Beware: If you're a Hobbit or Lord of the Rings fan, you might get a bit jealous after reading this blog. Please proceed with caution.
After seven years, this week I have had the great privilege of reuniting with the Myers family, fellow missionaries and dear friends in Papua New Guinea! We've enjoyed a bit if site-seeing the mid-north island, including a tour of Hobbiton, the only remaining movie set from the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit films. The set construction began back in 1999, 2.5 years before they even started filming the first of the Lord of the Rings trilogy!
A 1250 acre sheep farm, owned by the Alexander family of New Zealand, was chosen as the perfect site for Peter Jackson's recreation of the "Middle Earth" and "Hobbiton". The carpets of green that covered the rolling hills of the farm so resembled the English countryside described in Tolkien's books that it just couldn't be passed up. Though all of the other 158 filming sites around New Zealand have been deconstructed and returned to their original owners, the Alexanders decided that Hobbiton could be preserved and have now given permission for tourists to come on site.
It feels as if this slice of fantasy has been preserved and somehow brought into the present reality. Obsessive attention to detail is what makes Peter Jackson such a renown film director, and you can definitely see this as you tour through Hobbiton.
After our tour of Hobbiton, we made our way to Waierere Falls, the tallest waterfall on the north island of New Zealand. The 2 hour hike was worth it! If only the photos could do it justice.