In September 1998 Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema discovered the Alexander family farm during an aerial search for suitable film sites for The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. The fantastic views and rolling countryside of the Alexander Farm closely resembled that of The Shire as described by author, J.R.R Tolkien.
The large established pine tree, later re-named the party tree, was already perfectly placed in front of the lake. The surrounding rolling farmland was untouched by 20th century clutter such as roads, buildings or power lines. The farm was perfect.
Site construction started in March 1999. Initially this involved heavy earthmoving machinery provided by the New Zealand Army. Total site construction took nine months. Throughout construction and filming all activity on the site was kept under strict security due to commercial restraints by the movie company.
Filming commenced in December 1999 and continued for three months. At its peak 400 people were working on site, including director Peter Jackson, and actors Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Elijah Wood (Frodo), Sir Ian Holm (Bilbo), Sean Astin (Sam), Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry)
The set was rebuilt in 2011 for the feature films “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” and “The Hobbit: There and Back Again”. It is now permanent complete with hobbit holes, gardens, bridge, Mill and The Green Dragon.
- Hobbiton Movie Set & Farm Tours
The Shires Rest Cafe
501 Buckland Rd
Ph: +64 (7) 888 1505
Fax: +64 (7) 888 1507
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