After an early start from Hamilton, we were ready for a coffee by the time we arrived at the Shire’s Rest. As soon as you enter the building, this is where the Hobbit experience takes over. Hobbit murals, Lord of the Rings souvenirs, and even a Hobbit menu at the cafe. We boarded our Hobbit bus and passed through the gates onto the Alexander sheep station, now home to 1300 sheep, a couple of hundred cows, and 44 Hobbit Holes in the Shire.
As the bus drove through the brilliant green rolling pasture, it looked for all the world like English countryside in the summer. Then the Lord of the Rings theme music started, and we were transported to middle-earth.
The bus came to a stop at the Hobbiton village sign, and then our guide walked us around the many paths and lanes that pass the 44 circular doors of the village.
The weather was kind to us again, and the sun lit up the hillside of the shire perfectly.
It amazed us all of the detail that had gone into the “hap-hazard” halfling village. Perfectly proportioned trees, gardens bearing fruit, hobbit clothes hanging on the washing lines. Even the smell of manuka wood burning on the the cooking stoves.
Our tour finished in the Green Dragon Inn, where we were treated to one of the four Brews of our choice, made exclusively for the Green Dragon. Whether you are a Tolkien fan or not, Hobbiton is a brilliant experience!