New Zealand became synonymous with the Middle-earth of JRR Tolkien's famous books following the release of the blockbuster Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson. Stunning scenery all around New Zealand was transformed into sets for the three movies and the subsequent Hobbit prequels.
One of the most famous was that of The Shire, home to the plucky hobbits. While filming has now finished, today you can still visit The Shire and see where the movie magic was created. Tucked away on picturesque private farmland near Matamata in the North Island's Waikato region is the set of Hobbiton, which draws visitors from around the world for guided tours to see the famous Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn and other well-loved locations from the films.
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