I remember sitting in the café at work, and having a casual conversation with my coworker Brian about his love for Lord of the Rings. Somehow, growing up, I had missed the boat on Lord of the Rings, so I was intrigued the longer Brian spoke. Brian had taken classes on Tolkien while in college, so who better to get a download on Lord of the Rings from than Brian? Our conversation concluded and I was left with homework – go home and watch the first movie. Well, the good student that I am, I took it above and beyond just the first movie…I stayed up all night and watched both the first and the second movie. That night, a new love was born, and my fantasy fiction love expanded from a party of two (me and the Harry Potter series) to a party of three.
So, after thoroughly enjoying hunting down LOTR and Hobbit filming locations in the South Island, (you can read about our experience here), everyone knew, the minute we stepped foot on the North Island, I was going to Hobbiton, with them or without them.
Then, while in Napier, I saw a pamphlet advertising Hobbiton. I casually picked it up and was greeted with a beautiful ad for the Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour, I had not heard about this tour before, so I went home and looked it up on Tripadvisor. Unfortunately, Tripadvisor was not super helpful because the Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour was launched this past January, so it is a relatively new tour offering, and Tripadvisor did not have a lot of reviews. The only review we saw at the time was from a family of small children (they enjoyed it!). So we took a leap of faith that the tour would be cool, and it really was amazing.
Here is why I loved it:
1. You tour the grounds of Hobbiton before sunset, so you see it lit up in natural light, as well as the soft lighting of sunset
2. Enjoy drinks in the Green Dragon
3. Stuff yourself silly with the most decadent feast fit for a hobbit
4. No one was dressed as a hobbit when you arrived at the Green Dragon, so you avoided the overly cheesy factor
5. Everyone on the tour was just as much of a fan as me, so everyone was in great spirits and no one was making mean, sarcastic comments
6. Then after dinner, you thankfully get to walk the Hobbiton grounds after dark (aka get a few steps in so you do not feel so full) and experience it all lit up
The regular daily tour cost $75 NZD/person. However, the Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour cost $190 NZD/person. Although the Hobbiton Evening Tour is a bit pricey, it is worth every penny. You get to walk around Hobbiton twice, without heaps of people, get a free delicious drink, and then enjoy a feast of food that even the most ambitious of eaters could not finish!
After walking the grounds of Hobbiton, we were so happy to enter the warmth of the Green Dragon (and a glass of cider warmed me right up!). But the pièce de résistance was walking in the “Great Hall” of sorts and seeing the feast set out on the table for us to enjoy!
I do not think I will ever be able to do this tour justice in just a single blog post, so if I can urge you to do anything while you are in New Zealand, GO TO HOBBITON and do the Hobbiton Evening Dinner Tour!
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