Thursday, April 30, 2015
We finally made it to Hobbiton. It was raining, cold, and muddy, unfortunately, but that's New Zealand. Unpredictable weather always. There were lots of hobbit hole facades and real fruit and vegetable gardens. I recognized some of my own plants there which was cool! Since we've watched the behind-the-scenes documentaries of the LOTR and Hobbit movies, there wasn't much new from the guide. We had the ginger beer (ginger ale soda) in the Green Dragon Inn and a chocolate chip cookie with lemon frosting. We would have appreciated a little more effort toward atmosphere on the tour, as listening to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and other pop music on the bus ride to and from the set wasn't quite the movie soundtrack and experience we were expecting. They packed a lot of people into our group and the walkways aren't designed for that many people, so there was a lot of crowding (especially with us all using umbrellas). We plunked down a bit in the gift shop for some souvenirs and were on our way to Auckland.