Fans of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ know the quiet New Zealand town of Matamata as the location of Hobbiton, the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and the beginning and end of their respective quests. Having been vacant for nearly a decade, with just the frames of hobbit holes carved into the hills to mark the location, Matamata has been a favorite stop for fans who take the ‘Lord of the Rings’ tours in New Zealand.
Well, fans have good and bad news. The bad news: as of last week, Matamata is closed to the public. The good news: it’s because they’re rebuilding the Hobbiton set for a two week shoot. As location shooting for ‘The Hobbit’ ramps up, Hobbiton is back and in full swing once again! Stuff.co.nz has released a few of the film crew as they get ready to bring the quiet little Shire town back to life and we have them below for you to see.
The people of Matamata seem to be taking it all in stride, and the paparazzi and spy sites have yet to really descend upon them. Of course it’s all just set construction right now. Once they begin filming, and stars like Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, James Nesbitt and Richard Armitage begin their work, things might get a bit crazier.
After filming on ‘The Lord of the Rings’ wrapped, the Hobbiton sets were struck, and Matamata was left with a ghost town of hobbit holes. The rumored plan is that, once filming of ‘The Hobbit’ is done, the sets will remain and be converted into a theme park for fans to visit. Let’s hope that ends up being true. Trips to New Zealand will be all the more enticing.