Matamata, a trip to the country of the hobbits

Have you ever dreamed of a place that only seems to exist in children’s stories, with green meadows, blue skies, and animals running freely through the fields? That dream place exists. It’s called Matamata, a small town located in the Waikato region of northern New Zealand and about 150 km south of Auckland. An idyllic village, with incredible landscapes with green hills crossed by the Waikato River, which rose to fame for being chosen as the filming location for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

This town, with a very small population, is the real version of Hobbit on, the hobbit village that Peter Jackson created for the famous trilogy. In fact, the inhabitants of the town were in charge of promoting the place, once it was set for the film, and they turned it into a focus of tourist attraction for millions of tourists who came from all corners of the planet and eager to enter a movie landscape.

This town stands out for its wide streets and its tranquility, but its most precious treasure is, without a doubt, the landscapes that surround it, capable of immersing tourists in a magical world. Of course, instead of finding hobbits, the visitor will come across grazing sheep, horses and cows, who know very little about movies.

What to see?

It is essential to take a walk through the caves of the hobbits. After the filming of Lord of the Rings, the government decided to keep these holes built in the hills. Hobbit houses remain open to the public, and do not have any furniture or decoration inside. The town has been able to take advantage of the tourist impulse of the film, being included in some of those designed, a package sold to foreigners determined to visit the most famous landscapes portrayed in the blockbuster film. In addition to touring the houses of Frodo and his friends, you can attend sheep shearing demonstrations, bottle feed the lambs and pet and feed the domesticated sheep. To tour the sets of the film it is essential to go with a guided tour since it is located on a private estate that is difficult to access.

What to buy?

New Zealand food items may not be the best buy to take home as a souvenir, but wines are. Visitors should look for names like Coopers Creek, Kumeu River, Nobilo and Matua Valley, or they can also peruse the free Winemakers of Auckland brochure, available at Tourist Information Centres. Wool and leather items make good souvenirs and gifts, as do Maori craft items and items made from pounamu.

Where to sleep?

Accommodation in New Zealand is usually varied, but without a doubt the hobbit caves are the most original. In addition, there are farms that are equipped to accommodate groups of tourists and eat their dairy products, very typical in the area.

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