5 star rating: Highly Recommended 22 Reviews

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  • Location:Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Viator Exclusive: Early Access to The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set

Beat the crowds with early access to the Hobbiton Movie Set, and see The Shire where ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ movies were filmed. A specialized guide greets you before the site opens to the general public and offers a behind-the-scenes peek at places normally only visited by the film crews. This exclusive tour with a small group of 18 provides round-trip coach transport from your Auckland hotel to the rural town of Matamata and includes breakfast at the Green Dragon Inn.


  • Gain early access to the Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Arrive at the Hobbiton Movie Set before the crowds to be one of the first groups on set
  • Pose for pictures outside Bag End
  • Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the Green Dragon Inn
  • On your way back to your hotel, stop for Hokey Pokey ice cream at Pokeno
  • Private round-trip transport in an air-conditioned mini-coach
  • Small group limited to 18 people to ensure a more personalized experience

Why Our Insiders Chose This Tour

A visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set is a must, whether you're a 'The Lord of the Rings' fan or not. On this tour you'll arrive on set early to avoid the crowds, walk around the set as part of a small group, and access areas that are normally off-limits to other tour groups.

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Viator Exclusive: Early Access to The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton Movie Set

Arrive early at the Hobbiton Movie Set and gain exclusive entry to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit filming locations before the crowds arrive at this popular New Zealand attraction. Start with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Auckland, and board a comfortable coach for the approximate 2.5-hour drive to Matamata, located in the lush farmland of the Waikato region.

Arriving before the Hobbiton Movie Set opens to the general public, you and other fans of Gandalf and the gang will be greeted by a personal guide for your tour of The Shire. Snap photos of recognizable landmarks such as Bilbo Baggins’ house, the Mill and the party tree. Crouch in front of the five hobbit holes, visit outside Bag End and view the latest in hobbit architecture with a glimpse of the Smials — closed during regular visiting hours.

You’ll learn of filming details about each series before stepping into the Green Dragon Inn for a sizable breakfast of morning staples such as scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, creamy mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and a specially made breakfast mince. 

After your tour, hop into the provided vehicle for the return trip to your Auckland hotel, stopping along the way at Pokeno for a complimentary scoop of New Zealand’s signature Hokey Pokey vanilla ice cream — packed with clumps of honeycomb toffee.

Customer Reviews

United States of America

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This was an excellent trip. The early tour of Hobbiton before the crowds was great and we got to see
some areas that the general tour does not. Also, the breakfast was wonderful, and such a great setting -
the Green Dragon's Inn. Our driver was very helpful and made the trip unrushed and even more enjoyable. I would definitely do this again.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Absolutely worth the early morning start! The experience was amazing and being able to go through with such a small group gave us plenty of time for all the photos we wanted. Breakfast at the Green Dragon too!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

I am so happy we paid extra to do this tour. It is worth it! Dawn our driver and Keiron our guide were amazing, I cannot say enough good things about them. The group is a small private tour with breakfast at the end. Food was great, I have never laughed so much on tour before!! Given you are the first group to arrive at the set you get loads of time to take photos and great shots too as there are no crowds blocking your shots. So glad I did this!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Tour guides made it great!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This tour was the main reason why I extended my layover in Auckland and it was worth it!

Our driver was great and picked my sister and I up promptly from our hotel. We were then joined by three others and began our two hour drive to the farm. Along the way we learned the history of New Zealand and the landmarks we passed by. It was so informative and I really appreciated knowing more about where I was.

Our tour guide was fantastic! The weather was perfect and we got to take our time going through the set before the general tours came through. The breakfast they served us at the end was delicious and the ice cream was a great way to end the day!

Seeing the Shire is a must for any Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fan and this Early Access tour is the only way to see it!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

This trip was AMAZING! Although a long day, the driver was very personable and fun. There were two stops along the way before and after for stretching, bathroom, and food! It was so worth waking up early because we were the first ones on the set! No people in your way for photos, a fresh and rested guide, and the sheer beauty of the unspoiled sight! After the unrushed tour, the lunch was fantastic along with the beer! My only complaint would be that it would have been nice for the driver and tour guide to have been able to eat lunch with us. I would have liked to gotten to know them a little better!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This is the BEST way to see Hobbiton!!!
Early access is well worth the extra cost!! Great photo opportunities before the BUS CROWDS arrive.
Delicious Green Dragon Breakfast!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Okay, I am assuming while writing this you want to go to Hobbiton but are wondering whether to pay the extra bucks or not. Now, we went on a few tours in New Zealand, as you, the reader, will probably also be doing. A lot of these tours will be to big popular sites and you will be one of a throng of people, only asking for 20 second bursts so you can see something or snap a photograph. Let me tell you this is the ULTIMATE TOUR EXPERIENCE you will get! This is truly an early tour, before anyone else gets in. The tour guide Alexander, who was AWESOME, very smart, and very knowledgable about all aspects of New Zealand - we had long conversations in the van going up and back to Hobbiton, which went on some weird tangents when I asked about such minor and sweeping topics like animal rights activists and the Dunedin music scene told us there's never more than a handful of people who spend the extra money for the early tour, and sure enough there was just my wife and I, the Hobbiton tour guide, and another tourist who were taken all around Hobbiton, all by ourselves. Halfway through the tour the place opened up for real and we saw groups of 20 people start, all snapping pictures and getting in each other's way. NOT SO WITH THE EARLY TOUR! We took our time, I snapped about 200 photos I think! We got to go inside Bilbo's house which the regular tour does not allow, and you see other things not shown to the general public. You can take sweeping landscape photos with no a person in them. Hobbiton is well kept up all the tour guides double as maintenance crew, and sure enough we saw a young lady with a wheelbarrow at one point and was bigger, grander, and more of a spectable than I, a jaded tourist, had thought possible. Alexander was our guide there and back and we had a special Hobbiton guide once we got there who was very very knowledgable about all the minutae our geek group had. Finally: the breakfast ranks as the single best meal of my New Zealand trip!!!!!!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Excellent service. Worth paying for. Tour guide and driver were so nice from start to finish. Highly recommended. One of my favourite tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Wow, what a tour. Hated getting up so early in the morning but it was worth it. The tour was amazing and we had a great time. Tour guide at the site was amazing! She had so much about the movie etc to share with us. The morning breakfast was immense and loved the room we ate in at the Dragon Restaurant. Far to drive but a great time. Driver/guide was very good.

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Tour code: 3582HOB_EXC


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