stop is in the Commune…)”

On approaching Shire one can see multiple restrictive signs. It is prohibited to leave trash, climb into the holes, touch and take (steal) things. The fence is under tension (well, for sheep, of course), but the current rushes are quite telling.  

There’s, there’s a hole of my dream! Most part of Hobbits’ holes are simply dummies. There is nothing inside, or just enough place for actors of some particular scene, or for a film crew member to shoot it. Most doors are just doors leading nowhere.

A small garden. It is evident that hobbits lived very simple, poor life. The farm workers look after the gardens. Butterflies fly about and it smells like in a forest.

In the distance there one can discern other holes. The house of Bilbo is on the top of the hill under a branchy tree.

There in the bushes, awaiting for feedstuffs, cut sheep hide being afraid of everything.

Houses of hobbits are admirably nice. We were discussing the practicality of round doors for a long time. Another point for the discussion was a doorknob-beetle in the center of the door. It is a solely decorative thing, isn’t it? That’s the way I see it.

Those who have read Tolkien’s books carefully know that the drawings on mail boxes reflect the owner’s profession. About 30% of Hobbiton’s visitors have never read the books, and never watched the films either. There’re statistics like that.

A great amount of details around the holes was really to my liking. All those brooms, baskets, benches, jars, bottles produced outward appearances of a village style of living, where everything is meant to be for one’s own home and for one’s own family.

A classic hole of a Hobbit. Pay attention to window dummies at the distance. One can discern there curtains and some large dusty bottles.

These are the details I was talking about: so many things are put on the window and, what is more surprising, behind the window too.

More jars and vessels and a figured window in the door. Each door, each hole, each hobbit house is unique and reflects the character of the owner. The decorators had real fun here.

In the distance, behind the lake there is a town center and a windmill. Tourists are not allowed to go there: it is a new filming site or sort of that. The bridge was designed and built by military men. Somehow the fact became a special pride of the place.

The lake’s view with clouds’ reflection.

The Hobbiton’s view across the lake. This view may be in a new film, so remember the angle.

The time of our visit to the place was not the best one so at some moments I had to take pictures against the sun. I took a lot of triplets and when later I was bringing them together I had to dim lights and lengthen shadows. Well, I got what I got. Yes, it is the very thing which is usually called “HDR”.

The same hill nearby.

 

Fishing village. While filming, one could see there fishing rods, smoke coming out of chimneys, drying laundry and fish. It was one of the most busy streets of Hobbiton.

Peter Jackson was sure that when there was no wind the smooth lake surface used to transform into a mirror. So I took many pictures of such early morning beauty.

The outskirts of the town, sheep on the hills. In accordance with the book, the actors were traveling here for four days. But in fact it is only five minutes from the physical center of the town.  Magic of a cut.

All the pictures, which are meant to gain the favor of readers tired of instagrammas, can be clicked. In the enlarged version of any picture one can see more details. And again I admire the decorators’ work.

One of the views of Bilbo Baggings’ home (under the tree). The door of the hole can be opened, and there is enough place inside just for four people. As for the tree it is absolutely artificial and to make it has costed more than a million dollars. According to the book Bilbo lived under the tree but there was no tree on the top of the hill.

And again we are taking a good look at the details near the holes.

 

This is a wood yard next to a smithy. Have you noticed anything special next to the ax? Tah-dah! That is it, the Ring. It was brought to Hobbiton by fans from England.

As they said the ring was becoming heavier and heavier when they were flying up to New Zealand. This elderly couple was happy to have their photo in a movie set.

 

Gardeners are good: houses are not overgrown with grass, flowers bloom, butterflies fly.

Window glass is not even, flower cases are painted in the corners. If it were not for the guide’s hurrying I would have hung there for a longer period of time to carefully view the designers’ work.

A house with a yellow door. In one of such holes there were utility services responsible for  lighting, smoke out of chimneys and many other things meant to enliven the set. As I promised, here it is – a butterfly “in-person”.

 

A wine red door, neatly arranged firewood in a tub and growing sunflower under the feet.  Very nice.

A huge tree, under which hobbits were happily frisking about in the first parts of The Lord of the Rings movie.

A roadway marker. Lichen grows very slowly if you remember the fact from the school course of biology. Moss and other traces of aging on the wooden parts of the scenery has been, as I see it, a special task of designers. Looks great!

That is the most popular and famous house in Hobbiton – the main one. This is the place where Bilbo Baggings lived, and where Gandolf happened to drop in.

It really looks like in the photo on the cafe’s wall. The organizers of the entertainment got it right. No kidding!

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