Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Viator Exclusive: Early Access to The Lord of the Rings Hobbiton Movie Set. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
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!!!!!!!!
Excellent service. Worth paying for. Tour guide and driver were so nice from start to finish. Highly recommended. One of my favourite tour.
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.
We took the Early Access LOTR tour and it was awesome. Well worth the extra cost as for most of the tour we were the only ones there allowing us to get great photos. The breakfast was delicious and fun.
Excellent tour. Early entry before the crowds, special access to certain areas (like Bag End) ending with a private breakfast at the Green Dragon. Great for any LOTR fan!
What an excellent tour! Well worth the price! It started very early and was a long drive but it was such an enjoyable visit I didn't care. There were 4 of us in this tour and we were the first ones to take the tour on the day. We got to see a little bit extra that normal tours don't get to see but the best part was avoiding the crowds! The tour probably went for about an hour or a bit more and lots of photo opportunities to be had. The tour guide was very friendly and provided us with lots of information. The final stop at the Green Dragon Inn was excellent too. We got a drink of our choosing (ginger beer was nice) and we had a breakfast included in a reserved area. It was delicious! A wonderful place to visit and very interesting. The tour provider was a nice man (Alexander I think) and I enjoyed his commentary on the way there too. I highly recommend this tour even if it is just to avoid the crowds.
Great tour. Had a great driver and guide at Hobbiton. Highly recommend the early tour.
Unfortunately, they cancelled our "early access" because "not enough people signed up". I think they should have honored it, no matter how many people sign up for it. That's why you pay so much more for it. That was disappointing.That's why I am knocking off one star. The tour we did take was great but about 20 people with us. I wanted to have a small group because I was proposing to my partner. It still happened but we had a large audience, which was not ideal.
Was everything I hoped it would be. Even If you do not get this package get a small tour group. Otherwise there could be upwards to 40 people in your group. Group behind us had about that many and I saw that it was almost impossible to get a good shot. Tour guide was very informed and our driver was fantastic.
Did not do the Early Access due to not many people on tour, had early notification and received part refund. The tour they placed me on was fantastic. Would recommend anyone to do. From the time i got picked up from my hotel till got dropped of was great.
Every part of this tour was fantastic, from the bus driver to the lunch and Hobbiton ofcourse.
absolutely loved hobbiton, it was exceptionally excellent to get there early before any of the tour busses arrived, hobbiton , the happiest place in NZ
Hobbiton lived up to my expectations. It's a wonderful place. Unfortunately, no-one else booked the Early Access tour so it was cancelled. Make sure you ring the local supplier to confirm your booking, as Viator tell you to.
I was disappointed not to have breakfast in The Green Dragon (even though I was picked up at the same time as I would have been for the Early Access tour). We had lunch instead, in a marquee behind the pub.
We arrived at the same time as two cruise ship tour groups and wasted half an hour or more just standing around while people used the two toilets. The bus driver could have suggested using the facilities available at our 'coffee stop' on the way to The Shire.
Even with a lot of people there the tour guides manage to avoid congestion by taking different routes. However, our group was 28 people so every time we stopped anywhere we couldn't linger. We only had time for a few quick photos and then had to move on for the people behind to do the same. Instead of lunch I would have preferred to wander around by myself and really look at everything. I understand why this can't happen but next time I'll book a different small group tour, which hopefully won't feel so rushed (and won't be cancelled).
Viator were very prompt at refunding the difference between the two tours. Thank you.
It was exactly as promised. We were there before the crowds, and had photos without crowds blocking them. We were allowed in places others were not allowed, such as by/in the hobbit doors. We were not rushed and spent about two hours exploring. Following that we had a delicious private breakfast.